Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springfield Police donate bicycles to UIS Diversity Center checkout program

The Springfield Police Department donated six unclaimed bicycles to the University of Illinois Springfield’s Diversity Center Go-Green Bike Checkout Program during a ceremony on Thursday, April 22.

The concept of the program is to loan bikes, free of charge, to the University community. A user completes an agreement checkout form, agrees to the terms and conditions of use, and can borrow the bike for five days.

“Many of our students are international students, so they come to UIS and their not able to bring their own bikes,” said Jeannie Capranica, Diversity Center program manager.

Students, who often don’t have cars, use the bikes to travel off campus to shop at the grocery store and other locations. Diane Sahagun is a sophomore Communication major, who often uses a loaner bike to get around. She’s glad to see more bikes being added to the mix, because often there’s a long waiting list.

“I think it will help students a lot and it will make a difference,” said Sahagun.

The Diversity Center currently has seven bikes that it uses for the program, but maintenance has been an issue. The bikes being donated by the Springfield Police Department are safety tested and ready for use.

Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams is a UIS graduate himself. His department decided to donate to the Diversity Center because he knows the bikes will go to good use.

“It just gives us an opportunity to reach into the community and do a very worth wild service,” said Williams.

Williams says many of the bicycles that were donated are either stolen or have sat unclaimed in the evidence room for a long period of time.

The Diversity Center is currently looking to expand its bike fleet. If you have a bicycle you’d like to donate to the program or to make a donation to the fund contact Jeannie Capranica at 217/206-6333.

Visit the Diversity Center website for more information on the checkout program

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Supporters lobby for state funding during U of I Day at the Capitol

Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni members spent the day lobbying lawmakers for state funding during University of Illinois Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, April 21.

The annual event was organized by the U of I Alumni Association as a way for people to demonstrate their support for all three University of Illinois campuses.

“We are almost a half a billion dollars that the state is indebted to the university. Today is really about engaging the legislators and getting them to understand how bad the problems (are),” said Derek Felix, UIS student representative on the U of I Board of Trustees.

The day began with a lunch briefing and review of key messages. Throughout the afternoon, participants met with legislators and staff.

“What we’re trying to get them to understand is in dollars spent at the University of Illinois by the state returns back to the state usually 13 times every dollar that’s put in it,” said Edward McMillan, University of Illinois trustee.

The lobbying group from UIS was made up of both students and faculty. They met with local representatives like Senator Larry Bomke of Springfield to share their stories about how the financial problems are affecting them.

“We will get paid. It’s just a matter of when. I hope it’s a lot sooner than later,” said Felix.

McMillan says it’s important to have students meeting with their lawmakers directly. He’s especially glad to have a campus full of politically minded students right in the capital city.

“We’re very blessed to have this campus at Springfield to be part of the University of Illinois system,” said McMillan.

At the end of the day, alumni, students, legislators, UIAA leaders and University officials held a reception at the State Library.

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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, April 15, 2010

Campus radio station grows to give students more hands on experience

When The Prairie Star, the Internet based campus radio station of the University of Illinois Springfield signed on the air in February 2008 it was broadcasting from a small room in University Hall.

Now two years later, the station has grown. It is complete with an audio lab, on-air and production studios in the Student Affairs Building (SAB). The station was designed to serve as a learning environment for students in addition to helping connect the campus.

“We’re on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week streaming on the Internet. We’re not actually over the air because there are no frequencies available. We hope one of these days that changes,” said Jim Grubbs, station creator and association professor of communication.

The station operates with a classic rock format during the day, but at 3 p.m. the “plugs are pulled out” as they switch to an alternative rock format more popular with students. The Prairie Star also hopes to broadcast some UIS athletic events in the future in an effort to give students more opportunities.

“I think it’s going to continue to grow and not to toot our own horn (we) sound very professional,” said Kyle Alewelt, a junior communication major.

In most cases students who want to get involved with the station are required to take COM 313 “Introduction to Radio”, which is being offered for the first time this semester. Grubbs says he’s also open to letting students with prior college or professional radio experience get involved.

“As a Communication faculty member I see this as a learning facility. We have a lot of fun in the learning, but it is a learning facility,” said Grubbs.

The Introduction to Radio class teaches the basics of audio production and being on the air. It’s that experience students can take with them after graduation to use in the real world.

“It’s going to look good on the resume, especially here at UIS. It’s a great university and having that experience in the past also at my other radio stations and this one will just enhance my future in the radio business,” said Michael Watson, a junior history major enrolled in the class.

The station has a loyal group of listeners and because it’s an Internet radio station they can track how many people are listening and from where.

“We have had listeners from all around the world in over 50 different countries at this point. We seem to be a big in Europe late hours their time,” said Grubbs.

You can listen to the station online by visiting For more information email

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Friday, April 09, 2010

UIS students win award at National Model U.N. Conference in New York

Members of the University of Illinois Springfield Model United Nations Club were honored with one of the group’s highest global awards during a week-long conference in New York City.

Model United Nations is a conference that simulates an actual United Nations meeting. The UIS delegation consisted of 14 students and one faculty member. UIS was one of 17 institutions to win the Outstanding Delegation Award at this year's conference. Over 400 other international colleges and universities competed during the event, held March 29 through April 3.

“We’ve been participating for over 25 years in the National Model U.N. Conference and this is the top award we’ve got so far,” said Driss Elakrich, UIS head Model U.N. delegate and graduate student.

Students worked for close to two semesters learning about their assigned country, drafting resolutions, working on diplomacy and consensus building, and writing position papers on specific issues (climate change, arms control, poverty alleviation, global disease, the empowerment of women, etc.). This year UIS represented the country of Azerbaijan, which is situated south of Russia and north of Iran in the Caucasus.

“I learned that diplomacy is very, very hard. Building consensus with people, it can be impossible at times. It was also very interesting trying to work out differences with people where English was their second language,” said John Tienken, a freshman political science and global studies major.

Kelsey Quinn, a senior political science major and Priyanka Deo, a senior political science and sociology/anthropology major have both been to the conference before, but say they learn something new on every journey.

“It was amazing to get to see students I know from China, from Mexico coming together at these conferences,” said Quinn.

Deo plans to return to India to pursue her law degree after graduating from UIS in May, but hopes her experience with Model U.N. will help her in the future.

“I’d like to be a lawyer within the U.N., a tribunal lawyer, so I think this experience definitely makes me more comfortable about how the U.N. works and the politics behind it,” said Deo.

Deo has been invited to attend a Global Model U.N. Conference in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia later this year. Quinn attended a similar event in Switzerland this past summer based on her excellent performance.

Members of the UIS Model U.N. group include Caitlyn Barnes, Nicole Calcagno, Priyanka Deo, Justin Doup, Driss Elakrich, Alfred Komolafe, Margaret Martinotti, Gina Massie, Nana Mkheidze, James Schweke, Robyn Stolze, John Tienken, Kelsey Quinn, and Matthew K. Wright.

For more information contact Ali Nizamuddin, assistant professor of political science at 217/206-8424 or email

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Monday, March 22, 2010

UIS students return home from Alternative Spring Break

A record number of University of Illinois Springfield students, who participated in Alternative Spring Break returned home on Saturday, March 20 knowing they made a difference.

The 45 students and 3 advisers spent a week in Galveston, Texas helping to clean up damage from Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008.

“Just having the opportunity to be down there was amazing,” said Jaleesa Earthely, president of the UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization. “I just know we gave the community back hope and that’s what I was looking to go down there to do.”

The group stayed at a local elementary school in Galveston with other students from across the country, volunteering for 8 1/2 hours a day. The UIS students took on the project as part of the One Mission Initiative, a faith-based organization.

“Some of these houses that we went into hadn’t been touched for like a year or more. No one had been in there to redo siding or drywall and that’s basically what we were doing,” said senior volunteer Zach Berillo.

The UIS crew was split into three groups on the trip and worked on a total of three homes, along with other property. While working on land owned by the City of Galveston they got an unexpected visitor.

“The mayor pulled up and thanked us for our efforts and said the things that we were doing are long overdue,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed last year, when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Students to spend Alternative Spring Break helping with hurricane recovery

A record number of students from the University of Illinois Springfield will spend their spring break volunteering in Galveston, Texas helping with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike.

The 45 students and 3 advisers will leave Springfield on Friday, March 12 and return to campus on Sunday, March 20. The group will stay at a local elementary school in Galveston with other students from across the country, volunteering for 8 1/2 hours a day.

The students will be primarily helping with rebuilding and refurbishing homes that were damaged by the storm. Volunteers will also be doing community outreach, visiting home-bound residents, helping to feed the homeless and assisting in other community-related activities.

“Lately there has been much focus on international disasters, but the devastation still felt in Galveston, TX due to Hurricane Ike in 2008 is a natural disaster our students felt compelled to help with after researching spring break volunteer opportunities. Whether it is in Texas or overseas, seeing our UIS students respond so enthusiastically to help others is a heart-warming experience,” said Kelly Thompson, director of UIS’ Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

The UIS students are taking on the project as part of the One Mission Initiative, a faith-based organization. The group’s mission is to “bring volunteers to Galveston to not only provide much needed help, labor, and support to the community here, but to also provide love, hope and encouragement”.

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed last year, when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at UIS visit the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center’s website at or contact Kelly Thompson at 217/206-8448 or

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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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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

UIS receives national recognition for community service, named to President's Honor Roll

The University of Illinois Springfield has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

“We are so pleased to be named for the second year in a row to the Presidential Honor Roll. Two of our top strategic goals at UIS are making a difference in the world and enriching individual lives. Our students, staff and faculty are committed to these goals, and it’s wonderful to see UIS be recognized for its efforts,” said Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.

According to the UIS Volunteer Center director, Kelly Thompson, UIS was named to the honor roll for recognition of its various volunteer programs throughout the past year. Specifically mentioned in the honor roll recognition were its many mentoring activities within Springfield School District 186, including programs through Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as UIS’ recent collaboration with the Central Illinois Foodbank to complete a hunger study. For example, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at Harvard Park Elementary School, approximately 15 UIS students completed over 400 hours of community service.

“Congratulations to UIS and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

For more information contact Kelly Thompson, UIS Volunteer Center director at 217/206-8448 or

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

UIS announces fall semester 2009 Deans' List

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

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

The list is organized alphabetically by hometown.

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

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

UIS student receives award for leadership and academics

University of Illinois Springfield student Brett Walker has recently received the William N. Wasson Student Leadership & Academic Award, given by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).

The award recognizes top undergraduate and graduate students who are participants of and/or employed by the Department of Recreational Sports at their university and honors outstanding student leaders who are active participants, employees or volunteers at their institution.

Walker, a senior legal studies major from Greenville, Ill., has been employed by the Department of Recreational Sports at UIS since the fall of 2007, first as a front desk attendant and currently as a facility supervisor. He was nominated for the award by JT Timmons, director of Recreational Sports.

“I’ve had thousands of students work for me over the years and have come to recognize the character and abilities that would exemplify the most worthy to receive this distinguished award,” Timmons noted. “Brett models these things while working for Recreational Sports, and it is also clear to me that he has become part of the fabric that is critical to influencing, and caring for, the learning environment here at UIS. His dedication to Recreational Sports and the university, as well as current and future students, is appreciated by many.”

Walker’s award is a plaque designed by NIRSA, and it will be presented at the Student Business Meeting of the annual NIRSA conference held in Anaheim, California on April 22.

“I was extremely excited and surprised to receive the award,” Walker said. “Just being nominated was really impressive and honorable.”

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

UIS sets record for spring semester enrollment

Enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield has set a record for a spring semester with 4,862 students enrolled, an increase of 327 over last spring. Spring 2010 enrollment tops a record set in spring 2007 when 4,613 students were enrolled.

The 7.2 percent increase is primarily due to a larger number of continuing students, according to both UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Dr. Tim Barnett, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“We are making significant strides in retaining students. UIS is a unique combination of a state liberal arts university with a public affairs mission,” said Barnett.

Student enrollment at UIS in fall 2009 was the largest ever in the institution’s 39-year history, with 4,961 students. Chancellor Ringeisen pointed to recent positive additions on campus, such as the Center for First Year Students, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Diversity Center and more undergraduate advisors, as reasons for record enrollment in both the fall and spring.

“The larger-than-expected increase in spring enrollment is a sign that UIS is attracting and retaining students at a record pace,” Ringeisen noted. “It shows that new students are sensing the excitement and that our continuing students want to stay with us more than ever. We are extremely proud of our students, faculty and staff.”

Additionally, the number of students majoring in degree programs at UIS that are fully online is at an all-time high for a spring semester as well, according to Ray Schroeder, director of UIS’ Center for Online Learning, Research and Service. The total number of students with online majors is 1,290, which is an increase of 9.7 percent over last spring.

UIS offers 16 online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. More than one-fourth of UIS students are online degree program students, and more than half of all students at UIS are taking at least one online class.

“It is exciting to know that we continue to grow through this difficult recession, and that UIS is able to offer students online opportunities that give them flexibility to seek new careers and employment opportunities while completing degrees and certificates online,” Schroeder said.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Year in Video 2009

The University of Illinois Springfield is taking a look back at the Year in Video 2009.

DVD copies of this presentation are available free of charge, upon request by contacting Derek Schnapp, Director of Public Relations at 217/206-6716 or

This video has been produced by the UIS Office of Campus Relations and Office of Web Services.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

UIS graduate students collect holiday gifts for needy children

The holidays will be a little brighter for 53 elementary students at Feitshans Academy in Springfield this year thanks to a group of UIS graduate students.

The Graduate Public Service Internship -Student Association collected toys as part of its annual “Giving Tree” project. UIS students, faculty and staff selected ornaments from the “Giving Tree” that contained a child’s name and age. The donors then purchased gifts to donate to the children.

“I would say every kid ended up with 2 or 3 different gifts. We had over 100 presents. We had one special donor who provided stockings for each one of the kids and they were all age appropriate,” said Lynsey Graham, GPSI-SA president and MBA student.

The graduate students gathered together to wrap all the presents that were collected before delivering them to the students at Feitschans Academy. All of the elementary students were nominated for a gift based on their need by the school.

“Every year we’ve done this it’s gotten bigger and bigger, more and more successful and more people are participating, so it really gives me hope in the future it’s going to grow where we can help even more people,” said Laura Weems, GPSI-SA member and communications graduate student.

The graduate students say they had fun shopping for the presents and it brought back childhood memories of their own.

“It was great to go pick something out and really put thought into what I liked at that age,” said Weems.

For more information on the Graduate Public Service – Student Association visit:

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Social networking and online tools help UIS students connect with employers

The University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center is helping students and employers connect in the virtual world through skills match and social networking sites.

“It allows you to connect with employers and recruiters that you wouldn’t be able to connect with. You can connect with people across the country to find different positions,” said Kristen Parsell, senior social work major.

Parsell only has a semester left before she graduates and has found job opportunities online through the center. She’s also considering getting her graduate degree and found an internship online.

The Career Development Center is using sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help students find jobs and give them tips of internships and employment. The Twitter site was recently named one of the ‘Top 15 College Career Centers You Should Follow on Twitter’ in a national ranking.

“It is really all about networking, so the more you can get out and get involved in local organizations or to get out there in the social networking area to get your name out in that arena will help you,” said Tammy Craig, director of the Career Development Center.

The Development Center is trying out a new system called Pro Net, which allows employers to directly communicate with students. Professionals are invited to take time to answer student questions, allow job shadowing and mentor the students. The hope is the connections built through the program will lead to internships and employment opportunities.

“It’s just another way to educate the student about what the industry is all about and once again help them start networking,” said Craig.

For more information on the Career Development Center’s online tools visit

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

UIS utilizes Google Wave for online learning and teaching

The University of Illinois Springfield is one of the first universities in the nation to use Google Wave for online learning and teaching.

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. According to Google, a wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly-formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. Google released a preview version of Google Wave on September 30, and a limited number of invitations were sent out to test Wave as both Wave and third-party add-ons are being developed.

UIS’ Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) began to test Google Wave in October.

“We are doing a number of collaborations with other universities. We’re sharing ideas about online learning and identifying ways in which this new technology can be used for online teaching and learning,” noted Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS.

One of these efforts includes a collaboration outside of the classroom between students at UIS in the “Internet in American Life” course taught by Schroeder and Burks Oakley and students in energy studies at the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland. The students are discussing the impact of the Internet on the perception of energy sustainability in Europe and the United States. This activity is voluntary for the students and not for credit in the course.

“This is an opportunity for faculty and students to experiment with the new technology to better understand how it might be used for more formal inter-institutional online exchanges in the spring,” Schroeder said.

Additionally, staff and faculty members from the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at UIS have been conducting workshops for UIS faculty members as well as faculty and staff at Clemson University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis and other faculty and administrators across the country as part of a Sloan Consortium online Web 2.0 workshop. The Sloan Consortium is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching and is comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning.

“This new technology will have an important impact on the future of collaboration in education,” Schroeder said. “It has the potential to enable sharing across campuses and across institutions.”

For more information, contact Schroeder at or 217/206-7531.

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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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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Students help the Central Illinois Foodbank while giving thanks

The University of Illinois Springfield Housing Residents Council (HRC) hosted its annual “Fall Feast” on Thursday, November 19, 2009 in the Lincoln Residence Hall great room.

Students who live in on-campus housing were treated to a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings for only a dollar donation to the Central Illinois Foodbank. The students were also encouraged to donate canned food as part of the UIS Holiday Stars Project.

“I think it’s really good and helps the community,” said Erin Clinch, UIS freshman education major. “It’s nice for people who can’t afford a good Thanksgiving dinner and it makes you feel good to help people out."

HRC raised nearly $200 last year from the “Fall Feast” on top of the canned food they collected. Organizers expected almost 300 students to go through the buffet line this year.

“You really can’t beat the goodness of giving a can for a Thanksgiving dinner with your UIS family because a lot of the times it’s hard to get back to see everyone from school,” said Margaret Martinotti, UIS junior and HRC Vice Chair for Programming.

The pre-Thanksgiving meal also served the dual purpose of allowing students to connect with one another before they leave campus for holiday break.

“I know my friends at other colleges don’t get as many activities as I do here,” said Clinch. “It’s really nice to just walk down from your dorm room and there’s dinner.”

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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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Monday, November 02, 2009

UIS hosts International Advisers

The University of Illinois Springfield hosted five EducationUSA advisers from Azerbaijan, Peru, Philippines, Oman, and Russia as part of a U.S.-based training program on Monday, November 2, 2009.

EducationUSA advisers are posted at centers around the world to help foreign students learn about higher education in the United States. The group also shared information about admissions processes for students in their home countries.

"We get an inside perspective from the advisers face to face as to what's going on in their countries, what challenges their students face and what their academic interests are," said Dana Atwell, ESL Coordinator in the Office of International Programs.

The advisers spent time in Springfield participating in cultural events as well as informative meetings and workshops. They will visit college campuses around the country and also travel to Washington, D.C.

UIS worked with Study Illinois, a consortium of over fifty accredited institutions of higher learning to bring the group to Springfield. UIS also hosted the annual meeting for the organization during the visit by the international advisers.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

UIS kicks off Holiday Stars Project with Trick-or-Eat for the Central Illinois Foodbank

The Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center at the University of Illinois Springfield will sponsor a Trick-or-Eat competition to collect the most canned goods on Halloween, Saturday, October 31. The Volunteer Center is collaborating with area hospitals and the SIU School of Medicine, who will also be participating in the Trick-or-Eat competition.

The event is part of the UIS Holiday Stars Project, a campus-wide service initiative giving focus to UIS’ efforts to make a difference in the local community during the upcoming holiday season. The overall goal is to collect 4,500 of pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank by December 3, 2009.

“Our campus community has embraced our Holiday Stars Project and is excited about working together to make a difference in the local community during these times of economic difficulty,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Teams of UIS students who registered for the Trick-or-Eat drive have been assigned to neighborhoods where they will collect non-perishable food items. The teams have already canvassed the neighborhoods in advance, distributing collection bags, along with door hangers that explain the project.

On Halloween, the teams will revisit their neighborhoods between 4:30 and 8 p.m. to pick up donations. Collected items will be returned & weighed that evening at Central Illinois Foodbanks, and prizes will be awarded to teams that bring in the most pounds of food.

The Holiday Stars Project continues through November, when specially marked collection bins will be placed around the UIS campus. Everything collected during the project will be presented to the Foodbank on December 3, 2009.

The Central Illinois Foodbank serves 160 agencies throughout 21 central Illinois counties and also hosts the Kids Café, part of a nation-wide program through America’s Second Harvest that feeds children a hot, nutritious meal in a safe environment. More information is available at

For more information about the UIS Holiday Stars Project, contact Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, at 217/206-8448, or go to

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UIS joins National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week effort

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, October 16, 2009

UIS students attend AmeriCorps opening ceremony

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield participated in the AmeriCorps open day ceremony at the Prairie Capital Convention Center on October 15, 2009.

“I think it’s great for everyone to come together and see the number of people we have in AmeriCorps in the state, just to see the impact it can have,” said Jordan Jeffers, UIS AmeriCorps VISTA.

Volunteers participated in games that helped them learn about each other and listened to speakers talk about service.

UIS has 16 students that have pledged to volunteer 300 hours a year, which amounts to 5 hours a week.

“I wanted to be part of AmeriCorps because I felt in high school that I wasn’t really involved in community service at all and this was a great opportunity on campus to do a lot of hours,” said UIS freshman John Tienken.

Students later marched to the capitol where they took an oath to serve as part of AmeriCorps.

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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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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Board of Higher Education approves new UIS Bachelor's Degree

The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved a new Management Information Systems bachelor’s degree for the University of Illinois Springfield at its meeting in Chicago on Tuesday.

The undergraduate major is designed to provide students with a balance of technical skills and business knowledge. The program will prepare students for employment in private and public sectors in a changing global economy.

“College students today are interested in interactive learning. The blended delivery of this program facilitates and enhances interactivity,” said Rassule Hadidi, Ph.D., chair of the Management Information Systems Department.

Students will attend face-to-face classes every other week and instruction is done online during the weeks that classes do not meet in person.

“The blended nature of this program makes it suitable not only for local students, but also those in a reasonable driving distance, such as Bloomington, Danville, Edwardsville and Peoria,” said Hadidi.

UIS expects 25 students to major in MIS in the first year and up to 60 students to be enrolled over the next 5 years. UIS will start offering the degree in the fall of 2010, but students can start taking classes for the major now.

UIS has offered a successful Master of Science in Management Information Systems since 1985 with 42 degrees awarded in fiscal year 2008. The master’s program has a 100% in the field placement record for graduates.

“The prospect for graduates of this new BS in MIS program is very bright,” said Hadidi. “The 2009 federal stimulus includes about $20 billion for health care related information technology.”

According to government estimates about 200,000 new Healthcare Information Technology professionals are needed in areas such as design, development, implementation, and maintenance of electronic medical records.

The curriculum for the B.S. in MIS consists of at least 123 semester credit hours from six groups of courses: 37 hours of general education, 13 hours of Engaged Citizenship Common Experiences (required of all UIS undergraduates), 22 hours of foundation coursework, 21 hours of the College of Business and Management core course, 30 hours in Management Information Systems, and approved general electives.

The addition of the MIS degree means that UIS will offer a total of 23 undergraduate degrees effective the next academic year. The university offers 20 master’s programs and 1 doctoral program for a combined total of 44 available degrees.

Visit the MIS website:

For more information on the degree contact Rassule Hadidi, Ph.D. at 217/206-7294 or by e-mail at

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Students volunteer during Homecoming activities

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield are giving back to the community during Homecoming 2009.

The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center organized a service event for M.E.R.C.Y. Communities on Friday, October 2, 2009. The organization provides a supportive housing and service organization for abused, homeless, and at-risk single mothers and their children.

Students spent the afternoon cleaning, painting, and moving air conditioning units to prepare a housing center for new families.

“I volunteered today just to help out because I figure if no one volunteers to do it they’re going to have to get people either way to do it,” said UIS Freshman volunteer Rachelle DeBerry.

“Having the UIS students come out here is really a big help to us every year,” said M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Director of Marketing Brian Ganz.

For more information on volunteer opportunities call The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center at 217/206-7716 or e-mail

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Friday, September 25, 2009

UIS Career Development Center Twitter page honored

The University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center’s Twitter page is attracting national attention. The Pongo Resume blog ranked the UIS page on the ‘Top 15 College Career Centers You Should Follow on Twitter’.

The Development Center has been using the Twitter page to post daily tips on everything from job interviews to upcoming career fairs.

“After attending conferences it is quite apparent a new recruitment source for employers is to connect with students through social networking venues. The department would like to encourage UIS students to establish Twitter and Linked In accounts to research companies and expand their professional network,” said Tammy Craig, Director of Career Services.

"A number of individuals have already landed jobs through Twitter, and the department would like to encourage more UIS students to try it out by establishing a professional account," added Craig.

Pongo Resume is a web site for the active job seeker that offers resume and cover letter building services. The company has been featured in national publications like the New York Times, Boston Herald and U.S. News and World Report.

If students need assistance either establishing a professional account or navigating social networking sites, please contact the Career Development Center.

Read the Pongo rankings:

Follow UIS Career Development Center on Twitter:

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall into Volunteer Fair teams students with community

The University of Illinois Springfield invited nearly 25 non-profit groups to campus on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 in an effort to get students to volunteer.

It was all part of the first ever "Fall into Volunteer Fair" organized by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, UIS Housing and the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs.

"I think volunteering is a great way for students to find something to do during their free time on the weekends that gives them some type of extra meaning in their lives," said UIS senior and event organizer Andy Shaffer.

Representatives from Lincoln Memorial Gardens, Illinois State Museum, Boys and Girls Club, Planned Parenthood and Memorial Medical Center attended the event.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Students share stories about studying abroad in Peru

A dedicated group of nine University of Illinois Springfield students spent 17 days this summer learning in Peru. It’s the first time UIS has sent a study abroad group to South America.

The students shared their experiences with the UIS campus during a presentation on September 17, 2009.

The students lived in the former imperial capital of Cusco for a week, they climbed Machu Picchu, a place of retreat for an Inca king and one of the new Seven World Wonders; they navigated Lake Titicaca located 12,500 feet above sea level and stayed with host families on Amantani Island, and also took 28 hours of immersion Spanish!

As part of the class activities and requisites, students in the Peru study abroad course kept a bilingual journal where they wrote (in Spanish) about culture and many learning activities of the day, and they wrote (in English) critical reflections about issues related to social responsibility, environmental practices, cultural practices, history, and political resistance.

Students say they’d love to have the chance to go back to the country and say next year’s study abroad trip is already being planned.

For more information on Study Abroad visit the Office of International Programs website or contact Veronica Espina at 217/206-8300 or

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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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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, September 10, 2009

MAP Grant Cuts Felt on UIS Campus

State budget problems could mean less financial aid for students at the University of Illinois Springfield. The Illinois General Assembly cut all funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) for the Spring 2010 semester. The Fall 2009 semester is still being fully funded by the state.

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. The UIS office of Financial Assistance has sent out an e-mail to students warning them about the cuts.

Many students have traditionally used the MAP grant program to help them fund their college education. UIS Director of Financial Assistance Dr. Gerard Joseph says the university is talking to lawmakers in an effort to get them to restore MAP funds.

“We are hoping that students will not panic and get anxious and just drop out of school and not wait until we figure out where we stand in this situation,” said Joseph.

MAP grants are awarded to about 150,000 college students statewide every semester.

For more information about MAP grants visit the Financial Assistance office website at or call 206-6724.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

UIS sets record for fall enrollment

Enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield this fall is the largest ever in the institution’s 39-year history. The total number of enrolled students at UIS is 4,961. It is a 5% increase (250 students) over last fall’s total of 4,711 students.

“We are very excited about the fall enrollment numbers. They demonstrate the value attached to the high quality education UIS delivers for students from all over Illinois. These numbers are attained by programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, in many academic areas. And this in spite of some very tough economic conditions. We are most gratified,” said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

There are 3,027 undergraduates at UIS this fall, compared to 2,889 last fall. UIS has 1,934 graduate students, which is 112 more than last fall.

“The retention of students continuing their education at UIS continues to grow, which reflects the quality of education that is offered here,” said Admissions Associate Director Lori Giordano.

Additionally, the university has a record number of students living on campus this fall. There are 1,089 students living in the UIS apartments, townhouses, and Lincoln and Founders residence halls compared to 1,030 last fall.

Online learning grows in popularity

Online programs at UIS are continuing to experience overall growth, according to Ray Schroeder, Director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service.

More than one-fourth of the student body at UIS is majoring in online degree or certificate programs, with online majors totaling 1,301. This represents an increase of 8.4% from last fall’s 1,200 online majors.

“Online enrollments at UIS have increased for a remarkable 33 semesters and summer sessions in a row,” Schroeder noted. “This fall’s numbers once again included significant increases in the number of students majoring in online degree and certificate programs. UIS has built a national reputation for excellence in online teaching and quality online degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.”

General online enrollments are also higher than last fall, with 4,300 students enrolled in at least one online class, compared to 3,875 last year – an increase of almost 11%. Online enrollments, also called seat counts, are the total number of seats that are filled in online classes.

With increases in online enrollment, UIS is also seeing a 10% increase in faculty members who are teaching an online class, with 154 this fall compared to 140 in fall 2008.

“While the growth of the online program at UIS has spanned more than a decade, recent increases seem to be fueled by the economic downturn. The quality of UIS online classes, coupled with the flexibility and accessibility of the classes, has made UIS online an attractive option for students seeking to advance their education while continuing to work,” Schroeder said.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Theatre Open House & Season Preview

UIS Theatre held an open house to show new and returning students what they have planned for the 2009-2010 season. Three productions featuring a mix of student and community actors will start in November.

The first show is Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things set to run November 13-15 and 19-21, 2009. The play is set in a liberal arts college, in a conservative Midwestern town. In the production, four characters struggle to find their voice in matters of love and art.

UIS “Student Directed Scenes,” which showcases the final projects of the students in the Fall ’09 “Directing for the Theatre” class will take place on December 8 and 9, 2009.

The last performance will be Milan Stitt’s The Runner Stumbles set to run April 23-25 and 29-May 1, 2010. The play is set in a remote northern Michigan parish in 1911 where a young nun mysteriously dies. The parish priest is charged with the crime.

Performances will take place starting at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays in the Studio Theatre in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

For more information about the plays and auditions visit the UIS Theatre website at:

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Friday, August 28, 2009

UIS students volunteer during Service-A-Thon

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield rolled up their sleeves to help out the community through volunteering. It was all part of the Service-A-Thon organized by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center as part of Welcome Week 2009.

Volunteers spent time at Washington Park in Springfield clearing shrubs from a hiking trail in order to restore it to a more natural look. Students also went to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center to put together school kits to be shipped overseas. Other students put together cancer survivor packets at the American Cancer Society office in Springfield.

Students are encouraged to sign up in an effort to provide service to the community, meet new friends and learn skills.

For more information about volunteer service at UIS and future events visit

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome Week 2009 Activities

The University of Illinois Springfield greeted new and returning students with a variety of activities during Welcome Week 2009.

The Diversity Center held an open house in an effort to bring students of all races and backgrounds together. Students gathered to talk about what they have in common and what makes them unique.

The Involvement Expo on the UIS quad featured nearly 50 student organizations that help out in the community and promote education. Springfield-area businesses also joined in the expo to show students what they have to offer.

The 2009 "Foot in the Door" Fair was sponsored by the Career Development Center and brought 52 employers to campus. The goal of the fair was to bring students face-to-face with employers to discuss part-time jobs, internships and other opportunities.

The Office of Disability Services welcomed students during it's open house to show how they help students with special needs in the classroom. The office works with professors to make sure needs are met for students with chronic or temporary illness.

To also see slide show of welcome week activities click on the below link:

Welcome Week slide show

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chancellor's picnic welcomes back students

Clear blue skies helped welcome students back to campus during University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen’s annual picnic. Students got to shake hands with the campus leader and enjoy a variety of food while listening to music.

“It shows a variety of the different types of students we have and it also gives the faculty and staff a chance to interact with the students,” said Ringeisen.

The celebration is part of Welcome Week 2009, which also includes an open house at the Diversity Center, Involvement Expo on the Quad and the Foot in the Door Job Fair.

To also see slide show of welcome week activities click on the below link:
Welcome Week slide show

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Monday, August 24, 2009

College of Business and Management signs 2+2 agreements

The College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois Springfield has announced that it has signed Articulation (2+2) Agreements with William Rainey Harper College and Illinois Central College for degrees in Business Administration, Economics and Management. A 2+2 agreement is a partnership that facilitates the transfer of students from a two-year college to a four-year university.

A four-year course plan has been mapped out for the students at Harper and Illinois Central colleges that will ensure that they take the necessary foundation courses to prepare them for any of the three undergraduate degree programs of Business Administration, Economics, and Management offered by the College of Business and Management at UIS.

“In this economy, it’s especially important that every course a student completes fulfills a degree requirement,” noted Dyanne Ferk, associate dean for the College. “These Transfer Agreements give students, advisors and parents a guarantee that courses completed at the community college will count toward degree completion at UIS.”

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

“Transfer agreements such as 2+2 agreements greatly benefit students,” said Eric Rosenthal, director of Academic Advising and Counseling and transfer coordinator for Harper College. “They make it very clear to the student which classes he or she must take at the community college to transfer most efficiently to the 4-year institution.”

Steven Carlisle, academic advisor of Business & Information Systems at Illinois Central College added: “One of the most important benefits for Illinois Central College students who choose the 2+2 agreement is knowing what classes they will be taking at both schools. It gives them a checklist of items to work through as they are on the academic journey; it allows the student to be comfortable with the classes they take at ICC, which will then transfer to UIS.”

UIS currently has 2+2 agreements with two other colleges, Lincoln Land Community College and Heartland Community College, in the areas of Business Administration, Economics and Management.

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

Founded in 1967, Illinois Central College is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education located in Peoria, Illinois.

William Rainey Harper College was founded in 1967 and is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education with campuses located in Palantine, Prospect Heights, and Schaumburg.

For more information, contact UIS’ College of Business and Management at 217/206-6533.

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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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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Despite storms, UIS freshmen move-in goes smoothly

By Courtney Westlake

The new freshmen class at UIS braved the storms and tornado sirens on Wednesday, August 19, as they loaded up all of their suitcases, computers and other personal items from their cars and carried everything in to their new rooms in the two campus residence halls during move-in day at UIS.

"In the 29 years of openings that I've been involved with in campus housing, this is the first year that we've operated under a tornado warning, so that's added a new wrinkle to the organized chaos," laughed John Ringle, director of UIS Housing. "I think it went fairly smoothly, all things considered."

When the campus notification came through from the campus police that there was a tornado warning in the mid-afternoon and the sirens began to sound, the housing department moved in all of the students, their parents, and campus volunteers who were helping outdoors and made sure they were under cover, Ringle said.

"It's not something we plan for, but we had contingency plan that went into effect virtually flawlessly," Ringle said.

Ringle noted that UIS is likely to surpass the 1,100 number of on-campus students, which the university has never reached before.

"In fact, last year we cracked the 1,000 barrier," he said. "I think we've got more students living on campus, and we also have more transfer students and graduate students. I always like to be 100 percent occupied, or even 101 percent to be on safe side, but I think we'll be in the high 90s."

Move-in day for the freshmen class is always a team effort from many people on campus, Ringle said.

"I want to thank the groups we had helping - all of the volunteers -and it's been a great opportunity for them to network and meet some of the new students as well," he said.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Seven students receive awards from EXS-L Programs at UIS

Seven students at the University of Illinois Springfield have received Outstanding Student Awards from Experiential and Service-Learning Programs at UIS. The awards were presented in May for placements and portfolios undertaken in 2008.

Katherine Shaffer and Stephanie Miller are recipients of the Craig Brown Outstanding Applied Study Term (AST) Student Award. The award honors Craig Brown, Political Studies professor emeritus who also served as a member of the AST faculty for more than 20 years.

Applied Study Terms are individualized field experiences, approved and supervised by UIS faculty, that give students an opportunity to apply theory, expand knowledge, determine additional learning needs, and explore careers while earning academic credit. To be nominated for an Outstanding AST Award, students must demonstrate excellence in several areas, including self-learning, personal growth, reflection, and the acquisition of new skills.

Shaffer served as a Marketing Intern at the Laketown Animal Hospital, helping to manage the hospital’s “Healthy People, Healthy Pets” event, writing press releases and a monthly newsletter, creating employee incentives and learning about the industry.

Miller created a portfolio titled “Forensic Scientist for a Semester” based on her experience in the Illinois State Police Research & Development Laboratory. Miller’s work helped to produce a report that recommended a change to the state police forensics manual.

Kemberly Martin is the recipient of the Walden-Irwin Credit for Prior Learning Program Outstanding Student Award. Credit for Prior Learning is a portfolio-based assessment for students who have acquired college-level, experiential learning outside the classroom. CPL evaluates experiences such as professional training, certification, volunteer work, independent research projects, military service, and more that may qualify as college credit.

Martin’s portfolio spans from her childhood years through her adult life including her time serving as a Medical Laboratory Technician in the U.S. Air Force and as a civilian employee working in the Pentagon during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Through her Narrative Essay, Martin incorporates learning theory from her AST class and also from her own independent learning to help her thoroughly identify, evaluate and describe her experiential learning.

The Barbara Jensen-Schweighauser Outstanding Public Service AST Award was given to Scott Allen and Shana Stine. The award is named for a UIS emeritus AST faculty member who worked in AST for 19 years and is given to students who demonstrate excellence in self-learning, personal growth, and the acquisition of new skills in their individualized field experiences and who intern in the public service sector.

Allen was placed in the Illinois Department of Corrections Jail/Detention Standards Section and assigned to review inmate grievances and determine if investigations were necessary. He conducted investigations and had to work with personnel issues that were beyond the scope of a normal internship.

Stine created a new non-profit organization named “Jump for Joel” after having served as a volunteer in the Gathiga Children’s Hope Home in Nairobi, Kenya. With her leadership, Jump for Joel has raised more than $17,500 to support the orphanage.

Lastly, the Dr. Elaine Rundle-Schwark Service-Learning Award was given to Rebecca Brown and Teela Whyte. The award was named for the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs director who wrote the first Service-Learning course offered at UIS and designed the minor in Social Responsibility and Leadership Development. The award recognizes students who go above and beyond what is required in their Service-Learning coursework.

Brown enrolled in two online service-learning courses in 2008. In the spring semester, Rebecca worked with the hospice in her local area, visiting a family regularly and also working to educate youth on what hospice does. In the fall, she worked with an organization that supported youth with cancer, serving as an activities director for the semester she served there.

Whyte enrolled in “AST 202- Learning and Serving with Homelessness in LA” during summer 2008. Even after the course was over, she continued to volunteer with one of the organizations in the L.A. area, and during the fall 2008 semester, Whyte volunteered to assist with recruitment of students for the course.

All UIS Experiential and Service-Learning Programs courses can be used to fulfill ECCE Engagement and Elective categories. For more information, contact the EXS-L office at 217/206-6640, e-mail or go online to

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