Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good as Gold Ceremony honors student and community volunteers

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 18-24), the University of Illinois Springfield and the Junior League of Springfield hosted the Springfield Good as Gold Ceremony, a recognition event to acknowledge community members and organizations for their volunteer efforts.

The ceremony took place on Tuesday evening, April 20, in the lobby of the Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus. More than 40 people were recognized during the event for their achievements and efforts.

UIS honored one staff member and one student who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to service and volunteerism with the UIS Star Staff and UIS Star Student award. Alicia Wiley, a graduate student who helped organize a winter shoe/sock drive to benefit the children she met through Contact Ministries was the recipient of the UIS Star Student Award. Kara McElwrath, training specialist in Information Technology Services, received the UIS Star Staff Award for going “above and beyond” to help her students in her Technology for Teaching (TEP 305) course.

UIS students were also recognized for their involvement in many volunteer projects over the past year, including involvement in an Americorps program where students volunteered in the Springfield Public Schools AVID tutoring program and helped out at other agencies, such as the Animal Protective League. Students are also involved in mentoring programs at Jefferson Middle School and Harvard Park Elementary School. The students were honored with Outstanding Community Service Awards.

The Junior League recognized Linda Galecki with its new Golden Literacy Award, which is part of the group’s commitment to addressing literacy in the Springfield. Galecki worked to keep the library at Sandberg Elementary open when it lost its funding. For the past 8 years Galecki has organized and trained volunteers, re-shelved books, and made the library an inviting and educational place for the children at the school.

Jordan Bartolazzi, was awarded the Youth Volunteer Award for volunteering over 200 hours for such causes as the Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nursery, mentoring and tutoring middle and high school students, collecting food for pantries, and collecting coats for the homeless. Bartolazzi also single-handedly organized a basketball tournament for Haiti aid relief which collected over $2,500.

Nancy Zimmers, Merle Shiffman
and Cheryl Meyer from the SIU School of Medicine Enos Steering Committee were presented with the Organization Agent of Service Award. It’s given to an organization for its overall commitment, service and dedication to improving the Springfield community.

Each year the Junior League awards one of its members the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award (fondly known as the ABCD Award). Julie Waldrop, was honored with the ABCD Award for serving on 6 committees this year, impacting the community through each of her placements.

Five nominees for the Distinguished Volunteer Award were acknowledged during the event with a short presentation. The nominees included Daniel Cadigan, Helen Davsko, Les Eastep, Ann Pitsenberg and Rachael Thomson.

The winner of the Distinguished Volunteer Award was Les Eastep, for his work with SPARC. As a board member since 1991 he’s brought his experience and passion for others to the lives of thousands of people, creating events and serving on boards and committees where he is a problem solver and creative thinker. He held an annual chili supper fundraiser for SPARC, which resulted in a 52% increase in net income from the previous year.

Thirty-four local volunteers were also honored with the Heart of Gold Award. Recipients included: Carolyn Bodewes, Paul Cary, Shi Lynn Coleman, Reba Crawford, Theresa Davis, Doris Decker, Patricia Fowler, Mark Frakes, Gene Gyure, Kathleen Handy, Anita Hayes, William Kempiners, Raegan Koebler, Jennifer Pinkerton-Krueger, Eric Mayland, Marcia Milliken, Sister Trudy O’Connor, Kudus Ogunseye, Hyun Ah Oh, Christine Phillips, Kelly Ramsey, Helen Renfrow, Diamond Ross, Barbara Rowe, Barbara Salim, Farah Salim, Linda Udey, Ralph Woehrmann. The committee members of Springfield Parents for Students with Disabilities: Lisa Brunson, Mike Nellessen, Dr. Holly Novak, Katie Pavelko, Margarite Simon, and Mary Wyman were also honored with the Heart of Gold Award.

The ceremony was co-sponsored by Illinois Campus Compact. For more information about the event, please visit, email or call (217) 206-7716.

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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

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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Monday, March 08, 2010

President Ikenberry discusses budget and chancellor search

University of Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry spoke to UIS employees and answered their questions during a March 5, 2010 presentation in Brookens Auditorium.

Watch portions of Ikenberry’s comments on state funding, furloughs and the search for the next UIS chancellor in the video above.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

UIS Chancellor Ringeisen set to retire

Led decade of transformation at campus

SPRINGFIELD – University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen, who led the campus through a decade of transformation to become ranked among the top universities of its size, announced today that he will retire as chancellor effective October 31.

Ringeisen, 65, described his tenure at UIS since April of 2001 as the pinnacle of a long career in public higher education despite the nearly constant challenges during that time posed by state financial crises and the loss of state support for public universities.

Since Ringeisen took the helm, UIS has transitioned from a two-year, upper division institution of mostly commuter students to a four-year university with a more traditional, residential campus atmosphere while continuing to serve those commuter students. Enrollment has increased by 16%; UIS achieved a high ranking in U.S. News & World Report in 2009 and 2010 as one of the best small public liberal arts universities in the Midwest; and the campus is a nationally recognized leader in online education.

“It will be difficult to leave a job I love, an institution I love, and the city that has become a wonderful home to Carolyn and me. But every time we travel east to visit our two children and five grandchildren – maybe three times a year – we literally see them growing up too quickly. We want to be more a part of their lives, and our children want us to be there, too,” Ringeisen said Monday in announcing his plans at the Public Affairs Center.

UIS has seen substantial growth since Ringeisen arrived in 2001. Not only has enrollment increased 16% (4,288 in fall of 2002 to 4,961 in fall of 2009), but also faculty has increased 24% (170 to 211). Several facilities have been established (The Recreation and Athletic Center, Founders Hall, University Hall, the Quad and its colonnade, Emiquon Field Station, and the new Peoria Center downtown location).

Also during his tenure, UIS has successfully transitioned to a four-year university and led the movement from NAIA to NCAA Division II.

UIS has received nearly $23 million dollars in pledges and gifts in the “Brilliant Futures” campaign. Many new scholarships have been established.

“I am sure that we’ll be doing more reminiscing in greater detail sometime this fall,” added Ringeisen. “Today, all I really want to say is that I am absolutely confident that UIS has a great future. We have great leadership in our colleges. We have recruited and retained outstanding faculty, and we have an increasingly diverse student body that expects and receives highly personalized attention from our faculty and staff. It is an honor for me to be the chancellor here.”

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is expected to consider Ringeisen’s retirement at its next scheduled meeting March 10 in Urbana.

Ringeisen is the fifth chief executive in the nearly 40 year history of the university. It was known as Sangamon State University for 25 years, and has been part of the University of Illinois since 1995.

Ringeisen previously served at East Carolina University as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. He was also Dean of College of Sciences and Professor of Mathematics at Old Dominion University; and Mathematics Professor and Department Head at Clemson University. Ringeisen has been very active with various community organizations along with serving on many boards in Central Illinois. He will turn 66 years old on March 18.

Statement from University of Illinois President Stanley O. Ikenberry

“Chancellor Ringeisen and his team have moved UIS forward in many ways in the past nine years. I enjoy hearing people say how much they admire what’s happening at UIS, our youngest and smallest campus and certainly an outstanding one. UIS is well-positioned to advance and progress in every way, which is very good news for students and faculty.

Chancellor Ringeisen jokes that he has never had a good budget year since he arrived in 2001, and it’s true. He arrived at UIS just five months before 9/11. The fact that he has been able to lead so effectively in trying times is remarkable and impressive. At UIS, the academic programs are stronger than ever, and the quality of the faculty continues to get better and better.

Rich and his wife Carolyn, have been very good for the campus, the Springfield community, and the U of I family. On behalf of the U of I community, I commend Rich for his great leadership and wish him and his family all the best.”

Statement from Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy:

“I am very proud of what UIS is doing. Be assured that I am among those spreading the word about the great, small public liberal arts university that the University of Illinois has in Springfield. I have enjoyed getting to know Chancellor Ringeisen and working with him. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I extend our gratitude for the great leadership he has provided at UIS.”

Read Chancellor Ringeisen’s remarks, bio and accomplishments

Watch Chancellor Ringeisen's retirement press conference online

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Technology Day draws crowds to learn about social technologies

within education has been growing by leaps and bounds, and now educators and institutions are even using social media tools within online learning and teaching.

The latest and greatest of this innovative technology was showcased during the 10th annual Technology Day at UIS on Wednesday, February 10 in the Public Affairs Center. The theme for this year’s event was “What Are You Learning Now? Teaching with Social Technologies.”

"It's appropriate that our campus would have Technology Day," said Provost Harry Berman. "Technology has become such a big part of our instruction. About half of our students take at least one online course and about half of our faculty teach online."

The keynote speaker for the event was Kyle Bowen, who is the director of informatics at Purdue University. Bowen spoke primarily about his role in the development of Hotseat, a new social networking-powered tool that enables students to collaborate via Twitter or Facebook both inside and outside of the classroom.

"Students use these during classroom time and are usually disruptive, but what they're doing at Purdue is trying to use these tools to get students engaged in classroom," explained Tulio Llosa, director of educational technology in the office of Information Technology Services at UIS. "They're changing the mode from a disruptive thing to an engagement thing so that students are asking questions, interacting with class and not falling asleep in the back row."

There were also more than 20 workshops and presentations throughout the afternoon with topics such as using social technology for marketing and recruitment at UIS, Lecture Capture (which is available for faculty to record their own lectures for student use), and training sessions for faculty on BlackBoard 9, which is an update from Blackboard 7 currently used at UIS.

A former UIS instructor also gave a presentation on free online tools that he is currently using to teach with. His presentation was done via Skype, a free online video service.

"We are a state-of-the-art facility in terms of having different technology available to our faculty," Llosa said. "During Technology Day, we try to show the world that we have these tools at UIS, what we're using these tools for and how we're making our classes more engaging for our students. We want to show people the exciting things we're doing here."

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Public invited to participate in UIS study abroad course in Japan

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Global Experience program will be offering a short course on Japanese language and culture in Ashikaga, Japan during the second and third weeks of June. Members of the public community, in addition to degree-seeking students, are invited and welcome to participate.

The daily schedule in Ashikaga will include instruction in Japanese language and culture on the campus of the Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), UIS’ sister university in Japan. Participants will be able to experience a tea ceremony, Japanese cuisine, flower arranging, Buddhist meditation, calligraphy and Japanese martial arts.

Each day will include educational field trips including trips to the Mayor's Office and City Hall; the Civil Engineering Department and Environmental Studies Program at AIT; the Kurita Porcelain Museum; the Ashikaga Gakko, the oldest university in Japan; the Bannaji Buddhist Temple; a farm or factory and a public school. In addition, participants will attend field trips to the Nikko Nature Preserve and Shinto Temple complex and to Tokyo.

Lodging will be in a combination of hotels, guest houses and home stays. All expenses, lodging, meals (with the exception of a few lunches), local and international travel and entrance fees are included in the program fee. Tuition and university fees for degree-seeking students are not included in the program fee, however. It is anticipated that the program fee will be approximately $2,500, dependent upon international airfare.

The deadline for signing up for the course is March 26.

For more information and application materials, contact the UIS Office of International Programs at 217/206-8319 or email

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back: A decade in review at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield became a part of the University of Illinois system in 1995, and the small liberal arts college in Central Illinois has been gaining momentum ever since. UIS has experienced positive growth over the last 15 years like never before.

The new century was particularly exciting for the university with the construction of major campus buildings such as University Hall, Lincoln and Founders residence halls and The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) as well the appointment of a new chancellor and other top administrators and the reception of numerous prestigious awards in areas like online learning.

Here is a look back at some of the major news and accomplishments on the UIS campus over the past decade:


Educational leadership online program is first of its kind in the nation
February 28
UIS begins to offer an online master’s degree in education, the master of arts in educational leadership (EDL) with a master teacher leadership (MTL) concentration. It is the third online degree offered by UIS and is designed for full-time, place bound teachers seeking career advancement.

Construction begins on UIS entrance marker
April 17
Construction of the first and only permanent campus entrance marker for UIS begins. The marker, funded by faculty and staff, is to be located at the intersection of 11th Street and Ernest Hemingway Drive

UIS receives largest gift in its history to establish Lincoln chair
May 15
The Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies is established with a $1.25 million gift from Dr. Richard E. Vaden and his family. Philip Shaw Paladun, one of the nation’s leading scholars on Abraham Lincoln, becomes the first chair in 2001.

Chancellor Lynn will stay on temporarily
May 30
UIS Chancellor Naomi Lynn delays her retirement at the request of U of I President James Stukel as the search for a replacement continues.

Lincoln Residence Hall groundbreaking ceremony
July 10
A groundbreaking ceremony is held for UIS’ first residence hall - the future home of students enrolled in UIS’ new four-year baccalaureate honors program.

UIS, Japanese institute sign sister school pact
October 18
An academic exchange and cooperation agreement between the Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), Japan, and the University of Illinois at Springfield is signed in a formal ceremony.


New UIS Chancellor Chosen
February 1
Richard D. Ringeisen, the senior academic officer at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., is the choice of the U of I Board of Trustees to become chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield. View State Journal-Register front page coverage

University of Illinois at Springfield to offer MBA program in Peoria
March 15
The University of Illinois Springfield’s College of Business and Management announces a new master’s in business administration program to be offered at its Peoria Center.

UIS announces appointment of new provost
May 7
Michael R. Cheney is named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Legislature approves funding for University Hall
June 1
The Illinois General Assembly includes money for the construction of University Hall in the FY 2002 state budget. University Hall will become the first major classroom building constructed at UIS in more than a decade.

UIS welcomes first freshman class in its history
August 20
UIS welcomes 119 freshman students in the new Capital Scholars program. Total campus enrollment climbs to 4,284, an increase of 342 undergraduate and graduate students.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage


UIS Announces the addition of men’s basketball and hires Coach Kevin Gamble
March 27
Kevin Gamble, who led Springfield’s Lanphier Lions basketball team to a state championship in 1983 and went on to play for the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes and the NBA’s Boston Celtics, is named UIS’ first men’s basketball head coach.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

UIS announces new dean of College of Business and Management
June 3
Ronald D. McNeil is appointed as dean of the College of Business and Management and professor of Business Administration.

Comedy is first production of new UIS theater program
October 16
The theater program at the University of Illinois at Springfield kicks off its first season with a production of It’s Only a Play, a comedy by Terrence McNally.

Groundbreaking ceremony for University Hall
October 28
The University of Illinois Springfield breaks ground on a new classroom/office building in a ceremony attended by Gov. George H. Ryan and several other dignitaries.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage


UIS' Innocence Project achieves first major victory
January 15
Faculty and students in the the UIS Downstate Illinois Innocence Project commend former Gov. George Ryan for granting clemency to Keith Harris, a Belleville resident who spent more than 20 years in prison for armed robbery and attempted murder. The Project worked to overturn Harris’ wrongful conviction.

UIS to offer new degree in Environmental Science
June 19
UIS begins to offer a master of science degree in Environmental Science in the fall semester of 2003.


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. gives presentation at UIS
March 3
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks at the University of Illinois Springfield on the topic “Our Environmental Destiny.”

UIS announces new dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
May 17
Margot I. Duley is named dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of History

U of I Board of Trustees approves TRAC construction
June 17
Plans to build a recreation and fitness center at UIS move a step closer to reality when the U of I Board of Trustees approves the project to construct a $16 million 66,000-square-foot multipurpose facility. UIS students approve raising student fees to build TRAC, prompting a local businessman to pledge an additional $1 million.

UIS adds undergraduate degree in philosophy
July 27
UIS begins to offer a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy in the fall semester of 2004.

UIS holds dedication ceremony for University Hall
August 18
UIS reaches another milestone in its history when university administrators, dignitaries, and members of the public gather to dedicate a $31.3 million University Hall building, featuring smart classrooms, computer labs and lecture halls.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

U of I’s new president visits Springfield campus
November 2
B. Joseph White, the former interim president and dean of the business school at the University of Michigan, is selected as the 16th president of the U of I by the Board of Trustees.


UIS unveils design of new recreation and fitness center
July 13
The state-of-the-art TRAC, designed primarily to provide recreation and fitness opportunities for UIS students, includes a 3,000-seat gymnasium capable of expanding to a 4,000-seat performance arena.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

Statewide political magazine celebrates 30 years
September 8
Former Gov. Jim Edgar moderates a panel discussion on the state’s future at a special luncheon honoring Illinois Issues magazine’s 30th Anniversary.

Approval of new curriculum makes UIS full four-year university
September 8
The University of Illinois Springfield becomes a full four-year university for the first time in its 35-year history. For the first time, both honors and non-honors freshmen and sophomores can be admitted.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

Harry Berman named permanent provost
September 9
After serving in the role of interim provost the U of I Board of Trustees names Harry Berman UIS provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs.


UIS student trustee given voting rights for first time
July 18
For the first time, Governor Rod Blagojevich designates the UIS student trustee an official voting member of the U of I Board of Trustees. Sarah Doyle became the first student trustee from UIS ever to be given official voting rights.

UIS breaks ground for TRAC
July 27
UIS breaks ground for a $16.2 million recreation and athletic center on campus. The state-of-the-art center is part of the university’s strategic plan to create a more vibrant campus for a growing number of residential and commuter students.

IBHE approves construction on second residence hall and new townhouses

August 17
The Illinois Board of Higher Education approves two new building projects at UIS: an $15.8 million residence hall and six new townhouses.

UIS creates Experiential and Service-Learning Programs
October 16
UIS implements the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs, consisting of nontraditional, outside-the-classroom learning. The new entity encompasses existing programs in Applied Studies and Credit for Prior Learning, with the addition of the new Service-Learning program.

Judd is named National City Distinguished Professor
November 13
Richard Judd, longtime business professor at UIS, is named National City Distinguished Professor in Banking and Finance. Judd also serves as director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Management.


UIS becomes iTunes U campus
January 23
UIS becomes an iTunes U campus. As such, UIS will be able to provide lectures, presentations, or other programs as downloadable files for students and others to access anytime and anywhere.

College of Business and Management accredited by AACSB
April 17
The College of Business and Management at UIS is accepted for accreditation by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the world's premier accrediting agency for collegiate schools of business. Fewer than 15 percent of business programs worldwide and about 28 percent in the U.S. presently have this accreditation.

WUIS launches digital signal
August 7
WUIS-WIPA, the local NPR affiliate at UIS, launches its digital signal, becoming the first radio station in Springfield to offer clearer sound and the possibility of more than one program stream.

TRAC opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony
September 26
UIS holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new, state-of-the-art recreation and athletic center (TRAC) in front of a packed crowd of campus and community members.

UIS receives award for online learning from Sloan Consortium
October 22
In recognition for the university’s leadership in the area of online learning, the Sloan Consortium announces that it has selected UIS as the recipient of the Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming award.


McDermott named first Ameren Endowed Professor
April 2
Dr. Karl McDermott is named UIS' first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government. The professorship was established through a $500,000 gift to UIS from the Ameren Corporation and is housed within UIS' College of Business and Management.

Emiquon Field Station holds dedication
April 26
A big crowd celebrates the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Emiquon Field Station at the Emiquon Preserve located near Havana, Illinois, along the Illinois River. The field station is the premier research facility associated with one of the largest river floodplain restorations in the country.

U.S. News and World Report's ranks UIS as fourth best in the Midwest
August 22
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 prestigious rankings placed UIS at 26 on a list of 71 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region.

UIS adds Global Studies major
September 15
UIS begins to implement the Global Studies major in Fall 2009 within the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

UIS joins Great Lakes Valley Conference
October 8
UIS announces that its athletic programs will be joining the Great Lakes Valley Conference for the 2009-2010 academic year after receiving an invitation into the conference. The move is part of the university's transition to NCAA Division II.

UIS receives online education award from Sloan Consortium
October 14
UIS is the recipient of the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education from the Sloan Consortium. The award is given for innovative work in using quantitative data in a process of continuous quality improvement to assure excellence in online teaching and learning.

BOT approves new Campus Master Plan
November 14
The Board of Trustees approves updating the UIS Campus Master Plan to include land owned by the university outside the ring road. The update was needed as UIS anticipates the need for modest campus expansion, additional services, and potential development outside the ring road, such as a campustown.


House of Reps sworn in at UIS
January 14
The Illinois House of Representatives gathers at UIS as each of the new members of the 96th General Assembly is sworn into the House. The House made history during the meeting as a new vote was made for the impeachment of the Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich.

UIS placed on national Community Service Honor Roll

February 10
UIS is placed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts to the local community.

Swan named first James Stukel Professor of Educational Leadership

February 17
Dr. Karen Swan, professor in the College of Education and Human Services at UIS, is named the first James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership.

New MIS degree approved
March 11
UIS establishes a new bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at UIS within the College of Business and Management.

Holden is named Wepner Professor of Political Science
April 29
Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., is designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS.

Miller appointed as Schewe Professor
May 5
Keith W. Miller is appointed as the first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Schewe Professorship is the first named Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Ermatinger selected as College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean
May 8
Dr. Harry Berman, Provost at UIS, announces that Dr. James W. Ermatinger has been selected as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Barnett hired as new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
May 26
The University of Illinois at Springfield appoints Timothy L. Barnett to the position of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Burlingame becomes second Lincoln Chair
May 27
UIS announces that preeminent Lincoln Scholar Michael A. Burlingame has accepted the position of Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. The appointment will be in UIS’ History Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

UIS approved for membership in COPLAC
June 24
UIS is unanimously approved for membership in the distinguished Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The vote places UIS among a select group of 25 public liberal arts institutions representing 23 states and one Canadian province.

UIS accepted by Apple for listing in iTunes store
August 18
The University of Illinois Springfield is accepted by Apple for listing in the iTunes Store. Content from UIS is now available without charge to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide.

UIS alumna to serve on U of I Board
September 4
Governor Pat Quinn appoints former Mayor of Springfield and UIS alumna Karen Hasara to fill a vacant position on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

UIS Peoria Center moves to new location
October 30
UIS’ Peoria Center moves to new downtown location in the Illinois Central College Perley Building, increasing its space and becoming more convenient to adult learners in downtown Peoria.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

U of I Presidential Search Committee listens to public feedback

Members of the University of Illinois Presidential Search Committee held a public forum on the UIS campus on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, to hear what qualities students, faculty and community members want in the next U of I president.

The forum held in Brookens Auditorium was lead by U of I trustee Karen Hasara, who filled in for committee chair and trustee Pamela Strobel, who couldn’t attend due to adverse weather conditions.

“Between now and our next meeting in February we’re hoping to get a lot of good candidates,” said Hasara.

On the UIS campus the search committee is made up of two faculty members James Patrick Hall and Tih-Fen Ting, along with student member Charles Olivier.

“One of my main priorities in the search committee is to find someone that really understands the differences between all three campuses, because we all are unique and offer different things,” said Olivier.

The committee has met twice so far and is working on a white paper, which will officially list the qualifications and values the University is seeking in the next president.

“I’m looking for a leader, someone that can manage all the different constituencies and focus on the educational side, but also on the research side that the University of Illinois represents,” said Hall.

The search committee will identify and screen potential presidential candidates. The goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2010, or at the latest when the fall 2010 academic year begins.

“I think that a lot of people definitely want a president who actually will be very creative, a strategic thinker in how to bring us forward,” said Ting.

The overall search committee is made up of three members of the board of trustees; eight faculty members and three students from the University’s three campuses; one representative from the alumni association and one from the foundation; one administrative officer, one academic professional and one civil service representative.

Committee members encourage anyone who couldn’t attend one of the three public forums held on each U of I campus to send them feedback by e-mail at

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

U of I presidential search committee to hold public forums

Faculty, students, public invited to make suggestions, ask questions, present ideas

URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois’ presidential search committee is holding public forums on each of the University’s three campuses to give faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities needed for the new president.

U of I trustee and presidential search committee chair Pamela B. Strobel said the forums are intended to be “listening sessions,” using the ideas of campus constituencies to help assess the qualifications and experience the new University of Illinois president should possess.

“The forum discussions will help the search committee develop a set of criteria in choosing a new president,” Strobel said. “We will then use the criteria to measure the qualifications of our potential candidates.”

The president is the chief executive officer of the University of Illinois system and is responsible to the Board of Trustees. The chancellors of the University’s three campuses report to the president.

Strobel will moderate the public forums, and other members of the 19-member Search Committee to Assist in the Selection of a President for the University of Illinois also will attend.

The first forum will be held at the Chicago campus, 3-5 p.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Rooms A, B, C, on the first floor of the Student Services Building, 1200 W. Harrison St. (Racine Avenue and Harrison Street).

The second forum will be held at the Urbana campus, 3-5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

The third forum is scheduled for the Springfield campus, 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the auditorium in Brookens Library.

The presidential search committee, announced at the Nov. 12 Board of Trustees meeting, includes three trustees; eight faculty members and three students from the University’s three campuses; one representative from the alumni association and one from the foundation; one administrative officer, one academic professional and one civil service representative.

While the search committee members represent all of the U of I’s major constituencies, the board in its charge said that the committee members should not consider themselves as a representative of any single interest group. Rather, the members were charged to exercise their judgment as to the best interests of the University as a whole.

The search committee will identify and screen potential presidential candidates. The goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2010, or at the latest when the fall 2010 academic year begins.

The search committee’s first assignment is to develop a white paper outlining the nature of the University, the role of the president, challenges and expectations the next president may face and personal qualifications necessary for the position. The Office of the Board of Trustees will create a presidential search Web site, including the white paper, a position announcement and description, call for nominations, search committee members, news releases, announcement of open candidate forums and search firm contact information.

The Board of Trustees’ key expectations of the successful candidate are leadership experience in leading and managing a large, complex academic organization; a commitment to academic excellence in teaching, research and service; the ability to communicate with the University’s external and internal constituencies; an understanding of the changing nature of higher education and its roles in local, state, regional and national economies; the ability to adapt to changing and challenging fiscal environments; and the experience to bring clarity and rationality to a complex administrative structure.

Individuals wishing to speak to the representatives of the search committee will be asked to sign in before the forum begins. Comments may also be sent to the search committee at:


The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 71,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 18,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nationally acclaimed "Intern Queen" visits UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed Lauren Berger, “The Intern Queen” to speak to students about opportunities and answer questions on November 11, 2009 in Brookens Auditorium.

Berger is called “The Intern Queen” because she completed 15 internships during her 4 years of college. She started her own intern company, Intern Queen Inc. in 2006, with the goal of raising internship awareness and connecting students with their future.

“Students are a little lazy sometimes. I was a little lazy as a student and it’s just a little bit of a hand holder and if I can be that person they look at and say wow the ‘Intern Queen’ really helped me with these jobs then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do,” said Berger.

The UIS Career Development Center along with the Student Government Association sponsored the event. The presentation included a panel discussion featuring local businesses and their internship opportunities for students.

“We get a lot of students who come in to do their resumes and other things and get coaching and some haven’t even thought of doing an internship,” said Rachel Hasenyager, Career Development Center Employee Relations Recruitment Coordinator.

Berger was recently named one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under. “The Intern Queen” has been featured in Business Week, E! News Online, New York Post, Chicago Public Radio, Young Money, and Seventeen magazine.

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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:

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Monday, October 26, 2009

WUIS 2009 fall fund drive reaches record goal

Listeners helped set a record fundraising total for WUIS this fall as over $150,000 has been raised to support programming costs at the media outlet. The record goal was necessary to cover cuts in state arts grant funding. AFSCME Council 31 provided a challenge match to start the fund drive. Over 100 volunteers helped reach the goal.

The final total for listener support will be over $150,000 as pledges are still being made online at

WUIS’ two annual fund drives are the station’s largest source of revenue, covering 35 percent of the WUIS budget. This is the portion of the budget that pays for program fees and production.

WUIS listeners continue to support the unique news and entertainment programming the station provides to Central Illinois. Many listeners cite state and local government news coverage, along with NPR’s in-depth coverage of national and international news as critical to their support. The mix of classical and jazz music is also cited.

This fall’s drive also marked the debut of a second channel of programming at 91-9 HD2. WUIS Exponential features an eclectic blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country which is also available through streaming at It is the first HD2 channel in Springfield.

WUIS is Central Illinois’ source for NPR (National Public Radio). WUIS content is available from Springfield at 91.9 FM, 91.9 HD1 and 91.9 HD2; in West-Central Illinois at 89.3 FM; and worldwide at The listener-supported media outlet’s mission is to enrich Central
Illinois through independent journalism, programming and community outreach.

For the program schedule, events, and other information, call the station at (217) 206-6516 or visit

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

UIS students rally at capitol to save MAP Funds

Hundreds of college students, including a group from the University of Illinois Springfield, rallied near the state capitol on Thursday, October 15, 2009 to urge lawmakers to fund the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

The students are asking lawmakers to restore $200-million dollars to make MAP grant funds available for the spring 2010 semester. If the funds aren’t restored it could make it hard for some students to pay for school and others fear they might have to drop out.

"The only way we can possibly get it reinstated in time for it to be effective for students to get it in the spring is right now," said UIS Student Government Senator Jaime Casinova.

The cuts to the MAP program would affect about 750 students at UIS who on average receive about $1,900 a semester from the program.

Governor Pat Quinn spoke at the rally telling students he’s working to restore the funds before lawmakers head home at the end of the week.

MAP grants are awarded to students based on financial need and more than 130,000 people across the state receive them every year.

After the rally UIS students met with lawmakers and delivered signed petitions from the campus community asking for the funds to be restored.

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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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Monday, October 05, 2009

Legislators support civic education by providing Illinois Issues to public libraries

Illinois Issues, the state’s leading public affairs magazine, has launched a new program in cooperation with state legislators to promote public policy information and education through the public library system. “Issues for Citizens” was launched in September with 31 legislators providing Illinois Issues to 59 libraries across the state. (Please check the list below for your local legislator and library.)

Illinois Issues, with its special focus on Illinois government and politics, and its close attention to current trends and legislative issues, definitely belongs in public libraries so that all citizens can be better informed about important issues that affect the lives of each and every one of us,” Dana Heupel, Illinois Issues executive editor, said. “Information from credible sources can lead to civic engagement and productive dialogue in the public arena about important issues.” Heupel cited wind power in Illinois, an overview of the collapse of the economy and profiles of new legislative leaders as examples of recent topics in the magazine.

Besides a 13-issue subscription to the award-winning magazine, participating legislators also provided libraries with The Illinois Governors: Mostly Good and Competent. This third edition (2007) of the book, originally titled Mostly Good and Competent Men by Robert Howard, is edited and updated by Taylor Pensoneau and Peggy Boyer Long. The book introduces readers to the state’s chief executives from Shadrach Bond to Rod Blagojevich and tells the stories of these powerful men’s lives in the context of the state’s rich and colorful political history.

As part of the legislators’ gifts, libraries also receive Illinois Issues’ annual Roster of State Government Officials, a comprehensive listing of contact information for statewide constitutional officers, major executive agencies and directors, state legislators’ listings for their Springfield and district offices, as well as listings of key staff members and much more.

Entering its 35th year, Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit magazine published at the University of Illinois Springfield. A part of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, the magazine is consistently praised for its reporting and news analysis, recently receiving two national awards from Capitolbeat, the association of Statehouse reporters and editors.

Illinois Issues is continuing to enroll legislators and their libraries in the program. More information is available by calling 217-206-6094 or through the web site at .

Issues for Citizens Program


Sen. Pamela Althoff
Crystal Lake Public Library

Rep. William B. Black
Danville Public Library
St. Joseph Township Swearingen Memorial Library

Sen. Bill Brady
Bloomington Public Library

Rep. William D. Burns
Bessie Coleman Library (Chicago)

House Rep. Leader Tom Cross
Plainfield Public Library
Naperville Public Library on Naper Blvd.

Senate President John Cullerton
John Merlo Library (Chicago)

Rep. Monique D. Davis
Carter G.Woodson Library (Chicago)

Sen. Deanna Demuzio
Carlinville Public Library

Sen. Kirk Dillard
Bloomingdale Public Library
Itasca Community Library

Rep. Ken Dunkin
Chicago Public Library – Hall Branch

Rep. Jack D. Franks
Harvard Diggins Library (Harvard)

Rep. Jehan Gordon
Peoria Public Library – McClure Branch

Sen. Bill Haine
Hayner Library District (Alton)
Six Mile Regional Library District (Granite City)

Sen. Don Harmon
Chicago Public Library – Austin Branch
Chicago Public Library – Galewood-Mont Clare Branch
Chicago Public Library – North Austin Branch
Melrose Park Public Library
River Forest Public Library

Rep. Kay Hatcher
Aurora Public Library - West Branch
Batavia Public Library
Charles B. Phillips Public Library (Newark)
Kaneville Public Library District
Maple Park Library District
Messenger Public Library (North Aurora)
Plano Public Library
Oswego Public Library
Sugar Grove Public Library District
Town & Country Library (Elburn)
Yorkville Public Library

Sen. Dan Kotowski
Norridge Public Library (Chicago)
Elk Grove Village Public Library

Rep. Lou Lang
Lincolnwood Public Library District
Morton Grove Public Library

Rep. David Leitch
Peoria Public Library – Lakeview Branch

Sen. Ed Maloney
St. John Fisher Library (Chicago)

Rep. Richard Myers
Carthage Public Library
Henderson County Public Library District (Biggsville)

Rep. Elaine Nekritz
Indian Trails Public Library (Wheeling)
Prospect Heights Public Library District

Rep. JoAnn Osmond
Lake Villa Library
Zion-Benton Library

Rep. Robert W. Pritchard
Flagg-Rochelle Public Library District
Sycamore Public Library

Senate Rep. Leader Christine Radogno
Lemont Public Library

Rep. Kathy Ryg
North Chicago Public Library
Warren-Newport Public Library

Rep. Darlene Senger
Naperville Public Library (The Nichols Library)
Aurora Public Library – Eola Road Branch

Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano
Elmwood Park Public Library
Franklin Park Public Library

Sen. John Sullivan
Warren County Public Library

Rep. Jil Tracy
Quincy Public Library

Rep. Dave Winters
North Suburban District Library (Loves Park)
South Beloit Public Library

Rep. Karen Yarbrough
Maywood Public Library

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Friday, September 04, 2009

UIS alumna to serve on U of I Board of Trustees

Governor Pat Quinn has appointed former Mayor of Springfield and UIS alumna Karen Hasara to fill a vacant position on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Hasara graduated from UIS with a B.S. in Psychology in 1972 and got her M.A. in Legal Studies from the university in 1993.

Hasara started her career as an elementary school teacher and became the first woman to be elected Springfield mayor in 1995. Before her time in city government Hasara was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1986 and the Illinois Senate in 1993.

Hasara has played an active role in the University of Illinois Springfield community speaking at leadership round tables and other events on campus. She has been a member of UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen’s Advisory Committee since 1998 helping to shape the direction of the campus.

Hasara is a board member of the World Affairs Council and has worked in Russia and Eastern Europe in tourism and economic development. She also serves on the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation board and is a member of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

The governor also named four other U of I graduates to the board: Timothy N. Koritz, Staff Anesthesiologist, Rockford Memorial Hospital; Edward L. McMillan, Principal and CEO, McMillan LLC; Pamela B. Strobel, retired Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Exelon; and Carlos E. Tortolero, President, National Museum of Mexican Art.

For more information visit:

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Illinois Issues and WUIS take top awards

Journalists from Illinois Issues magazine and WUIS/Illinois Public Radio took home six combined “Best of Statehouse Reporting” honors in a national competition. The awards were sponsored by Capitolbeat, which is made up by reporters and editors.

Illinois Issues Columnist Charles N. Wheeler III won first place in the Columns/Commentary/News Analysis category for magazines for his columns that appeared throughout the year.

Dave McKinney won third place in the same category for his analysis, “The two faces of Illinois politics.” His article appeared in the January 2009 edition of Illinois Issues and compared the reputations of newly elected President Barack Obama and then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office later that month. McKinney is a reporter at the Illinois Capitol for the Chicago Sun-Times.

WUIS/Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Sean Crawford and reporter Amanda Vinicky won first place in In-Depth Reporting for their report, “The Fall of Governor Rod Blagojevich.” Vinicky also won second place in the Single Report category, and Crawford won third place awards in the Single Report and Beat Reporting categories.

The annual awards were announced August 22 at Capitolbeat’s conference in Indianapolis. The organization marked its 10th anniversary this year as the nation’s only professional association devoted to state government journalism.

For more information about the “Best of Statehouse Reporting” awards visit or

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Friday, August 21, 2009

UIS ranked 4th best in the Midwest for 2nd straight year

U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 Edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Illinois 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. This is the second straight year that UIS has achieved those rankings. 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 27 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 fourth best among the 15 public universities on the list.

“With this being the second straight year we have received such high marks, it reflects how UIS is being established as one of the best public universities in the country. Once again, we are thrilled to be recognized in such elite company,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

U.S. News also gave UIS a high ranking in a category called “Great Schools, Great Prices” for being among only five universities in the Master’s category in the Midwest with students who graduate with the least debt. UIS was the fourth best on the list with a total of 76 percent of its students graduating with an average debt of $15,138.

UIS was not eligible to be ranked by U.S. News until two years after the university graduated their first class of freshmen. 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.

Ringeisen credited Provost Harry Berman, the deans and faculty in UIS’ four colleges, and the enrollment management staff for their hard work and dedication towards building the quality and reputation of the university.

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

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Governor Quinn visits UIS Emiquon display at State Fair

Governor Pat Quinn visited the University of Illinois Springfield's Emiquon Field Station display at the state fair on Friday, August 14th. Emiquon advisory board member and "super volunteer" Michael Purnell greeted the governor.

Purnell was impressed with Governor Quinn's knowledge of the UIS presence in the Emiquon Project and the UIS online programs.

Dr. Keith Miller, along with Purnell, and Dr. Hilary Frost-Kumpf set up the display on the first day of the fair and was on hand to greet and talk with state fair visitors.

Click on the video to see and hear about the UIS Emiquon display and Governor Quinn's visit.

The UIS Emiquon Field Station will have a display at the Governor’s Innovation Tent from August 14th through August 23rd from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Governor’s Innovation Tent is located near the intersection of Main Street and Brian Raney Avenue. (Come in Gate One, go straight, and the tent is on the right just pass Ethnic Village. There is a Governor’s Tent and a Governor’s Innovation Tent.)

ADDITIONAL INFO: The UIS display will contain information on the Emiquon Field Station and The Nature Conservancy. There will be a BioBingo game for kids, erosion/wetland demonstration, computer presentations and more. For additional information, contact Keith Miller at 217-206-7327 or To learn more about Emiquon, visit

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Springfield Area Economy expects below normal levels of activity through 2009

The University of Illinois at Springfield announces that the greater Springfield Enterprise Index (SEI) for April 2009 is 58 which means below normal economic activity, and much slower than one year ago (April 2008). A SEI value of 100 indicates that the area economy is on its long-term growth trend. A SEI value less than 100 indicates “below average” activity.

The Springfield area economy is projected to be below normal growth throughout the year. The SEI increases to 69 for April 2010. While this may not indicate a rebound in the economy it does project no further slowing by the end of the year.

“Compared to previous SEI forecasts, this is the first time we have seen a major slowing of the area economy,” said Patty Byrnes, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “This is related to recent declines in local area employment and expected little improvement in the state and national economies.”

The indexes for all other areas of Illinois also are predicted to be below normal growth for that area. The Springfield SEI shows a similar pattern of activity to all other metropolitan areas with no foreseen further worsening of the each area’s economy. The Chicago area SEI shows expected below normal activity throughout 2009.

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 leaders and government workers 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. A value of 100 implies that the Springfield area economy is on its long-term growth trend. An SEI value greater than 100 indicates “above average” and values below 100 indicate “below average” growth.

How is the SEI Constructed?
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).

How Can I Learn More?
The index was developed and created by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. Information on the Springfield area index can be obtained from Patty Byrnes, Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS, 217-206-7783 or The Greater Springfield Enterprise Index is due to collaboration between The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Government and Public Affairs – University of Illinois, and the Center for State Policy and Leadership – University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

UIS approved for membership in COPLAC

University of Illinois at Springfield Provost Harry Berman has announced that UIS has been unanimously approved for membership in the distinguished Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The vote places UIS among a select group of 25 public liberal arts institutions representing 23 states and one Canadian province.

“This is a milestone for UIS and yet another indication of our growing national stature,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “We have now taken our place alongside institutions that are recognized for being leading small public liberal arts universities.” He noted that UIS is the only COPLAC representative in the state of Illinois.

According to Dr. Berman, the central COPLAC value is to champion the cause of liberal arts and sciences education of superior quality in the public sector. “Member institutions include small public colleges and universities with strong national reputations, such as the College of Charleston, Evergreen State University, and Truman State University,” Dr. Berman said. “COPLAC institutions share UIS’ commitments to the centrality of general education for the baccalaureate degree; to relatively small classes taught principally by full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty; and to an intimate learning environment, where students can say ‘My professors know me’.”

Dr. Berman said that membership will enable UIS to communicate its identity more effectively to a range of stakeholders – students and their families, trustees, and academic colleagues in Illinois and around the country. It will also open up faculty development opportunities through collaborations with faculty at institutions that share UIS’ values.

UIS began exploring the possibility of membership after the university’s Strategic Plan was completed in January 2006. The plan included a Statement of Strategic Intent to become a leading small public liberal arts university. The rigorous process that followed included attendance at COPLAC meetings, deliberations by Undergraduate and Graduate Councils, open forums, passage of a UIS Campus Senate resolution, COPLAC Membership Committee site visits, and submission and approval of an application.

“UIS now has national recognition for its 40-year commitment to the public sphere,” said Dr. Karen Moranski, associate vice chancellor for Undergraduate Education.

The 2006 Strategic Plan charts the following trajectories for UIS over the next ten years: 1) Development of new liberal arts-related minors and majors, such as Music, Theatre, and Modern Languages; 2) Larger cohorts of freshmen; 3) Increasing numbers of residential students; 4) Additional faculty to serve the new student population; and 5) Continued internal leadership in the application of technology to learning.

The other COPLAC institutions are: College of Charleston (South Carolina), Eastern Connecticut State University, The Evergreen State College (Washington), Fort Lewis College (Colorado), Georgia College & State University, Henderson State University (Arkansas), Keene State College (New Hampshire), Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Midwestern State University (Texas), New College of Florida, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Sonoma State University (California), Southern Oregon University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, SUNY College at Geneseo, Truman State University (Missouri), University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Mary Washington (Virginia), University of Minnesota, Morris, University of Montevallo (Alabama), University of North Carolina at Asheville, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, University of Virginia’s College of Wise, and University of Wisconsin – Superior.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

UIS hosts Girl Tech technology camp for middle schoolers

By Courtney Westlake

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

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

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

The camp offered sessions on programming, robotics, computer networking, iMovie, Photoshop and computer hardware. A partial list of sessions includes Cartoons Galore!, Persona Magazine, Wireless Treasure Hunt and Robotics at the Robot Zoo.

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

UIS invites high school students to spend a Day at the Capitol

By Courtney Westlake

UIS alum Mike Ragen, who now works for the Illinois State Library, took time out from his day on Wednesday, May 13, to spend some time with four sophomores from Greenview High School as he showed them around the Illinois State Capitol Complex and explained the processes and issues within the state government.

The tour was part of the first-ever "Under the Dome - UIS Day at the Capitol" for select students from area high schools. The 30 students who participated were given a first-hand look at a day behind the scenes at the Illinois Statehouse on one of the busiest days of the legislative session.

The students learned about many career opportunities and the skills and education needed to pursue a career related to government or politics from the dozens of UIS alumni and students working in professional positions at the Statehouse.

"It was a great day, there was a lot of high energy, and it was good to see people come in support of us; UIS has some great friends who work in state government," said Ed Wojcicki, associate chancellor of constituent relations for UIS.

The morning of the event kicked off with a tour of the House gallery and a question-and-answer session with Sara Wojcicki, a UIS alum who works in media relations in the Office of Republican House Minority Leader Tom Cross, as well as Jim Fletcher, who is a lobbyist with Fletcher, O'Brien, Kasper & Nottage.

"One unexpected event is that we saw Representative Rich Brauer, and he invited us to come on the House floor," Wojcicki said. "It was very nice for these kids to go on the House floor because most of time, you have to go up in the gallery and look down."

After lunch, the high school students broke into small groups, where they met up with eight different UIS alumni serving in positions from legislative staffer to lobbyist to political reporter, who were able to show them around the Capitol. Students got the opportunity to sit in the press room where the governor holds press conference, stand in the room where the Illinois Senate gathers and more.

The students also attended a panel discussion that included Kent Redfield and Chris Mooney, UIS political science faculty members, Mary Bohlen, professor of communication at UIS, Chris Cray, director of Legislation with the Illinois State Board of Education and UIS adjunct faculty and Charles Wheeler, director of the public affairs reporting program at UIS. Additionally, they took part in a program with statehouse reporter Amanda Vinicky.

"One reason we wanted to do this is because literally no other university can do what we did today, and that is bring a group of kids to Springfield, to the state capitol, behind the scenes of state government, all with people who are friends of the university - and a lot of them who graduated from here - and show them exactly what to expect if they want to have a career in government," Wojcicki said. "And we're located here - a lot of other people could bring students to Springfield for tours or field trips, but we're here, so we do it every day with our students, our interns and our alumni."

"We think UIS is a great school for high school students to come to and experience things in state government if they want to have careers in politics and government," he added.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

UIS celebrates commencement on May 16

Commencement ceremonies for the University of Illinois at Springfield will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Ninth and Adams streets in downtown Springfield. Of the 1,132 students eligible to graduate, 635 will participate in the ceremony.

This year, tickets are not required for admission; ample seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reserved seating except for special needs such as interpretive services and wheelchairs. The doors to the main floor of the center will open at 1 p.m.

The commencement speaker will be Dr. Matthew Holden, who was recently designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS and is expected to formally join the UIS Department of Political Science in the College of Public Affairs and Administration this fall.

Holden is the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia. His wide-ranging scholarly interests, many of which are directly related to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, include public administration and policy, public law, urban politics, and race and politics. Holden received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Dr. Paul McDevitt, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Director of the MBA Program at UIS, has been chosen to serve as grand marshal. The student speaker will be Paul Gesterling, who will receive a master’s degree in Public Administration.

Faculty and students in each academic program select one graduating student who best exemplifies the goals and spirit of that program to serve as student marshal for the ceremony.
This year’s marshals are:

Accountancy: Suzanne Marguerite Meyer – B.A., Kathleen Marie Nash – M.A.

Biology: Amy Joelle Schutte – B.S., Michelle R. Randle – M.S.

Business Administration: Katherine Marie Shaffer – B.B.A, Brenna Elizabeth Coffman – M.B.A., Sara Louise Dill – M.B.A. (Peoria)

Chemistry: Jennette Danelle Hansen – B.S.

Clinical Laboratory Science: Faiza M. Luteify – B.S.

Communication: Joseph Cory Pelc – B.A., Kelsi Megan Kerns – M.A.

Computer Science: Joshua A. Bailey – B.S., Joshua Lewis Smith – M.S.

Criminal Justice: Howard Lee Purdue – B.A., Ashley Ryan Douglas – B.A. (Peoria)

Economics: Bryan Justin Barth – B.A.

Educational Leadership: Melody Lou Trout – M.A.

English: Mary C. Colligan – B.A., Charlene Kay Summers – M.A.

Environmental Studies: Abby Lynn Hahne– M.A.

History: Amanda L. Dahlquist – B.A., Marilyn Mueller – M.A.

Human Development Counseling: Sarah Elizabeth Chism – M.A.

Human Services: Elizabeth Marie Slater – M.A.

Individual Option: Lisa Maria Long – M.A.

Legal Studies: Amy Suzanne Elhoffer – B.A., K. Joy McCulloch – M.A.

Liberal Studies: Annamarie Israel – B.A.

Management: Billy Serbousek – B.A., Raymond A. Byrd – B.A. (Peoria)

Management Information Systems: Robert William Hamilton – M.S.

Mathematical Sciences: Charles J. Lee – B.A.

Philosophy: Marie S. Lyle – B.A.

Political Studies: Katherine Elizabeth Wood – B.A., Laura Roche – M.A.

Psychology: Keith A. Huddleston – B.A.

Public Administration: Katie Jo Miller – M.P.A., Tosha E. Cantrell-Bruce – D.P.A.

Public Affairs Reporting: Kari Lynn Andren – M.A.

Public Health: Kathleen Kay Thacker – M.P.H.

Social Work: Amy Noel Dennison Gorens – B.S.W.

Sociology/Anthropology: Craig James Pelka – B.A.

Teacher Leadership: Janet Kay Walch – M.A.

Visual Arts: Dannyl M. Madura – B.A

A number of events are planned for graduates, their families and guests, beginning with a reception for Peoria-area students on Friday, May 8. A Late Night Breakfast will be held Wednesday, May 13. A brunch for online degree graduates is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 16. UIS’ four colleges will hold individual receptions.

Admission to some commencement events is by invitation only. Updated information, including a complete list of events, is available from the commencement website at

The ceremony will be webcast live at DVDs ($25) can also be ordered from the Office of Electronic Media, phone 217/206-6799.

For more information, go to the UIS Commencement website at

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