Friday, October 17, 2008

Larry Golden is finalist for First Citizen Award

Larry Golden, professor emeritus of Political Studies and Legal Studies and a co-founder of the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at UIS, was one of 10 finalists for the 46th State Journal-Register First Citizen Award.

The First Citizen Award is presented annually to a local resident who has "amassed a lifetime of service to the Springfield community." This year's finalists were recognized and the winner was announced at a breakfast ceremony held October 17 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Students working with the Innocence Project help investigate cases of individuals who have been wrongly convicted. In addition to his work with the project, Golden is active in the American Civil Liberties Union and was involved in the voting-rights lawsuit that forced changes in Springfield city government in the 1980s.

Bill Clutter, Innocence Project director of investigations, called Golden the "ultimate community organizer. He would probably have that commitment wherever he lived," said Clutter. "The fact that he lives in Springfield is really our gain."

Golden arrived on campus at then-Sangamon State University in 1970; he retired from full-time teaching in 2004.

"I consider myself very lucky that I made the choices that I made and stayed here," he said, adding that he doesn't know exactly why he works to benefit people he doesn't know.
"It's important to be a good citizen," he said. "It's important to think about the nature of the world we live in."

Golden was nominated for the award by Guerry Suggs, himself a former First Citizen.

Businessman and community volunteer J. Garth "Butch" Elzea was this year's winner. Other nominees were William Boyd, retired vice president of Memorial Medical Center; Julie Cellini, board member of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation; Leland Grove Police Chief Mark Gleason; architect Earl Wallace Henderson; retired dentist Joseph Link; Springfield Ballet Company co-founder Grace Luttrell Nanavati; Paul O'Shea, planning and design coordinator for the city of Springfield; and physician Diana Widicus.

The finalists and winner were chosen by a nine-member board from nominations submitted by community members.

See more about the award, including profiles of the finalists

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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, 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

SummaryofTintedWindowEvidence.pdf

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Illinois Issues magazine among Chicago Tribune's 50 favorites

The Chicago Tribune has selected Illinois Issues magazine as one of its 50 favorite magazines in its July 9 Tempo section.

The entry reads: "Illinois Issues: Not just a magazine for policy wonks, Illinois Issues deciphers Springfield legislation for all constituents in the Land of Lincoln. Education, immigration, conservation and, of course, corruption are analyzed regularly in lively, well-informed articles on the state of our state."

The magazine, published in the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is the state's leading publication on Illinois state government and politics. Published 11 times a year, it has developed a reputation for provocative, nonpartisan reporting and analysis of public affairs issues.

Illinois Issues Online provides readers with a news blog by the magazine's Statehouse bureau chief, links to daily newspapers, access to past issues of the magazine, and other public policy resources.

The magazine's executive editor, Dana Heupel can be reached at 217/206-6507.

Download a pdf file of the Tribune's 50 Favorite Magazines list

20080709-CT-50Favorites.pdf

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