Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UIS and Springfield Public Schools collaborate for Partners in Education Institute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 www.uis.edu/volunteer, email volunteer@uis.edu or call (217) 206-7716.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Statement of Economic Interests

If you receive a Statement of Economic Interests form . . .

Some University employees are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests form under the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. The Office of the Secretary of State will mail the forms to required filers on March 15. If you receive one of these forms in the mail:

Submit the completed form to the University of Illinois Ethics Office by April 23, 2010. The University Ethics Officer will review and forward all completed Statements to the Secretary of State by the May 3, 2010 deadline.

Send the form via campus or US mail to University Ethics Office, Human Resources Building Room 20, One University Plaza HRB 20, Springfield, IL 62704-5407.

If you have questions about:

Criteria for Filing
Call the Ethics Help Line at 866-758-2146 or visit the University Human Resources Web site at https://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/cf/info/index.cfm?Item_id=2234&rlink=1974 or the University Ethics Office Web site at www.ethics.uillinois.edu/statements/index.cfm.

Illinois Governmental Ethics Act
Call the Secretary of State’s Office at 217-782-7017.

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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, February 01, 2010

Bob Lael is named 2009 Employee of the Year at UIS

Bob Lael, assistant manager of Human Resources at the University of Illinois Springfield, was named 2009 Employee of the Year at the 27th annual Employee of the Year Recognition Ceremony, held January 28 on the UIS campus.

Lael was selected from among 11 UIS staff members who had been employees of the month during the past year. He was employee of the month for May.

Materials nominating him at that time noted that “Bob always has time for everyone. No matter what time or how busy he is, he takes time to meet with current and prospective employees and students to answer questions regarding all of the various employee benefits and student insurance. He is an excellent example of what we should all strive to be here at UIS.”

Serving as master of ceremonies, Wesley Weisenburn, director of Human Resources, cited all 11 employees of the month for their “exemplary characteristics and attitudes. They serve as role models,” he said.

UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen made the official announcement and presentation. All 11 employees of the month also stood up to be recognized for their achievements.

As he accepted the award, Lael said, “I’m standing up here today not because of what I did, but because of what you all have helped me to do; each and every day, I rely on many others around me to give me the tools that I need to succeed in my job. I’m humbled, honored and very thankful for this award.”

Lael has been employed at UIS since 2005.

Other employees of the month for 2009 were Emily Welch Boles, computer assisted instructional specialist in the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning; Tom Micklus, electrician foreman for Facilities & Services; Patricia Stoutamyer, office support specialist for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Kimberly Craig, assistant to the associate vice chancellor of undergraduate education for Academic Affairs; Pam Rodgers, microcomputer coordinator for Information Technology Services; Michelle Green, director of marketing; Laurie Koehne, building service worker for Facilities & Services; Terry Minder, assistant grounds gardener; Bobbie Fults, office support specialist for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; and Patty Sullivan, graphic designer for Service Enterprises.

The UIS Employee of the Year receives gifts that include a check for $500.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

UIS staff and faculty help to coordinate state-wide ILEAD U initiative

Staff and faculty members from the University of Illinois Springfield’s Brookens Library and the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) are teaming up with staff members from the Illinois State Library and other libraries throughout the state for a prestigious new institute that will be one of the most significant Illinois library initiatives of 2010. The institute, called ILEAD (Illinois Libraries Explore, Apply and Discover) U: the 21st Century Technology Tools Institute for Illinois Library Staff, will be comprised of three in-person sessions from February 23 to 25, June 15 to 17 and October 26 to 28 on the UIS campus. The sessions will be supplemented by online instruction between meeting dates.

ILEAD U, funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant awarded to the Illinois State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will encourage both the experimentation with and building of participatory Web services and programs. Library educator R. David Lankes of Syracuse University will lead the instructors for the project.

As part of the institute, the UIS participants and their colleagues from other Illinois libraries will implement web technologies that foster community participation and develop leadership, innovation and positive change.

The institute is the brainchild of Anne Craig, director of the Illinois State Library, who has “exceptional vision in seeing a need and conceiving of such an innovative way to meet it,” according to Dean Jane Treadwell, University Librarian at UIS. Treadwell is chairing the steering committee which selected the instructors, mentors and teams of participants and will guide the work of the project.

Other UIS participants include Natalie Tagge, visiting Instructional Services Librarian at Brookens Library, who will serve as a mentor in ILEAD U, and two other Brookens librarians, Pamela M. Salela and Amanda Binder, who will participate in cross-institutional teams that will learn to use participatory technology tools to understand and respond to patron needs.

“We hope to foster a philosophy that technology becomes powerful in libraries when people engage with it critically and thoughtfully,” said Tagge.

Additionally, Ray Schroeder and Shari Smith of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service are acting as consultants to the instructors for the project, and David Racine of the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies will direct the evaluation of the ILEAD U grant.

“We in the Brookens Library and COLRS are very excited to collaborate with the Illinois State Library on this project that has the potential to transform the way that libraries interact with their patrons,” noted Treadwell.

Smith, associate director of COLRS, added, “The ILEAD U grant is an excellent example of why libraries and librarians are uniquely qualified to lead their communities forward to a new knowledge society. The grant has been carefully crafted to include cutting-edge technology, careful assessment and evaluation, location-specific consideration and stakeholders from around the state.”

Participatory technology tools will include:
Blogging tools
Digital audio/podcasting, photography and video
RSS feeds
Social networking and photo-sharing sites
Videoconferencing and web conferencing
Virtual reference and virtual worlds (ie. Second Life)
Instant messaging
And more

“The Illinois State Library is proud of its strong commitment to continuing education and providing librarians with the tools and resources necessary to address the ever-changing needs of their patrons,” said Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White. “Nowhere is the need for continuing education more important than in the area of technology. Librarians need to constantly enhance their skills to keep up to date with the latest technology, and ILEAD U represents an exciting, innovative new program to build technology and leadership skills among Illinois librarians.”

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

UIS Holiday Stars Project collects 3 tons of food for central Illinois

The University of Illinois Springfield collected a record 6,209 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank as part of the 2009 Holiday Stars Project. That’s an over 40 percent increase in donations from last year.

“It’s fun to be able to say we raised a ton more than last year because in this case we really mean it, literally. It’s heartwarming,” said Richard D. Ringeisen, UIS chancellor.

On December 3, 2009, student volunteers from UIS helped fill a truck from the Central Illinois Foodbank with donations.

“We’re hearing at the volunteer center every week from food pantries where the donations are down this year, so it’s wonderful donations are up here at UIS to help people in our area,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Students kicked off the month-long food drive through a “Trick or Eat” competition on Halloween night, which collected more than 4,000 pounds of food alone. The effort continued on-campus during November as students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to participate.

“It feels amazing. There are no words to describe it. It’s just giving back to the community,” said Esther Ellison, junior social work major.

The Holiday Stars Project was first started in 2008 as a way to benefit the Central Illinois Foodbank, which assists families in 21 counties.

“This food that’s being donated today really is so awesome because it’s a variety of food, and at the Foodbank variety is really nice to get in because our food is donated,” said Gloria Shanahan, communications director for the Central Illinois Foodbank.

UIS plans to continue its effort to give back to the community next year through the Holiday Stars Project.

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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, September 23, 2009

Chancellor honors Civil Service employees

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen honored more than 300 Civil Service employees during the 3rd Annual CARE Awards. A luncheon ceremony was held on September 23, 2009 in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby.

“You’re really important people, front line people. You’re the people whose smile makes a difference in students and parents lives,” said Ringeisen.

Sharon Heflin, who works in the Office of Graduate Intern Programs, was honored with the 2009 Chancellor’s Award to Recognize Excellence in Civil Service. Heflin started as extra help in the GPSI office, and was hired into the Center for Legal Studies full time in October 2001. Then, in 2002 she was hired to work in the GPSI office again, and has been there ever since.

The person who nominated her for the award said about her, when you look up “ethical” in the dictionary, you see a picture of Sharon.

Other Civil Service employees nominated for the award include:
Carolyn Cerven, Account Technician II, OBFS
Deborah Dove, Admissions and Records Specialist II, Admissions
Bobbie Fults, Office Support Specialist, Computer Science
Normajean Niebur, Office Support Specialist, Criminal Justice
Marcia Rossi, Office Administrator, Library Administration
Dawn Tompkins, Staff Clerk, Experiential and Service Learning
Carol Wendling, Administrative Clerk, Academic Affairs

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Health Services works to prevent seasonal and H1N1 flu

University of Illinois Springfield Campus Health Services is now offering seasonal flu shots to students, faculty and staff. The shot does not protect against the H1N1 virus, but Health Services expects to have that vaccine on hand by mid-October.

The seasonal flu shot costs $15.00 for UIS students and is free to employees who have State of Illinois insurance. Non-insured staff can get the shot for $18.00 and employee’s significant others for $20.00.

Campus Health Services Director Lynne Price says the best way to prevent either flu is by washing your hands. She says people also need to cough or sneeze into their sleeves and stay home when they have a fever over 100.

Price says H1N1 is milder than the common flu, but it spreads more readily. She says about 97% of the flu cases happening now are H1N1 and only 3% appear to be seasonal.

Seasonal Flu Shot Clinic Dates:

Thursday, September 17, 2009
9am - 3pm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
9am - 5pm and 6pm - 7:30pm

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
9am - 5pm

Monday, October 5, 2009
9am - 5pm

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

9am - 5pm and 6pm - 7:30pm

All shots will be given in Public Affairs Center (PAC) Conference Rooms C & D.

If you have questions call Campus Health Service at 206-6676

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brookens Library Shows Off Research Tools

Brookens Library
at the University of Illinois Springfield held its first ever open house for students, faculty and staff. The goal was to show the campus community what they have to offer when it comes to research tools.

Christine Ross, Director of Collection and Research Services says in the high-tech age students sometimes turn to Google first, but the library has better tools. Vendors from Elsevier, Lexis Nexi, CQ Press, Wiley Blackwell and more were on hand to show off their systems.

Ross says the best part of the open house was hearing students get their questions answered so they know where to look the next time they come back.

Students also got a chance to win an iPod Touch and other prizes donated for the open house.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

UIS Hosts Campus Blood Drive

University of Illinois Springfield students, faculty and staff members rolled up their sleeves to help save lives Monday. The Clinical Lab Science Club sponsored a blood drive and bone marrow typing event at Lincoln Residence Hall.

The drive was put on by the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, which is the main source for blood for 19 hospitals in central and southwestern Illinois.

This is the first time the blood center has teamed up to offer bone marrow typing, which puts donors on a match registry for people in need.

Almost 50 people donated blood during the drive at LRH.

Future UIS Blood Drives:

Monday, November 16 , 2009
Public Affairs Center (Sponsor: Graduate Professional Union)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Public Affairs Center (Sponsor: Student Government Association)

Monday, April 19, 2010
Lincoln Residence Hall (Sponsor: Clinical Lab Science Club)

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Convocation kicks off 2009-2010 academic year

By Courtney Westlake

The University of Illinois Springfield kicked off the 2009-2010 academic year with a Convocation ceremony on Thursday afternoon, August 20.

Provost Harry Berman welcomed UIS' 21 new faculty members and introduced them to campus, while Chancellor Richard Ringeisen spoke about UIS' accomplishments over the past year and its goals for the future.

"We always have a choice about how we’re going to approach any year," Ringeisen said. "I choose optimism, while being realistic. I choose gratitude for the resources we have, instead of anxiety about what we still want. I choose to be hopeful about the future, and I think we have good reason to be."

Ringeisen began his presentation by highlighting many examples of excellence from UIS graduates, including a recent graduate who was also the first in his family to graduate not only college but high school as well.

He reflected a lot about the past year and the way the public has begun to view UIS. He announced that after last year's U.S. News and World Report listed UIS as the fourth best public in the Midwest for 2009, the 2010 report was released today and UIS achieved the same ranking.

"That establishes us as a top flight public university," he said.

He also touched on UIS becoming a Division II school in the NCAA, being placed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the university's recent acceptance into the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), among many other achievements from the year.

"You may have seen the COPLAC announcement, but what you didn’t hear was the evaluators say to Provost Berman and me that UIS might be the most exciting university in the nation right now, because of everything we’re doing and where we’re heading. It’s why I’m so optimistic and choose to look ahead today," he said.

Ringeisen challenged everyone to pause and "to see ourselves as others see us," he said.

"We’re on the rise. We’re on the journey. I am tempted to declare that we have arrived, three years after finalizing our strategic plan with a bold vision and lofty goals," he said. "In many ways we have arrived – when you see us as others see us."

The state budget hit the university hard this year, Ringeisen noted, but said it's a time to remember "my favorite analogy: 'When a ship is in a storm at sea, you don’t shut the engines down.'"

This year will give UIS the opportunity to continue to focus on its top three goals - academic excellence, enriching individual lives, and making a difference in the world - in addition to focusing more on its fourth goal, strengthening the campus culture.

New faculty and staff hires, new investiture ceremonies for faculty, the creation of customized Web sites called portals, new openings of universities centers, the upcoming celebration of the 40th anniversary and a new Public Safety Building were all highlighted by the Chancellor.

"I commend you for all of your work that has led to the recognition we are now receiving. We don’t do what we do for the recognition, of course; we do it for our students, so that they will have the best possible educational experience," Ringeisen said. "But if you see UIS as others see us, you know this is an institution on the rise."

Watch convocation at

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

UIS accepted by Apple for listing in iTunes Store

The University of Illinois Springfield has announced that it has been accepted by Apple for listing in the iTunes Store, effective Tuesday, August 18.

Content from UIS is now available without charge to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide, noted Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the department of Information Technology Services at UIS. Being a part of the iTunes stores allows UIS to create a presence in front of more potential students, alumni and donors.

“The iTunes Store is a great social outreach and recruiting tool. It enables UIS to create a stronger presence and get our story out in an inexpensive manner,” Khaund said. “Our university is now listed alongside universities like Berkeley, Cambridge, MIT, Stanford, Yale, as well as museums and public media organizations.”

UIS has been an internal iTunes U campus in January 2007. iTunes U is a free, cross-platform multimedia distribution and learning environment system that provides easy, online access to educational content such as lectures, seminars and student assignments. Public access recordings from campus activities such as sporting events, news broadcasts, and concerts can also be made available through iTunes U.

Apple has well-defined guidelines for educational institutions that want to be included in the iTunes Store. Quality and quantity of podcasts is one of many criteria to be listed on the iTunes Store.

“When we first launched our podcasts on iTunes in the fall of 2005, we had one course podcast and one publicly available podcast. Now we have more than 25 course podcasts and 22 publicly available podcasts,” Khaund said. “Additionally, the 'UIS Guidelines and Policies for Podcasting' was the first podcasting policy in higher education, and as a result, several universities have contacted us to help them create their own guidelines for educational podcasting.”

More information on podcasting at UIS is available at http://www.uis.edu/sightsandsounds/podcasts/. To access UIS on iTunes U, go to http://itunes.uis.edu/.

To access UIS in the iTunes Store, open iTunes, click on the iTunes Store, then click on “iTunes U” in the menu at left. In the box labeled “find educational providers,” click on “Universities and Colleges”. On the “Universities and Colleges” page, find "University of Illinois Springfield” alphabetically under “U”. The public is also able to search for any podcasts from UIS that are publicly available by using the “Search the iTunes Store” box.

For more information, contact Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the department of Information Technology Services, at munindra.khaund@uis.edu or 217/206-6764.

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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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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

UIS announces new vice chancellor for student affairs

The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced the appointment of Timothy L. Barnett as the new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. His appointment is effective July 1.

Dr. Barnett is currently Vice Chancellor for Student and Enrollment Services at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where he has worked since 2003. In that position, he implemented a recruiting and retention program that resulted in a 17% increase in freshmen applications and a 5% increase in student retention in the past two years. He established a university-wide enrollment management plan, and planned and implemented a division-wide Staff Development Program.

“Dr. Barnett believes that UIS has a strong understanding of what a small university can provide to its students,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “He brings to this university an impressive breadth of experience in student affairs and enrollment management that will serve our student affairs division and entire university well.”

From 2003-05, Dr. Barnett served as Dean of Students at UAF, during which time he developed a Student Leadership Program resulting in a 100% increase in student participation in clubs and organizations. He also implemented an early warning system to identify and provide assistance to students experiencing difficulty adjusting to college academics, doubled education programs on alcohol and drug abuse, and developed educational sessions on sexual harassment, assault, and abuse.

Other positions in which Dr. Barnett has served are Vice President for Student Affairs at Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, from 1999-2003; Director of Danna Center and Student Activities at Loyola University, New Orleans, from 1992-1999; and Associate Dean of Students at Biola University, LaMirada, California, from 1987-1991.

He earned a Ph.D. in Education and Business with a focus on Strategic Planning from Claremont Graduate University; M.A. in Student Development from Azusa Pacific University; and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska.

UIS’ Division of Student Affairs is comprised of the Career Development Center, Center for First Year Students, Counseling Center, Cox Children Center, Disability Services, Diversity Center, Enrollment Management, Financial Assistance, Food Service, Health Services, Housing & Residential Life, International Student Services, LGBTQ Resource Office, Recreational Sports, Student Life, Center for Student Volunteers & Civic Engagement, The Journal newspaper, and the Women’s Center.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kim Rutherford is winner of 6th annual CAPE Award

By Courtney Westlake

Kim Rutherford was named the recipient of the sixth annual Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award at UIS on Thursday afternoon, April 30, during a celebration in the Public Affairs Center Restaurant.

Rutherford is a disability services specialist in the Office of Disability Services at UIS.

The CAPE Award recognizes U of I academic professionals for their efforts in three general categories: work projects, professional development and affiliations, and contributions to their units. The winner receives $500 in cash for personal use, and another $500 is given to the winner’s department.

All APs are eligible to receive the CAPE Award; nominations are reviewed by campus committees and candidates' names are forwarded to the chancellor, who makes the final selections.

"This award recognizes all academic professionals by recognizing one outstanding AP," said Jerry Burkhart, chair of the Academic Professional Advisory Committee. "Academic professionals fill unique and vital roles on this campus. Each day, we work closely with students, faculty, civil service and administration, and as such, we help shape the fabric of UIS."

Chancellor Richard Ringeisen congratulated all the nominees and read an excerpt from Rutherford's nomination.

"This particular nominator is a student who wrote: 'Had it not been for Kim Rutherford, I would have been unable to achieve what I have achieved; I would have been unable to graduate. I never would have made it without this person.'"

Other UIS nominees for the 2008 CAPE Award were: Clay Bellot, academic technology service specialist in Information Technology Services; Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in Information Technology Services; Janette Kirkham, coordinator and placement developer in the Applied Study Office; Jim Korte, assistant dean of students; Tulio Llosa, director of educational technology in Information Technology Services; Mae Noll, undergraduate academic adviser; Candy Powers, assistant to the dean of the College of Education and Human Services; Shawn Craig Shures, assistant director/graduate intern recruiter for Graduate Intern Programs; and Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of WUIS.

When Rutherford's name was called as the 2009 recipient, she was presented with a personal plaque and another with her name that will hang in the Chancellor's office.

"I want say thank you to everyone on the list and all of you do so many good things for our students, and that's what we're all about," she said. "I want to say thank you to the CAPE committee. I just appreciate everything, so thank you."

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

UIS whips into 2009 Faculty and Staff Campaign

By Courtney Westlake

Faculty, staff and other participants got some home cookin' and donned country attire down home on the farm during the annual Faculty and Staff Campaign kick-off on Thursday afternoon, March 5.

"Whip Guy" Chris Camp, a whip cracker and entertainer, was also on hand to snap his whip at almost 900 miles per hour while performing whip tricks with volunteers.

Through the Faculty and Staff Campaign, staff and faculty are able to give a gift to the university, choosing how their funds will impact UIS' quality academics, athletics or other important areas. Gifts made to UIS assist with scholarships, enhance research, improve programs and much more.

The theme of this year's campaign is "We Grow the Best at UIS." Campus programs, offices and departments set up booths in coordination with the farm theme to showcase their work.

"We do grow the best at UIS; this is a great place for that, right here in the middle of the richest farmland in America," said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "We're proud of what we do at UIS every day in raising the best. Sometimes universities pride themselves on how successful students are before they get here, and we have plenty of students that meet that criteria, but one of the things we're really proud of is how successful they are when they leave, how we grow the best while they're here."

Ringeisen commended both faculty and staff for their exemplary work every day with the campus community, especially students.

"The way you care, the way you know people's names, the way you greet people... you solve problems, you volunteer your time off-hours, you counsel students," he said. "Now we're only a couple of months away from graduating another group of outstanding, successful, home-grown UIS students. I'm proud to say that my wife Carolyn and I invest in UIS, and we invite you all to invest in UIS, where we grow the best."

Vicki Megginson, associate chancellor for development and vice president of the University of Illinois Foundation, encouraged all attendees to visit all of the booths set up by the campus community and see what each department or program has to offer.

"We as faculty and staff here at UIS are really in the garden," Megginson said. "We work with the students, know what students need, know what programs need to flourish and to grow. Today is an opportunity for us to share with each other some of the ways we aspire, and hopefully inspire, to improve what we can offer and to ask each other for support through giving to do so."

"It's amazing what even small seeds can do; it's like small seeds that grow into wonderful, big plants," she added, "and we hope you consider that."

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Monday, March 02, 2009

UIS receives grant for Elluminate Vclass project

Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Services at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is the recipient of a grant in the form of a 50-seat Elluminate VClass for 2009. The grant, in the amount of $6,740 for the year, was awarded by Elluminate and the Sloan-C Consortium, a national organization comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning.

Elluminate is popular software used in higher education for live web conferencing and to conduct online classes. Vclass is a product of Elluminate and is a virtual classroom for between 25 and 200 students. It is customizable for the instructor, and it offers full audio recording capability.

UIS has utilized Elluminate for five years. In Schroeder’s grant application, he proposed research on the use of synchronous and recorded online learning sessions to deliver inter-institutional workshops to academic librarians located at seven universities spanning the country. Through the awarded grant, a series of in-service workshops will be offered collaboratively through Elluminate by the academic libraries at the seven member institutions of the New Century Learning Consortium, which was created and is led by UIS through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Each institution will originate an ‘innovation’ or ‘best-practices’ session to be delivered through Elluminate interactively to librarians, faculty and students at the other six institutions. All sessions will be recorded and archived for further use and study, and topics will include areas such as library wikis and blogs, alternative search engines and more.

“By conducting this project across academic libraries at seven institutions, it is hoped that we will maximize the quality, breadth of topics, exposure, impact and future use of Elluminate at these universities located across the U.S.,” Schroeder said.

These sessions will be made available as Elluminate learning objects for classes in library and information science, information literacy, Internet in society and related topics. All content, outcomes and conclusions will then be documented and examined.

For more information, contact Ray Schroeder at 217/206-7531 or rschr1@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UIS receives national honor for service-learning and civic engagement

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been placed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts to the local community. The honor was announced Monday by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

“This high honor is evidence that UIS is succeeding in its efforts to make community service a priority,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “We at UIS believe that our students gain a greater sense of responsibility when they serve the community as part of their education.”

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. UIS was selected because of the scope and innovation of its service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and academic service-learning courses.

UIS student service projects include the Girl to Girl DreamSpeakers Program in which UIS female athletes serve as mentors to about 120 female students in grades 8 through 10 in the Springfield public schools. A mentoring program with Jefferson Middle School matches 20 UIS students with about 30 middle school students, and a service project that involves storm drain stenciling raises environmental awareness of what not to dump in storm drains.

“We don’t just pay lip service to community service, we strongly encourage service to others,” said Kelly Thompson, director of UIS’ Center for Volunteer and Civic Engagement. “Right here on campus we have a unique housing arrangement called the living-learning community in Lincoln Residence Hall. During 2008, those students who live on that wing served our local community through about 950 hours of service,” she said.

Thompson also noted that 2,400 hours of service were carried out in the community last year by UIS students involved in the Midwest Campus Compact Citizen-Scholar Fellows AmeriCorps Program. UIS is one of only seven universities in the state that participates in the AmeriCorps Education Award Program.

Other projects are the annual UIS Cares day during which students volunteer their time to bettering the community. Last year, students and several staff members spent time at Jefferson Middle School pulling weeds, planting flowers and taking part in other beautification efforts. UIS also sponsors the annual campus-wide Holiday Stars Project during which students, faculty, staff and community members donated several thousand pounds of canned goods to the Central Illinois Food Bank last year.

UIS also offers service-learning courses that combine academic learning and community service at the undergraduate level. Students earn college credit while providing community service to local non-profit agencies.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tammy Craig is named 2008 UIS Employee of the Year

Watch a video of the event

Tammy Craig, director of the Career Development Center, was named 2008 Employee of the Year for the University of Illinois at Springfield at the 26th annual Employee of the Year Recognition Ceremony, held January 27 on the UIS campus.

Craig was selected from among 11 UIS staff members who had been employees of the month during the past year. She was employee of the month for April.

Materials nominating her at that time noted, “Tammy is very respectful of others and is always willing to collaborate with faculty, staff and students on various projects and programs. In addition to her professionalism and her dedication to serving our campus, Tammy is always seeking new ways to engage students and meet their needs.”

Serving as master of ceremonies, Wesley Weisenburn, director of human resources, cited all 11 employees of the month for their “exemplary characteristics and attitudes. They serve as role models,” he said. “When I think of these 11 employees, I think of dedication, determination, leadership by example and their quality of service for UIS.”

Ed Wojcicki, associate chancellor for constituent relations, made the official announcement and presentation. All 11 employees of the month also stood up to be recognized for their achievements.

As she accepted the award, Craig said, “This is a very great honor for me. I’ve been around a lot of wonderful people during my years at UIS, and I want to thank each and every one of you because every day you helped make my job that much better.”

Other employees of the month for 2008 were Ron Peddicord, senior library specialist; Donna Young, staff secretary for the offices of Access and Equal Opportunity and UIS Legal Counsel; Dennis Jones, network specialist in the information technology services department; Sharon Heflin, office support specialist in the Office of Graduate Intern Programs; Alice Bettis, administrative aide for Sangamon Auditorium; Donna Schaub, assistant to the dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Jill Voyles, applications specialist for Information Technology Services; Frank Moscardelli, grounds worker; Rowena Vail, assistant to the director of the Capital Scholars honors program; and Chrisa Potthast, disability services specialist.

The UIS Employee of the Year receives gifts that include a check for $500.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UIS staff and alums take top honors in national competition

Several staff members at the University of Illinois at Springfield, as well as several alumni of UIS' Public Affairs Reporting program, were among the winners of the annual competition sponsored by Capitolbeat, the national organization of journalists covering state and local governments.

The awards -- honoring excellence in Statehouse reporting in print, broadcast and online media -- were presented at the organization's annual conference, held this year in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse bureau chief for Illinois Issues magazine and a 2004 PAR alum, took first place in the magazine columns category for her "State of the State" column, which appears in the print and online versions of the magazine. Jaeger's winning columns touched on such subjects as gun control, feuding Democrats, Cook County property taxes, and the outlook for state policy.

Jaeger also received a second place award in the single report category for magazines for her September 2007 article "Clinic in a school," which analyzed state and national policies that contribute to the demand for health care centers in high schools, yet hinder their growth.

Daniel C. Vock, a writer for stateline.org and a 2000 PAR alum, won a third place award in the same category for his Illinois Issues article on why Illinois is a friendly place for immigrants.

Sean Crawford, Statehouse bureau chief for Public Radio station WUIS, won a third place award for radio beat reporting for stories he covered ranging from the deterioration of trust at the state Capitol to more lighthearted fare such as a plan to create a special a license plate for NASCAR fans.

Amanda Vinicky, WUIS Statehouse reporter and a 2005 PAR alum, won a third place award in the radio single report category for "The Truant Legislator," which focused on Rep. Rich Bradley (D-Chicago), his chronic absences during the legislative session, and the resulting impact on his district.

Together, Crawford and Vinicky won a third place award in the radio in-depth reporting category for "Making Little Cents," a series of reports on Illinois' problems in getting a budget put together.

PAR alums Ray Long (1981) and John O'Connor (1986) were also among those honored.

Long, of the Chicago Tribune, shared a first place award in beat reporting for wire services and newspapers over 75,000 circulation.

O'Connor, of the Associated Press, received an honorable mention in the single report category for wire services and newspapers over 75,000 circulation.

Capitolbeat, formerly called the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, has nearly 300 members across the country. Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit monthly publication focusing on analysis of public policy. WUIS is listener-supported public radio for central and west central Illinois. Both Illinois Issues and WUIS are part of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS.

UIS' Public Affairs Reporting program is a one-year master's degree program focusing on coverage of state government news. In addition to academic work, students serve six-month internships with newspaper, magazine, radio, television, wire service, or audio news service bureaus in the Statehouse pressroom in Springfield.

For more information, contact Dana Heupel, executive editor of Illinois Issues, at 206-6507.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UIS Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning receives major award

The Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield was among pioneers in the use of new media technologies to be honored at the 2008 SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards ceremony hosted by the Society for New Communications Research on November 14 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The SNCR is a nonprofit global think tank dedicated to the advanced study of new communications tools, technologies, and emerging modes of communication and their effect on traditional media, professional communications, business, and society. These prestigious awards honor individuals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and media outlets that are breaking new ground in the use of social media, ICT, mobile media, online communities, virtual worlds, and collaborative technologies.

OTEL Director Ray Schroeder noted that award recipients comprised “some of the brightest leaders in the field of new media.”

Said Schroeder, “How exciting it is to know that UIS was so wonderfully represented among those who are shaping the future of emerging technologies and communications media! Just look at the others with whom we are listed -- Network Solutions, Dell, Cisco, IBM, United Nations University, Corel, and Lexis/Nexis, among many others.”

UIS’ award, in the category Online Reputation Management/Academic Division, was accepted by Shari McCurdy Smith, associate director of OTEL and one of the authors of the winning case study documenting UIS’ collective efforts in support of the campus’ online initiative. The complete text of the case study is available at www.newcommreview.com/?p=1352.

UIS also received a Commendation of Merit in the category of External Communications from SNCR for "Newsroom@Illinois Springfield," a website where many of the campus’ news and information web pages are consolidated into one central hub.

UIS’ Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning has as its mission the promotion of faculty use of the Internet and allied developing technologies to enhance learning, scholarship, and service. More information is available at http://otel.uis.edu/Portal/index.asp.

Additional information about the Society for New Communications Research is available at www.sncr.org.

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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

Holiday Stars Project original goal surpassed

The 10 teams that took part in the campus' first Trick or Treat for Canned Goods competition on Halloween collected 2049 pounds of food, surpassing the original Holiday Stars Project goal of 2008 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank.

Sponsored by Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, the Holiday Stars Project is a campus-wide service initiative giving focus to UIS' efforts to make a difference in the local community during the upcoming holiday season.

Kelly Thompson, director of the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, said, "Given the students' enthusiasm and energy for this project and the wonderful response they received, the Project Committee challenges the campus community to help us double our first goal and collect 4016 pounds of food by December 4."

Members of the campus community can place donations of non-perishable food items in specially marked bins around campus, now through December 3. Everything collected during the project will be presented to the Foodbank on December 4.

For more information, contact the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center at 6-7716.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

UIS wins national award for quality online education

The University of Illinois at Springfield has won the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education from the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C). UIS received the national award for innovative work in using quantitative data in a process of continuous quality improvement to assure excellence in online teaching and learning.

"This inaugural award is one of the highest honors to be granted by the Sloan Consortium," said Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning (OTEL). "It recognizes the quality and leadership of our online program among the consortium's nearly 1,500 member institutions."

Shown left, OTEL staff are (from left): Ray Schroeder, director; Carrie Levin, assistant director.; Bill Bloemer, research associate; Deborah Antoine, instructional designer; Shari McCurdy Smith, associate director; and Emily Welch Boles, instructional designer.

"We are especially honored to receive this award named after the recently-retired president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ralph Gomory. The support of Dr. Gomory and the foundation have been invaluable in helping UIS become a national leader in the quality, scale, and breadth of online learning that it provides," Schroeder said.

The Sloan Consortium, comprised of nearly 1,500 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning, is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching. It was created with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The award to UIS was among nine given by the Consortium this year for exceptional online education. The University of Central Florida also received the Gomory Award.

In 2007, UIS won the national award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming from the Sloan Consortium. In 2002, the Sloan Consortium awarded Schroeder the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual. And in 2003, Burks Oakley II, visiting research professor in OTEL, received the award.

Online course work began at UIS in 1998 with 30 students. This fall, a total of 1,200 students are enrolled in UIS' 16 fully online degree and degree-completion programs. About half of UIS' 4,711 students are taking at least one online class.

With substantial support from the Sloan Foundation and others, UIS has embraced online learning, integrating online courses and programs into its mainstream curriculum. Online classes are taught by the same faculty members and adjunct faculty who teach on campus. More than 135 UIS faculty members are teaching at least one online course this fall.

The Sloan Consortium will present its 2008 awards at the 14th Annual International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks: Improving Learning in a Networked World on November 6 in Orlando, Florida.

For more information about UIS' online program, please contact Shari McCurdy at 206-7360 or go to online.uis.edu.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Flag raised for National Coming Out Week

By Courtney Westlake

In celebration of National Coming Out Week, a group of students, staff and faculty gathered in front of the Public Affairs Center to raise a rainbow-colored flag that will hang directly under the UIS flag for the entire week.

"Flags are critical symbols," said Jim Korte, assistant dean of students at UIS. "People fight and die over flags; people live for flags. We salute them, we put our hands over our hearts, and we respect what they symbolize. For those of us at the university, having it fly on the staff with our UIS flag is very important. It is a symbol of how far we have come institutionally and as a university in our acceptance, tolerance, respect and celebration of who we are as a community."

Universities are important communities, Korte said, UIS boasts a "great multitude" of diverse students.

"We've come a long way," he said. "We now have a Diversity Center existing on this campus that was barely a dream a year ago. We have a resource office that is in a very public area on our campus, and we have students stopping by on a daily basis."

Through celebrating diversity and respect of different races, sexual orientations, ethnicities and backgrounds, the university and community are beginning to "layer" their resources and ensure the services provided today will be available tomorrow, Korte said.

"We have come to the point of tolerance, the point of acceptance and the point of respect, and hopefully today it is the beginning of a celebration of our future," he said.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pat Austin receives second annual CARE Award at UIS

Pat Austin, administrative aide in the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is the recipient of the second annual Chancellor's Award to Recognize Excellence in Civil Service. The award was presented at a luncheon held September 18 in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

The CARE Award, established jointly by UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and the Civil Service Advisory Council, serves to "recognize the exceptional work of all civil service employees" and honors one employee each year.

The award is open to anyone who has held a civil service position on campus at least half time for at least three years. Criteria include demonstrated work ethic, attitude, commendable representation of civil service employees, and support of UIS. The recipient receives $500 for personal use, and an additional $500 is donated to a campus initiative of his/her choice.

Making the presentation, Chancellor Ringeisen observed that the award is made in recognition of "the wonderful things that people do to keep this campus operating every day."

"I'm very honored," said Austin. "People think I know everything, but I don't; I just know who to ask. I couldn't do my job without just about everyone in this room. Thank you"

Other nominees were: Sherri Boner, office manager, International Student Services; Sandy Bristow, office support specialist for the Legal Studies and Public Affairs Reporting departments; Kemy Brown, program administrative assistant for Project MSS and academic adviser for the Teacher Education department; Christi Crumly, business manager in the Athletics Department; Deborah Dove, chief clerk, Admissions; Cindy Ervin, transportation supervisor with Facilities and Services; Bobbie Fults, office support specialist for the Computer Science department; Karen Headrick, office support specialist, Business Administration department; Kathy Henry, food service worker; Jamie McGill, building service foreman; Normajean Niebur, office support specialist, Criminal Justice department; and Bev Weddle, office administrator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

UIS Office of Technology Enhanced Learning takes part in public health initiative

The Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield is collaborating with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago State University in a project titled BASUAH (Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS), which takes place in the virtual world Second Life.

BASUAH is an initiative of the Governor Blagojevich's Office designed to address HIV/AIDS among members of the state's African-American communities. IDPH launched the project on August 1, 2007.

The IDPH Center for Minority Health Services created a space (an "island") for BASUAH in Second Life that acts as an e-learning and teaching tool. The Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning at UIS is responsible for delivering this training, which promotes open discussion on a variety of topics related to AIDS.

"We need to reach out to and educate people in a way that keeps up with the times," said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, IDPH director. "Our goal in creating BASUAH in Second Life is to provide innovative opportunities to keep the dialogue on HIV/AIDS education and prevention in the fore front of peoples' minds."

Students in a biology class taught at Chicago State University by Dr. Julian Scheinbuks this spring were the first participants, holding discussion forums and building presentations.

OTEL Director Ray Schroeder noted that, to date, more than 1,000 students from around the state have completed this training and been certified as BASUAH Ambassadors. "This is an important collaboration between UIS, CSU, and IDPH," said Schroeder.

Deborah Antoine, an instructional designer in OTEL, explained that the immersive
experience of Second Life fosters interactive role-play, which helps Ambassadors become comfortable in their role as peer educators.

Antoine said that UIS is "enthusiastic" about its collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Chicago State. "After certifying more than 1,000 Ambassadors through our online training program, we are excited about breaking ground in this new environment. We look forward to our continued collaboration and success in this very important initiative," she said.

In virtual worlds such as Second Life, users create representations of themselves, known as "avatars," with a wide range of physical characteristics from which to choose. As avatars interact with each other, "real" people have an opportunity to explore different personas and learn what it would be like to be in someone else's situation.

Certified BASUAH Ambassadors become peer educators – someone from within a group who can deliver information that is understood, accepted, and acted on by other members of the group. Sensitive to community norms, values, cultural beliefs, and traditions, peer educators are trusted by the group they serve and act as role models.

More information about BASUAH is available at www.basuah.org, or contact Deborah Antoine at 217/206-8261.

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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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Thursday, June 19, 2008

UIS appoints new Associate Chancellor for Access and Equal Opportunity

Deanie Brown (pictured at the left) has been appointed Associate Chancellor for Access and Equal Opportunity at the University of Illinois at Springfield, effective July 15. Her appointment is pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees.

Brown comes to UIS from Dillard University in New Orleans, where she served as Senior Executive Officer, providing leadership and oversight for the President's Office, University Athletics, University Police, the University Disabilities Support Task Force, and Human Resources.

"Ms. Brown brings to UIS a wealth of knowledge and experience about diversity values, goals and benefits, as well as civil rights and issues related to minorities," said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "Her legal expertise and success in higher education administration have prepared her well for this position. We welcome her to this university."

Before accepting the position at Dillard in 2006, Brown was Assistant to the President for Internal Relations at California State University, Stanislaus, for three years. In that capacity, she served as Chief Diversity and AA/EEO Officer. From 1996 to 2003, she worked at the U of I in Urbana-Champaign, first as staff associate in the Office of the Assistant Chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Access and later as that office's associate director. From 1999 to 2003, she served as UIUC's Director of Employee Relations and Human Resources.

Brown graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and received a bachelor's degree in History of Architecture and Art from the U of I at Chicago.

At UIS, she succeeds Dr. Margaret Noe, who accepted a position as dean of the College of Education at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

UIS' Office of Access and Equal Opportunity

More about Dillard University

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Transition plan for Division of Student Affairs announced

Chancellor Ringeisen announced today a transition plan for the Division of Student Affairs, to be effective when Vice Chancellor Chris Miller leaves UIS to become the Vice President for Student Affairs at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Dr. Miller begins his new job there July 15.

First of all, a search for Dr. Miller's replacement will begin immediately. In fact, it has already begun, because the chancellor is in the process of consulting with the Campus Senate leadership to determine the makeup of the search committee. We hope to have a new vice chancellor in place by January 1, 2009.

There will not be an interim vice chancellor. Instead, two senior administrators in Student Affairs will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations. They are Steve Chrans, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and Dr. Marya Leatherwood, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of Enrollment Management/Associate Professor, Management. Both will be "interim assistant chancellors" and report to Ed Wojcicki, Associate Chancellor for Constituent Relations and Chief of Staff to the Chancellor. These interim titles and reporting lines are temporary and will end when the new vice chancellor is hired.

All units in Student Affairs will report either to Chrans or Dr. Leatherwood during the interim period. Chrans and Leatherwood met with division leaders today to inform them of these new plans.

Joining Chrans, Leatherwood and Wojcicki on an "interim senior management team" will be Tisha Palmer, the Student Affairs Office Administrator, and Chris Ryan, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Palmer and Ryan will continue to provide leadership to the entire division.

Another important change taking place this summer will be the re-establishment of an Administration Division. UIS used to have an Administrative Services division and vice chancellor, but that position was cut and the division split up a few years ago during times of severe budget cuts. Pending Board of Trustees approval, Dave Barrows will become Associate Chancellor for Administration. Dave will continue to serve in his role as executive director of Facilities and Services. Among the units moving into this division will be Facilities and Services from Student Affairs; and Conference Services from the Chancellor's Division. Also in this division will be the new Office of Sustainability and a new Parking Services unit. Other units may be added, but these are the first ones to be a part of the new division. The administrative aspect of parking services -- the selling of parking decals maintenance of parking records -- will move to this division from the Police Department. The changes to the administration of parking services are expected to take a few months or up to year, with Barrows and Police Chief Don Mitchell working together to provide a smooth transition

Finally, the reporting line for the Department of Athletics will move from Student Affairs to the Chancellor's Division, a strong preference of the NCAA as UIS makes the transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II.

"I am grateful to everyone who is stepping up at this time," Chancellor Ringeisen said. "We have a lot of great leadership who I am confident will continue to move UIS in pursuit of becoming one of the top five small public liberal arts universities in the nation. Everything we do, we do for students; that is how we have been operating, and that will continue."

Comments about these changes are welcome on Wojcicki's blog; go to

http://www.uis.edu/newsbureau/community/. Just click on the "comments" link under the most recent entry.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

U of I ethics officer wins statewide award

University of Illinois Ethics Officer Donna McNeely has been named recipient of the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission's 2008 Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award. The award was presented at a luncheon held April 29 at UIS.

The award recognizes a state employee who has a "demonstrated record of exemplary adherence to the principles of integrity, fairness, and service" to Illinois citizens. McNeely is responsible for ethics issues across all three U of I campuses. Read more>>

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