Tuesday, November 10, 2009

UIS Sustainability Week teaches environmental lessons

The University of Illinois Springfield is raising awareness about sustainability and the environment by hosting its Second Annual Sustainability Week from November 9 through November 14, 2009.

“It’s important for our campus to remember that we’re all connected and part of our environment, so take a few moments this week and be grateful for the air we breathe,” said Mae Marie Noll, undergraduate academic advisor and co-presenter of Sustainability Week.

Sustainability Week kicked off with a campus bike ride on Monday in an effort to teach participants about reducing their carbon footprint.

“I ride my bike to work as often as possible. It’s about 6 miles each way so 12 miles round trip,” said UIS staff member Rose Scheikhart.

The campus is also hosting a Battery Recycling Drive and is encouraging people to bring in dead batteries to be collected. The group has containers in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) and University Hall lobbies.

Read more about Sustainability Week events in a previous news release.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UIS Touch DNA seminar draws national attention

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Downstate Innocence Project held a forensic seminar on cutting edge methods of DNA testing on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 in the Brookens Auditorium.

Timothy Masters, a Colorado man who was wrongly convicted of murder and freed from prison by Touch DNA technology spoke at the event. Touch DNA allows investigators to find DNA on nearly anything a person touches by comparing skin epithelial cells. In Master’s case all three DNA profiles tested matched another suspect in the original investigation.

"The Touch DNA revolution in the United States has really been started by the case of Timothy Masters," said Larry Golden, Co-Director of the Downstate Innocence Project.

Touch DNA
was pioneered over a decade ago by forensic scientists Richard and Selma Eikelenboom. The pair both work for the Netherlands Forensic Institute Department of Biology and traveled to UIS to speak at the Innocence Project seminar.

A crew from the CBS crime show 48 Hours Mystery also came to campus to interview the international experts in DNA. Master’s case has been featured on the program and now investigators are interested in using Touch DNA in similar cases around the country.

The UIS Downstate Innocence Project is looking to use the Touch DNA technology on at least two cases here in Illinois. Golden believes the method could prove helpful in testing evidence from the 1989 Sangamon County murder of Melissa Koontz. The project is working to overturn the conviction of Thomas McMillen.

For more information on the Innocence Project visit: http://cspl.uis.edu/ILLAPS/Service/DownstateIllinoisInnocenceProject/index.htm

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UIS joins National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week effort

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield got a taste of what it’s like to drive drunk during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.

Students put “beer goggles” on and drove around the quad in a golf cart to simulate the effect of getting behind the wheel intoxicated. The UIS Counseling Center sponsored the event and set up an obstacle course for the students to navigate around.

"The goggles scare you. Once you put them on you don't realize how bad it is to drink and drive because the goggles are for real. You can't see nothing. You're like a zombie," said UIS Sophomore Jeanell Randolph.

"The students that are going to drink and drive are unfortunately still probably going to drink and drive, but I think the other students gain an awareness of what it's actually like to drive intoxicated," said UIS Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coordinator Valerie Scarbrough.

Students also took part in a red ribbon sign-up drive where they pledged not to drink and drive. UIS has celebrates National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week every year along with hundreds of other schools across the country.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

UIS partners to teach fire safety

The University of Illinois Springfield Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center hosted a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” program for 55 children and their parents at Cox Children’s Center on the UIS campus.

UIS partnered with the Springfield Fire Department to teach kids not to fear firefighters during a rescue.

The State Farm Good “Neighbear” was also in attendance handing out fire helmets and coloring books to the children. The visit was part of a grant the volunteer center received from the State Farm Safe Neighbors – Fire and Auto Safety Fund to promote awareness during Fire Safety Week in October.

The center is also using the money to teach fire safety to RA’s in the dorm rooms. The on-campus and student population has grown considerably since UIS began accepting freshmen and sophomores in 2001. In addition, 60% of families living in family housing units have one or more family members living with them, including children.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

UIS launches new home page

A new and improved look has arrived on the UIS home page. Last spring and early summer, the UIS Office of Web Services received feedback on how to do just that. Many suggestions have been incorporated in the new page.

Some of the new features include a top row of useful links, a new web-based campus directory, a right-side menu for prospective and new students, hot topics, department highlights, and many more enhancements.

“It's been two years since we redesigned the UIS home page. Technology has changed and so have viewer preferences. We made changes based on our own research and incorporated features most requested by prospective and new students,” said Sherry Hutson, director of the office of web services.

There is an additional new feature - users can select from two color themes. One theme is darker and includes more color. For those who prefer it, there is also a theme with more subdued color and clear dark-on-light contrast for the text.

“Our staff works very hard on the design and programming of the page to make it attractive, functional, and accessible to a wide variety of users,” said Hutson.

Visitors to the website will notice that the way the university’s name appears on the website has changed. Effective immediately, the university is dropping use of the word “at” and will be known as University of Illinois Springfield or, simply, Illinois Springfield. This is a decision by the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The change modernizes the UIS graphic identity and better reflects it's status as a U of I campus. It also addresses a very real confusion between “at” and “@” when used on the website, our most important recruitment tool. The change does not alter our legal, statutory name, nor does it require purging signage or documents where it does appear. In fact, the original name remains on very permanent structures such as entrance signage, the colonnade, and the tile floors in UHB and PAC.

This new presentation does not contradict anything already in place on campus but will represent the graphic identity to the outside world going forward. There will be a period of transition and, at times, it may seem confusing. If you have questions or concerns, please direct them to Derek Schnapp at dschn3@uis.edu or Michelle Green at mgree1@uis.edu.

Related Links:
UIS Home Page: www.uis.edu/
Office of Web Services: www.uis.edu/webservices/

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Derek Schnapp selected as new director of public relations

The University of Illinois Springfield has selected Derek Schnapp as the new director of public relations in the Office of the Chancellor.

Schnapp, former communications manager for the Illinois Department of Corrections, succeeds Cheryl Peck, who retired on June 30 after 17 years as UIS' chief spokesperson.

"Derek's knowledge of the local community and his experience working with media statewide will be a big help as we strengthen our ties locally and expand our outreach in Illinois," said Richard D. Ringeisen, chancellor. "We are delighted to have him as the new spokesperson for UIS."

Schnapp worked at NewsChannel 20 in Springfield in a series of progressively responsible positions from 1990 to 2006. Among his positions there were assignments editor, executive producer, chief of photography, news photographer and sports anchor. He has a bachelor's degree in communication from Illinois State University.

His responsibilities at UIS include working directly with media; internal and external communication, and strategic planning. Schnapp will also serve as UIS' Freedom of Information Act officer.

"Being from this area, I know how important UIS is to this community. I am very excited to be a part of that," said Schnapp.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

UIS experiences increase in spring enrollment

The University of Illinois at Springfield has experienced an increase in enrollment this spring. A total of 4,535 students are attending UIS, 105 more than last spring, or 2.3%. Most of the growth is due to a larger 2008 freshman class and more new students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

According to Marya Leatherwood, Director of Enrollment Management, more students tend to enroll at the university when the economy is struggling. “During times like these, they think about investing in an advanced degree, earning a certificate, or even pursuing another area of study in order to make a career change,” she said. “Our online degrees and evening and weekend formats make it easy for working adults to consider coming back to school.”

Leatherwood noted that UIS is seeing a “steady level of students enrolling who are not currently seeking degrees.” Many of those students, particularly at the graduate level, are pursuing certificates in professional areas of study, she said.

A total of 2,785 undergraduates are enrolled at UIS this spring, up 5.7% compared to last spring. However, the number of graduate students – 1,750 – is down 2.5% over last year. The 2008 freshman class comprised of 309 students, as well as 352 new transfer students and 342 new graduate students, are reasons why enrollment is up over last year.

Undergraduate programs with the highest enrollments are Business Administration, Psychology, Liberal Studies, Computer Science, and Accountancy. At the graduate level, Teacher Leadership, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Public Administration, and Business Administration have the highest enrollments.

Online enrollments climbing
Students majoring in degree programs at UIS that are fully online are at an all-time high for a spring semester, said Ray Schroeder, Director of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning. There are 1,177 online degree majors this spring, an increase of 98 students over last spring, or 9%. UIS offers 16 degrees programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that are fully online. And enrollments in online classes at UIS have set a new all-time record of 4,058, an increase of 128 students over last spring.

“The continued growth of online learning at UIS is a reflection of the quality and reputation of the online undergraduate and graduate-degree programs,” Schroeder said. “In this time of economic and job insecurity, many students appreciate knowing that their online classes are portable; that is, they can follow the student wherever he/she lives and whatever work schedule comes their way.”

Schroeder said UIS has begun to offer more blended learning classes (where some of the class meetings are on campus and some are online). The initiative, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has resulted in a significant increase in blended class enrollments. A total of 237 students are enrolled in blended classes this spring compared to last spring’s total of 88.
Schroeder said a total of 155 UIS faculty members are teaching at least one online class this semester.

Looking ahead to fall, Leatherwood said applications for the freshman class are up by 25% compared to last year at this time. “More of our applicants are deciding earlier to make their enrollment deposits to ensure a place in the freshman class,” she said. Deposits are up slightly more than 50% compared to last year at this time.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Springfield economy is predicted to rebound in spring

The University of Illinois at Springfield announces that the greater Springfield Enterprise Index (SEI) for September 2008 is 126, which means expected above normal economic activity and an increase over one year ago.

While still above normal, there was a projected downturn in activity during November and December 2008. However, the economy is projected to return to current levels in the first part of 2009. By May of 2009, the level of activity is expected to have returned to levels like fall 2008.

The forecast for the economy in late summer and one year from now is stronger growth. The index for next September is forecasted to be at 131. The Springfield area economy has not seen this level of activity since early 2001.

“The SEI forecast of the Springfield economy for this quarter is consistent with last quarter’s forecast that also indicated the economy rebounding in early 2009,” said Dr. Patty Byrnes, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “This is also a similar pattern for the other metropolitan areas in the state.”

An index value of 100 indicates that the area economy is on its long-term growth trend. An SEI value greater than 100 indicates “above average” activity while values below 100 indicate “below average” activity.

September 2008 SEI = 126
History (Ago) = 1 Month-129, 3 Months-120, 1 Year-107
Forecast (Ahead) = 1 Month-121, 3 Months-108, 1 Year-131

What is the SEI?
The SEI is a leading indicator of the local area status of the business cycle. This means that it helps predict the trend in the local economy. It can be used by business, workers government to understand profits, job prospects and tax revenues.

The SEI is interpreted by first remembering that overtime the Springfield area economy has grown, despite ups and downs of the level of economic activity. The index measures how far away the economy is from this and growth trend. The SEI is a leading indicator which means it measures changes in economic activity before the economy starts to follow a particular pattern or trend. The SEI, like other leading indicators, can be used to predict changes in the economy but are not always accurate. As the SEI is used over longer periods of time, we can evaluate how well it predicts changes in the economy.

The SEI measures the economy based on national and local factors. The national component is from the national business cycle using the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank National Activity Index (CFNAI), which is a composite of many indicator including output and income, employment and unemployment, consumption, housing starts and sales, manufacturing and trade sales, and inventories and orders.

The local business cycle component is represented by non-farm employment in four sectors, manufacturing, construction, retail, and other sectors (including government). The sectors are based on the local employment activities and Midwest manufacturing activities estimated from the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI).

The index was developed and created by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. The local interpretation and results are prepared by Patty Byrnes, Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Support is provided by The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce in arranging local focus groups for the SEI. Information on the Springfield area index can be obtained from Patty Byrnes at 217-206-7783 or pbyrn1@uis.edu.

The index is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Springfield, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the University of Illinois, Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

For more information about the news release, contact Sarah Wolin, Director of Communications for the Chamber of Commerce at 525-1173.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

UIS partners with Bonner Leader's Program

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been chosen to partner with the Bonner Foundation to offer service-based scholarships through the Bonner Leader's Program. UIS is the first campus in the state of Illinois to engage in partnership with the Bonner Foundation.

The UIS Bonner Leader's Program will select up to eight students who attain unconditional admission to UIS for scholarships through the program. To be chosen, students must submit an application to the UIS Diversity Center, demonstrate an interest in community service, apply for need-based financial assistance through the UIS Office of Financial Assistance, and represent diversity.

"The UIS Bonner Leader's Program promotes the development of student leaders while advancing active and engaged learning by connecting students with community service opportunities," said Dr. Clarice Ford, executive director of the Diversity Center.

Students are eligible to receive up to $4,000 annually for tuition and education expenses such as books, living expenses, and fees. Bonner Leaders are also encouraged to enroll in a two-year term with the Bonner AmeriCorps program and complete 900 hours of service during that time period. Upon successful completion of the term of service, the students will receive the AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust, which can be used to repay student loans, pay current educational expenses, or pay for future education at an institution of higher learning.

"It is an honor for UIS to be selected as one of the Bonner Foundation's partners," said Dr. Marya Leatherwood, interim assistant chancellor and associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs at UIS. "The Bonner Leader's Program is an excellent fit with UIS' vision for enriching individual lives and making a difference in the world."

The Bonner Foundation is based in Princeton, New Jersey. Its purpose includes supporting college students to use their energy, talent, and leadership to engage in local communities. The program goals are focused on the student, the campus, and the community.

The Bonner Leader's Program is an outgrowth of the Bonner Scholars Program that began in 1990. Currently the Bonner Leader's Program exists at 49 campuses in 22 states.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UIS learns about "spreading the peanut butter thin" at Hunger Banquet

By Courtney Westlake

Students, staff and community members got a small taste of what it is like to "spread the peanut butter thin" on Tuesday evening, November 18.

UIS hosted its third annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet in the Great Room of Lincoln Residence Hall on Tuesday. The event is held in observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Week.

The theme of the Hunger Banquet this year was "Spreading the Peanut Butter Thin," based on the book Spread the Peanut Butter Thin by Central Illinois author Leah Riley, who spoke at the banquet. Riley shared her family's story from a time just a few years ago when their annual household income was around $13,000, and she and her husband could barely afford to feed their children.

The family managed to keep their house, keep their lights on and keep their phone, in order to look for a better job. But they were denied food stamps originally and spent between $25-$50 each month on food for the family of four.

After Riley's husband became eligible to receive social security disability income, the family is now "OK," Riley said.

"Our three basic things that we lacked were water, food and heat," Riley said. "Water was a desperate necessity; you can't cook anything without water, so you might have food, but you can't cook it without water. And we couldn't buy food; we had no money."

"Four years later, we've never slid back, but we found we don't need what we thought we needed to live," she added.

During a Hunger Banquet, guests are randomly assigned high-, middle-, or low-income rankings and are served meals that range from gourmet fare to small portions of rice and water, depending on the guest’s designation. Instead of rice this year, however, guests were served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, to keep with the theme of the event.

Donations of non-perishable food and canned goods were accepted for the 2008 Holidays Stars Project, a campus-wide holiday service initiative benefiting the Central Illinois Foodbank.

Oxfam America, an affiliate of Oxfam International, is a relief and development organization that works to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice. "Oxfam" was the original postal abbreviation for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, which was started in England during World War II to provide relief to war victims in Europe.

The purpose is of the Oxfam Hunger Banquet is to heighten participants’ awareness of hunger in the U.S. and internationally.

"We are here today because more than one billion Americans and other people around the world suffer from hunger every day," said Lenore Cole, who helped to organize the event. "Almost 37 million Americans live in poverty. Equality and balance do not exist; stark inequalities prevail everywhere."

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Board approves updating UIS Campus Master Plan

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved updating the University of Illinois at Springfield Campus Master Plan Thursday to include land owned by the university outside the ring road. The update builds on the current plan, which includes only land within the ring road. UIS own 745 acres of land, about 230 acres of which are inside the ring road.

The Campus Master Plan is a "blueprint" for long-term growth and development of the physical campus. According to UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen, the update was needed as UIS anticipates the need for modest campus expansion, additional services, and potential development outside the ring road. "We are talking about such things as a campustown-type mall, which would be located across from the townhouses on the west side of 11th Street," he said. "It could perhaps include a café, coffee shop, grocery store, pharmacy, pizza parlor, ice cream store, and more."

Ringeisen emphasized, however, that campustown won't become a reality until there is a private developer who feels there is enough traffic, enough students, and enough potential for businesses to survive, and is willing to partner with UIS. He noted that there are several reasons why campustown would be a viable investment. "The number of students living on campus has grown. This fall we have more than 1,000 residential students. Wal-Mart is now only two miles away, and more development such as apartments and a small mall has taken place on Toronto Road. That means traffic has increased on the 11th Street corridor even though the extension to Stevenson Drive is not yet complete."

He said other possible uses of land outside the ring road include additional athletic fields, active senior housing, and a golf driving range.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

UIS Bookstore cuts ribbon in new location

By Courtney Westlake

The UIS Bookstore is getting settled into its new home in Founders Residence Hall, where it is enjoying a brand-new store and expanded space for textbooks and merchandise.

To celebrate its new location, UIS held a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for the bookstore on Thursday morning, November 13.

"Follett has enjoyed the 26-year relationship with UIS, and I'd like to thank everyone for coming out today and celebrating the new UIS Bookstore," said Linda Cunningham, a representative from Follett, the corporation that services the bookstore, during the ribbon-cutting.

As part of the celebration, store-goers were treated to refreshments, and drawings were held for prizes. Attendees could also purchase a single apparel or gift item at 20 percent off.

Aside from simply providing textbooks to students and other merchandise, many of the funds brought in at the bookstore help to support other services on campus, said Steve Chrans, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs.

"They've helped our childcare center, our food services department and things like that," he said. "It's a good business partner for us."

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Monday, November 10, 2008

SECA goal surpassed

The 2008 UIS SECA campaign has surpassed its original goal of $40,000 by nearly $1,280. This is the eighth year in a row that UIS has exceeded its goal.

Donation forms are still being accepted through the end of November. Send completed forms to Erica Michael, PAC 566A, MS PAC 563.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

UIS presents Marantz with advocate leadership award

The University of Illinois at Springfield has named Tom Marantz, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Bank of Springfield, as the recipient of the 2008 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership at UIS.

The award honors a volunteer who has shown extraordinary leadership in supporting the development goals and efforts of the University of Illinois. It is named for William Winter, a 1942 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, retired chairman of the 7-Up Company, member of the U of I Board of Directors and Ambassador for the University of Illinois.

Marantz is a long-time avid supporter and advocate of the UIS Prairie Stars athletics programs. In 2004, he established the Jack Marantz Memorial Scholarship in memory of his late father. He also funded the purchase of a state-of-the-art scoreboard for the arena of UIS' Recreation and Athletic Center through the Bank of Springfield.

Marantz was also a featured speaker at the annual Scholarship Luncheon in 2004, where he discussed the importance of private giving in the development of a top university.

"Tom has been instrumental in increasing community awareness of the athletics corporate partnership program," said Nick Dolce, assistant athletic director for development at UIS, who nominated Marantz for the award. "He goes above and beyond anything asked of him, and he understands the importance of giving student-athletes the opportunity to attend college through private giving. He has never lost sight of the value of an education."

In addition to his contributions to UIS, Marantz also serves the Springfield community in a variety of ways, including director of the Springfield Urban League, director of the Springfield Redevelopment Corporation, past president of the Land of Lincoln United Cerebral Palsy and leadership panel of the United Way of Central Illinois.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WUIS fall fund drive ends close to goal

Public radio station WUIS 91.9 finished its fall fund drive short of its goal; however the station still raised nearly $125,000 to support programming. WUIS' goal for the drive was 1,400 pledges; almost 1,300 pledges were received. The on-air portion of the drive was conducted October 16 through 24. A pre-drive renewal campaign accounted for approximately one quarter of the total pledges.

Listener support from two annual fund drives is the station's largest source of revenue, covering 30 percent of the WUIS budget. Pledges can still be made online.

The fall drive occurred in the midst of the station's coverage of the current economic crisis, which led Development Director Randy Eccles to reflect, "Considering the mood, listeners stepped up and were generous in their support." Eccles said that many listeners commented that they would like to make a larger gift, representing the value they feel WUIS provides, but couldn't afford it.

General Manager Bill Wheelhouse said that while total funds pledged were down from campaigns in the past two years, he was pleased with the response. "Many listeners let us know that the in-depth reporting on the economy and elections were major reasons they listen to WUIS," he said. "It is gratifying to know there are so many passionate supporters of public radio in the region."

WUIS hopes to cover the shortfall with additional events and alternate fundraising plans, such as the WUIS Passports Tour listener trip to Belize. In March, Statehouse reporter Amanda Vinicky will accompany listeners to the Central American country for a tour led by Dave Cox of Lincoln Land Community College. Everyone who made a pledge during the fall fund drive has a chance to win a spot for two on the trip.

WUIS is listener-supported and a National Public Radio affiliate. WUIS content is available in the Springfield/Central Illinois area in HD at 91.9 FM, in West-Central Illinois at 89.3 FM, and worldwide online. The station's mission is to satisfy a curious, engaged audience through programming and community outreach. Program schedule, events, and other information is available online, or call the station at 217/206-6516.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UIS hosts international conference

UIS hosted the 30th Annual Conference of the Association for Integrative Studies October 23 to 26. The conference theme, "Interdisciplinarity and the Engaged Citizen: Higher Education, Public Policy, and Global Awareness," highlighted a number of aspects of UIS' current educational mission.

Karen Moranski, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education, was the program chair. She noted that the choice of UIS as conference host "signifies UIS' growing national reputation in the area of interdisciplinary and integrative studies." Moranski will serve as AIS president for 2010-2012.

The more than 160 conference participants came from 26 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Chile. Approximately 25 UIS faculty members presented papers; the Center for State Policy and Leadership and the Experiential and Service Learning Program provided pre-conference workshops; and Larry Golden, UIS professor emeritus and a director of the Downstate Innocence Project, was a keynote speaker.

On October 23, a dinner in the Public Affairs Center was highlighted by historian and author Dr. Roberta Senechal's address analyzing the events of the Springfield Race Riots.

The Association for Integrative Studies is an interdisciplinary professional organization founded in 1979 to promote the interchange of ideas among scholars and administrators in all of the arts and sciences on intellectual and organizational issues related to furthering integrative studies.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

UIS dedicates memorial for professor

By Courtney Westlake

Dr. Hilary Frost-Kumpf encouraged all who knew her late husband, Lee Frost-Kumpf, to be inspired by his contributions to the campus and to the world during a dedication on Monday evening, October 20, during which UIS dedicated a scholar tree and bench in memory of Lee, who passed away five years ago and served UIS from 1996 to 2003.

Several people got up to speak about Lee and share personal stories from his time at UIS, including Chancellor Richard Ringeisen, Provost Harry Berman, Dr. Steve Schwark and Dr. Mike Lemke. They each spoke of Lee's energy, thoroughness, focus and inspiration.

"He lived in a world where imagination fueled ideas, and ideas were the engine for creating reality, and I think that was special about Lee," Lemke said. "He painted a picture of what he saw of the future and made you a part of that painting, and after listening to Lee's plans, you really wanted to be a part of that picture."

If Lee were to sit on his memorial bench with a cup of coffee in hand, he'd recognize the changes he helped make at UIS, Lemke said.

"The solid stone bench is well-grounded just like Lee. And his ideas, like the growing tree, live on at UIS and in his many friends," he said.

Joan Buckles, superintendent of the grounds crew, and the UIS grounds workers put a lot of thought and work into making Lee's memorial a fitting and special tribute, Hilary said.

Hilary said she has two hopes for the memorial. The first is that it will inspire everyone who knew Lee to think of him and to build on their own visions for the campus and the visions shared with Lee.

"But I hope that the memorial itself will have second purpose," she said. "Every day people who didn't know Lee will pass that spot and see that plaque. They will know that a worthy person is being honored there for his contributions to the world."

"My hope is that they'll stop for a moment, read the words, and they'll think 'what will I do in my life to be worthy of a plaque that someone will place in honor of me?' And then I hope they'll be more committed to their own personal contributions, making the world a better place. If both of these kinds of inspiration occur, then Lee's contributions will continue for many years to come."

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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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Thursday, October 02, 2008

UIS faculty member named Ameren Distinguished Professor in Business and Government

Dr. Karl A. McDermott (at left) has been named the first Ameren Distinguished Professor in Business and Government at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. McDermott received the honor from Dr. Ron McNeil, Dean of the College of Business and Management, and UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen during an investiture ceremony held September 25 on campus.

"Our strategic plan is carrying us forward with confidence and purpose as we pursue our three primary goals – academic excellence, enriching individual lives, and making a difference in the world," said Chancellor Ringeisen. "It is occasions like this one, the investiture of one of our distinguished professors, that have helped us reach this point and that will assure our success in realizing our vision. The Ameren Professorship in Business and Government symbolizes how far we have already come."

Dr. McDermott's special area of expertise is public utility regulation. He most recently served as vice president of National Economic Research Associates and before that he was a commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission, where he initiated an investigation of alternative restructuring options.

Prior to joining the ICC, Dr. McDermott taught economics at Illinois State University, where he was co-founder and president of the Center for Regulatory Studies and helped establish a public utility program. He has been a senior research associate at the National Regulatory Research Institute at Ohio State University, as well as a consultant to a number of entities, including Argonne National Laboratory, the Illinois Legislature, and the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources. McDermott is widely published in professional journals and has lectured extensively on regulatory reform and restructuring, in this country and abroad. He has also assisted a number of Eastern European countries in their efforts to develop regulatory structures and privatize and restructure utilities.

Thanking Ameren for its generosity in providing funds for this endowed professorship, Chancellor Ringeisen noted, "The leadership of Ameren Illinois Utilities have demonstrated by this endowment their belief and confidence in this institution. They understand that you cannot have a great community without a great university, and you cannot have a great university without a great community. Today we honor Ameren, and we are grateful that you share our vision."

Ameren Illinois Utilities President and CEO Scott Cisel and Commissioner Robert Lieberman of the Illinois Commerce Commission also took part in the ceremony.

Investiture as a named professor is one of the highest honors that a faculty member can receive. This is the second endowed professorship within UIS' College of Business and Management, the other being the National City Distinguished Professorship in Banking and Finance.

Ameren Illinois Utilities serve 1.2 million electric customers and nearly 850,000 natural gas customers over 43,700 square miles in Illinois. Its parent company, Ameren Corporation, is among the nation’s largest investor-owned electric and gas utilities.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

UIS Certified Public Manager training program receives national accreditation

The Certified Public Manager Program of Illinois, a professional development program offered through the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received accreditation from the National Certified Public Manager Consortium.

Since 1979 The National Certified Public Manager Consortium has established accreditation standards, and monitored and reviewed the 36 state member programs. The National Consortium allows only one CPM Program per state, making this program a unique training resource for managers in Illinois. Accredited programs are authorized to award the CPM designation to candidates who complete the program.

Lorena Johnson, CPMPI program director at UIS, noted, "This professional development certification program provides public managers with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to an ever-changing public management environment. CPMPI offers trainings in variety of areas, such as effective supervision, strategic planning, and performance measurement and evaluation. Everyone benefits -- the managers, their agencies, and the people they serve."

She continued, "Receiving national accreditation reflects UIS' commitment to excellence in teaching and learning and continues its public affairs tradition and mission by being a resource for professional development training and technical assistance for the public sector in the State of Illinois."

CPMPI also offers customized training and technical assistance designed to meet the unique professional development needs of local, state, and non-profit organizations and agencies. CPMPI Customized Training and Technical Assistance specializes in working with organizations in such areas as financial management, board development, data resource management, communication and leadership skills, organizational and human resource management, effective supervision, and building partnerships.

The following events -- all to be held on the UIS campus -- are scheduled for fall 2008: Human Resource Management (October 18); Introduction to Effective Supervision (October 23-24); Building Effective Partnerships in the Public Sector (October 30); Managing a Union Environment (November 13); Policy Analysis for the Non-Analyst (November 14); Succession/Orientation Planning and Mentoring (November 20); and Building Effective and Productive Cross-Cultural Teams (December 4).

Get more information, including application, registration forms, and a brochure, or contact Lorena Johnson by e-mail at ljohn04s@uis.edu or by phone at 217/206-6079.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WUIS and Illinois Issues produce program on autism

Public Radio WUIS 91.9 and Illinois Issues magazine are joining together to present a special Illinois Edition focusing on autism. The program will air Friday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. with a rebroadcast on Saturday, September 27, at 6:30 a.m. Amanda Vinicky (at left), WUIS Statehouse reporter, and Bethany Jaeger (below, right), Illinois Issues Statehouse bureau chief, produced the program, which takes a look at the progressive and unique life challenges that autistic children and their parents face.

During the program, three families affected by autism relate how they get schools to meet children's special needs, how they cope with awkward social situations, and how challenges change as the children grow and become adults. Listeners will also hear from an expert on special education law, who discusses new tools that may help kids transition through life phases, and a representative of the HOPE Institute/The Autism Program (TAP), who shares the effects of music therapy.

According to the Autism Society of America, "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others." The effects differ from child to child, which is why the term 'autism spectrum' is often used.

"The Spectrum," an article on autism written by Jaeger, appears in the September 2008 edition of Illinois Issues.

Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit monthly publication dedicated to providing analysis of public policy in Illinois with a special focus on state government and politics. UIS is a listener-supported National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate with the mission of satisfying a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach. Both Illinois Issues and WUIS are units of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall enrollment shows transition taking place at UIS

The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced another increase in the number of freshmen this fall (311), and more students are living on campus than ever before (1,050).

While more undergraduates have enrolled at UIS this fall – a total of 2,889 compared to 2,861 last year – the number of graduate students, mostly part-time, has decreased, from 1,990 last year to 1,822 this fall. The total number of students enrolled at UIS is 4,711.

UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen said it is pretty clear that a transition is taking place. "We are beginning to see a change in our student body -- there are more full-time students," he said. "Historically, the university has had a much larger part-time student population, but now we are seeing more students taking larger course loads."

Ringeisen said UIS anticipated the change by building additional townhouses and a new residence hall that just opened this fall. There are 132 freshmen living in Founders Hall even as work to finish the building continues. A total of 218 freshmen and sophomores are living in Lincoln Residence Hall, completed in fall 2001 for the first class of freshmen at UIS.

The drop in graduate students is likely a phenomenon that is related to the struggling economy, according to Marya Leatherwood, Director of Enrollment Management. "Graduate students tend to study on a part-time basis and are more apt to be affected by what's happening with the economy. We can only assume that is true in this case," she said.

Ringeisen said UIS is approaching a time when "we'll be talking about having an ideal number of students, although we certainly want to bring our graduate student numbers back up to a higher level," he said. "Let's be very clear. We have an excellent number and variety of graduate programs and internships. We want to serve graduate students, and we do so very well in small classes and a caring atmosphere of excellence."

Online/blended learning grows in popularity

Online and blended learning enrollments are both up at UIS this fall. There are 1,200 students majoring in online degree and certificate programs, an increase of 11% compared to the 1,082 students enrolled online last fall.

According to Ray Schroeder, Director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, online students represent just over 25% of the total number of students at UIS this fall.

He said that enrollments in blended learning classes, where the number of visits to the campus are reduced by students taking some of the regular semester class sessions online, total 232, up nearly 54% from last fall's blended class enrollment of 151.

UIS recently began offering a number of its degree programs in blended format where the number of on-campus sessions is reduced by half over the completion of the degree. Half of the sessions among the courses required for the degree are held online, reducing the need to commute to campus and cutting child care expenses by 50%.

"The growth in online and blended programs is consistent with national trends. Students are seeking to reduce the costs, in terms of both time and money, of commuting to classes on campus," Schroeder said. He noted that more than 135 UIS faculty members are teaching at least one online class this fall.

Slightly more than 38% of online majors have mailing addresses outside of Illinois, and nearly 85% of the Illinois online students live outside of Sangamon County.

The new blended learning program at UIS was funded in part by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

U.S. News & World Report gives UIS top rankings

U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 Edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Illinois at Springfield as the best public university - Master’s category - in the state of Illinois and the fourth best public university in that category in the entire Midwest. The Master’s category includes colleges and universities that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs but only a few, if any, doctoral programs.

The prestigious rankings placed UIS at 26 on a list of 71 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region that includes, in addition to Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. UIS was ranked 4th best among the 15 public universities on the list.

“This really represents a singular moment for this institution and one toward which we’ve been building for a long time,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “We had no idea that UIS would be ranked so high and certainly didn’t expect to be ranked the best public university in our category in the entire state of Illinois and the 4th best in the Midwest. To say we’re thrilled is an understatement.”

Ringeisen said that it came as a surprise to be ranked so high particularly because it was the first time that the university was eligible for such rankings. “We were not eligible to be ranked by U.S. News until two years after we graduated our first class of freshmen,” he said. “That fact alone – being given such high marks the first time we were eligible to receive them – is particularly gratifying.”

UIS enrolled its first class of freshmen to the Capital Scholars Honors Program in fall 2001.

The rankings are based on several key measures of quality including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.

U.S. News also gave UIS a high ranking in a category called “Great Schools, Great Prices” for being among only five public universities in the Master’s category in the Midwest with students who graduate with the least debt. UIS was the 3rd best on the list with a total of 71% of its students graduating with an average debt of $12,309.

Ringeisen credited Provost Harry Berman, the deans and faculty in UIS’ four colleges, and the enrollment management staff for their tireless efforts in building the quality and reputation of the university. “These incredible rankings are a direct result of the dedication and hard work of our faculty and our academic and student affairs staffs.”

UIS offers 22 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees and one doctoral degree in Public Administration.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Convocation celebrates new academic year at UIS

By Courtney Westlake

Faculty, staff and other members of the campus community convened once more in the Studio Theater of the Public Affairs Center for a fresh look toward the new, upcoming school year and to celebrate some of the university’s recent accomplishments.

The UIS Convocation took place on Thursday afternoon, August 21. Provost Harry Berman led the event as each of the 27 new faculty were introduced by the deans of the four colleges, and Chancellor Richard Ringeisen gave remarks about the university’s past, present and future.

Ringeisen stressed the importance of the university's strategic plan, especially three common goals within that plan: academic excellence, enriching individual lives and making a difference in the world.

"Those primary strategic goals are the foundation for our actions in everything we do," he said.

As evidence of UIS' commitment to those goals, Ringeisen listed several major accomplishments, including the 27 new tenure-track faculty this year - totaling 131 new faculty in four years, the biggest Capitol Scholars honors program ever at 312 students, the addition of a Global Studies major, the revival of an Ambassadors Series this fall and the new construction of Founders Hall with its green roof.

"What spectacular evidence of our efforts to conserve energy and be earth-friendly," he said. "The decision to have a green roof is a major commitment to environmental sustainability."

A big part of the university's strategic plan is incorporating "third spaces" on campus, and Ringeisen discussed several major developments of these spaces in recent months. The Japanese Garden, the rock garden between the PAC and Brookens Library and the courtyard between the two residence halls are all wonderful new spaces for students, staff and faculty to enjoy.

One of the university's newest attractions is the fountain in the campus pond.

"Carolyn (Ringeisen) and Joan Buckles had a grand vision of a fountain that can be seen from almost anywhere on campus and one that makes a big statement on the landscape," Ringeisen said. "Carolyn hopes the new fountain will attract more students and others to that whole area of the campus for social events and relaxation."

Several major events took place during the last school year that has helped UIS grow, such as the dedication of the Emiquon Field Station, re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and receiving the top award for institution-wide online teaching and learning from the Sloan Consortium, Ringeisen said.

During the next school year, the university will continue to achieve greatness and focus on issues like sustainability, diversity, fundraising, security and retention.

Ringeisen took the time to assess the university at the start of the new year to compare "where we are and where we're going in the coming year," he said.

"Here is what I see now: we have reached a critical point in time when some very big pieces of our plan to be one of the top five small public liberal arts universities in the country are in place," he said. "We are physically and academically ready to move toward that aspiration."

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Twenty-seven new faculty join UIS

Twenty-seven new faculty members have joined the University of Illinois at Springfield for the 2008 fall semester. Ten will teach in programs within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; eight will teach in the College of Public Affairs and Administration; two in the College of Education and Human Services; three in the College of Business and Management; and four will teach in the library.

Josiah Alamu is a lecturer in the Public Health Department. His teaching experience includes courses in biostatistics, epidemiology, and the public health aspects of waste management. His research includes work on internal medicine, pediatric intensive care, and maternal and child health care. Alamu is currently completing his Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of Iowa, where his dissertation research focuses on the evaluation of antimicrobial use in pediatric intensive care units.

D. Waheedah Bilal, assistant professor of Library Instructional Services, comes to UIS from Westminster College, where she served as user services/reference and instruction librarian and archivist. She also has served as an African American Initiatives intern at the Missouri State Archives and worked at the University of Missouri Ellis Library as a reference and teaching and electronic resources assistant. She planned and developed the first information literacy course offered at Westminster, and has also taught at Stephens College. Before turning to library science, she worked as a copy editor with several publishing houses. She has also volunteered as a multicultural consultant for the Columbia, Missouri, Public School District and the Richardson Independent School District in Dallas, Texas. Bilal holds an M.L.S. as well as a master's degree in African American History from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Mark T. Blagen is assistant professor in the Human Services Department, where he will teach and coordinate graduate courses in the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling concentration. He comes to UIS from Adams State College in Colorado, where he served as an associate professor in the Department of Counselor Education. Before that, he was an assistant professor in the School of Psychology and Counseling at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a student assistance program counselor at Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach, where he was responsible for providing prevention, intervention, and referral services for students exhibiting poor academic achievement and/or behavioral problems. Blagen received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Old Dominion and while there he developed and implemented Last Call, an intervention program for students who were sanctioned for violating the campus alcohol and drug policy. His research interests include defining the spiritual dimensions of addiction recovery and investigating the relationship between purpose of life and the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Mayra Bonet is director of Modern Languages. She has had extensive teaching experience, including at the University of Delaware, and has served as language coordinator at the Lima campus of Ohio State. Besides English, French, and Spanish, she is proficient in Portuguese, Italian, and Catalan. At UIS, she will lead the development of the campus’ first Modern Languages minor, as well as a planned major in Spanish. Bonet earned a B.A. in French and an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Puerto Rico, and holds the Ph.D. in Spanish American Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her teaching and research interests include integrating language technology into the classroom, Latin American literature, film, comparative literature, and gender studies.

Suzanne Borland, assistant professor of Legal Studies, previously served as an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Illinois State Attorney General where she handled civil rights actions as well as a variety of cases in the criminal appeals bureau. She remains a member of the Illinois State Bar and has taught as an adjunct professor at UIS since 2004, helping lay the groundwork for the campus' Pre-Law Center. At UIS her teaching will focus on legal writing and analysis, law and society, institutions and processes, and legal research and citation. She holds the J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Ping Deng, assistant professor of Computer Science, previously taught at Utica College in New York. She received the B.S. in Computer Science from Sichuan University in China, and holds the master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas. Deng's research interests focus on data base systems and mining, as well as bioinformatics. She is the co-author of six journal papers and three book chapters.

Mark Edgar is assistant professor of Public Health. His past positions include director of assessment and planning at the Illinois Public Health Institute, senior research associate at St. Louis University School of Public Health, researcher at SIU School of Medicine, director of epidemiology at the Adams County Health Department, and adjunct faculty member at UIS and Quincy University. His research has been published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and Public Health Reports. Edgar received his Ph.D. in Public Health from St. Louis University.

Vincent Flammini, visiting clinical instructor in the Social Work Department, will teach and coordinate fieldwork experiences. Before coming to UIS, Flammini worked with the Sangamon Area Special Education District, the Illinois Coalition for Community Services, and Springfield College in Illinois. During the past two years, he has held a joint appointment with the UIS Counseling Center and served half-time as an academic adviser in the Social Work program. In addition, he has worked with UIS' Center on State Policy and Leadership to provide training for the ICAA Family and Community Development Specialist certification program. Flammini received an M.S.W. from the U of I at Urbana-Champaign and his A.B. in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include career development and the existential outlook of social service workers.

Ross Garmil is visiting clinical instructor in the Experiential and Service Learning Programs, where he will have special responsibilities in the Credit for Prior Learning Program. His previous experiences include service as a dean's administrative assistant at Boston University, where his duties included graduate recruitment; administrator with a non-profit agency; and adult education grant evaluator for the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Garmil received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis, and a master's degree in Education from Boston University.

Shane Harris, visiting assistant professor of Visual Arts, previously taught at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and at Parkland Community College. At UIS, his teaching will focus in the areas of ceramics and sculpture. His work has been exhibited at such venues as The Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts and The Art Museum of Northern Illinois University. Harris earned the B.F.A. in Ceramics and Sculpture from the U of I in Urbana-Champaign, and the M.F.A. in Ceramics from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Sae Kwang Hwang is assistant professor of Computer Science. Previously he was a postdoctoral fellow on a National Science Foundation grant, and also taught at the University of Texas, Arlington. He holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea; an M.S. in Computer Science from Texas A & M; and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from UT-Arlington. His research focuses on the computerized analysis of segmented video frames. He is the author of four juried articles and book chapters.

Brian Jackson is visiting clinical instructor in Writing in the Center for Teaching and Learning. He has wide experience teaching English composition and once served as a teaching assistant for beat poet Allen Ginsberg. His recent scholarship explores the inter-relationships of visual art and modernist poetry, and literature, including surrealism. Jackson has a B.A. in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, an M.A. in English from UIS, and a Ph.D. from St. Louis University.

William Kline is assistant professor of Liberal and Integrative Studies. He previously wasdirector of the International Center for Applied Ethics at Central Michigan University and headed the Center for Business Ethics at Molloy College, Long Island. His areas of interest include ethical theory, and applied ethics in the business, medical, and environmental arenas. His work has been published in such professional journals as the Journal of Value Inquiry and International Studies in Philosophy. Kline earned the B.A. in Economics from Grove City College and the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University.

Elizabeth Kosmetatou, assistant professor of History, was previously co-editor of the journal Classics and most recently taught at Tulane University. She has also taught at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. At UIS, her teaching will focus on ancient history. Widely published, she is the author of more than 40 articles and is co-editor of the book Labored in Papyrus Leaves, published by Harvard University Press. Her current scholarship focuses on Posidippus, a Greek poet who lived in Alexandria and whose "lost" work was recently rediscovered in the papyrus wrappings of an Egyptian mummy. Kosmetatou received her bachelor's degree in Archeology and Art History from the University of Athens, Greece, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

Kim Loutzenhiser, assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration, was previously an assistant professor at Barry University in Miami, Florida, where she taught a wide variety of courses in public administration including planning, leadership, public/private partnerships, and ethics. She received the Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from St. Louis University and served there as a postdoctoral fellow in Criminal Justice.

Karl McDermott is UIS' first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government. Previously, he was a vice president at National Economic Research Associates where he specialized in public utility regulation and directed and participated in projects related to energy and telecommunication. He also served as a commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission during the time when the state's restructuring law was being negotiated. He has lectured extensively on regulatory reform and restructuring in this country, as well as in Eastern Europe and South America. He has been a research scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory and is widely published in professional journals. At UIS, McDermott's duties will include teaching, conducting research, and facilitating lectures and seminars for corporate, political, and civic leaders. He earned the Ph.D. in Economics at the U of I in Urbana-Champaign.

Layne Morsch is assistant professor of Chemistry. He began his teaching career at Barat College/DePaul University, where he taught in an interdisciplinary science curriculum, advised chemistry majors, mentored undergraduate research projects, and conducted workshops for middle school teachers. At UIS, he will teach organic chemistry. Morsch's research interest focuses on digestive enzyme kinetics. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Mankato State University in Minnesota, and his Ph.D. from the U of I at Chicago.

Juanita Ortiz comes to UIS as a lecturer in the Criminal Justice Department. Her teaching and research interests focus on the topics of prisoner reentry; women and crime; residential segregation; and stratification by race, class, and gender. At UIS, she will concentrate in the broad areas of social justice and public policy. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Oklahoma.

Jeffrey Paine will be a visiting lecturer in Environmental Studies and Political Studies. He previously taught both online and on-ground courses for the MPA program at UIS and has worked for the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety and as a reporter for a chain of newspapers in central Illinois. He earned a master's degree in Environmental Studies at UIS and is presently completing his doctorate in the campus' Public Administration program, where his research focuses on policy development and program implementation at the state and local levels.

Alysia Peich, assistant professor of Library Instructional Services, most recently served as a reference librarian and information literacy liaison at Delaware Community College. Her previous positions also include manager of the Information Services Department of a branch of the public library in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and reference and electronic services librarian at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has also taught in the Business and Computer Information Systems Department and the Communications, Arts, and Humanities Department of Delaware County Community College. Peich has a B.A. in Sociology from Vassar College, an M.A. in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa, and an M.A. in English from West Chester University.

Carl Peterson, visiting assistant professor of Accountancy, previously served as a senior consultant specializing in energy and public utility regulation and also worked for the Illinois Commerce Commission where he reviewed utility rate filings, sponsored cost of service and rate design testimony, and advised the Commission on specific energy issues and on energy policy. He has served as a consultant in several eastern European countries and is the author and co-author of numerous reports and papers addressing issues in the electric, natural gas, and telecommunications industries. Peterson earned the Ph.D. in Economics at the U of I at Chicago.

Donna Rogers, visiting instructor of Management, is president of Rogers HR Consulting, which provides human resource management and development consulting services to a variety of organizations, with a special emphasis in small- to medium-size organizations without HR professionals on-site. She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, as well as a professional trainer. She earned an M.Ed. in Human Resources Development at the U of I at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in Public Relations at Illinois State University.

Christine Ross, director of Collections Services and assistant professor of Library Instructional Services, is a licensed attorney who worked for six years as lead case law editor at Lexis-Nexis. She also served as senior research librarian for a law firm in Chicago and as a medical librarian for electronic services at the OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. She has been a guest lecturer on legal research for the Dominican University School of Library and Information Science, and her research specialties include competitive intelligence and intellectual property. Ross earned the B.A. in Political Science from Knox College, an M.S. in Library Science and Information Technology from the U of I at Urbana-Champaign, and a J.D. from SIU-Carbondale.

Dennis Ruez, assistant professor of Environmental Studies, recently served as a visiting assistant professor at Auburn University. He has experience in hydrogeology, environmental geology, global climate change, and paleontology, as well as extensive experience working with K-12 teachers and students to provide resources for innovative science education. He earned the Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas, Austin, where his dissertation examined the effects of climate change on mammals in North America during the last ice age.

Tim Salm is clinical assistant professor and library technology coordinator. He previously worked in both higher education, including at Rock Valley Community College, and in the private sector, including positions with Microsoft, Ministry Health Care of Wisconsin, and Web Associates of California. Salm's research interests include the development and refinement of web-based systems for the delivery of library resources and services to assist patrons both on campus and at a distance. Salm earned the B.S. from Illinois State University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the U of I at Urbana-Champaign. He is presently working toward a master's degree in Instructional Technology and Design at Northern Illinois University.

Stephen Schnebly, assistant professor of Criminal Justice, comes to UIS from the faculty of Arizona State University. His teaching focuses on a range of areas within criminal justice, including law and social control, criminology theory, and research methods. His research centers on community-oriented policing, crime reporting behavior, and gang behavior. Schnebly earned the Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Frances Shen is an assistant professor of Psychology whose teaching at UIS will focus on counseling psychology. She received an award for excellence in graduate student research from the Division of Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and served as a pre-doctoral psychology intern at Iowa State. Her scholarship focuses on multicultural issues in counseling, with a special interest in the Asian-American community. Shen earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and her master's and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

In addition, Tianhua Wang (pictured at left) and He Xiaogang are the new visiting scholars in the China Faculty Exchange Program. Wang is an associate professor of English in the School of Western Studies at Heilongjiang University in Harbin, China, and earned the Ph.D. at that institution. Xiaogang is an associate professor of Management and associate dean of academics at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and earned the Ph.D. in Business Administration from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

UIS Innocence Project cited in Appellate Court opinion ordering hearing in Slover Case

New evidence developed by the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois at Springfield was cited as the basis for the 4th District Appellate Court's recent reversal of a lower court ruling and subsequent order that an evidentiary hearing be held in the Karyn Slover murder case.

Slover disappeared on September 27, 1996, after leaving work. Two days later, sealed garbage bags containing her dismembered body washed ashore at Lake Shelbyville. Her former in-laws and ex-husband were convicted of the crime by a Macon County jury in 2002 and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

In its decision, the Appellate Court ruled that at the original trial prosecutors presented misleading evidence in an effort to discredit a key defense witness, who testified she had seen the vehicle Karyn Slover was driving the night she disappeared. According to the witness, the car had tinted windows. During the trial, prosecutors elicited testimony from the vehicle's owner, a man whom Karyn Slover was dating at the time of her murder, that the vehicle did not have tinted windows.

Innocence Project Director of Investigations Bill Clutter credited the work of Mark Camper, one of his students, for developing new evidence that proved that the vehicle in question did in fact have factory-tinted windows, which corroborated the witness' testimony.

Camper was a student in a Wrongful Convictions class at UIS in the 2006 spring semester. "If the jury had believed the witness I'm convinced they would have found the Slovers not guilty," he said.

John McCarthy of the Office of the State Appellate Defender's office in Springfield represented the Slovers in their appeal. The case will be remanded to Macon County for an evidentiary hearing.

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project is affiliated with the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at UIS and has been involved in the cases of several individuals, including Julie Rea Harper and Herb Whitlock, who have been wrongfully convicted. Students working with the project assist Clutter in the investigation of cases that may involve actual innocence.

For more information about the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, contact Clutter at 899-4353.

Download a pdf file summarizing evidence about the tinted car windows


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