Welcome to the University of Illinois at Springfield  
UIS Home Page
Search UIS
UIS Press Releases

Donna McCracken


Click here to go to the UIS Home Page


This Year



Tavia Ervin receives second annual CAPE Award at UIS

April 14, 2005

SPRINGFIELD - Tavia Ervin, assistant to the director of the Capital Scholars program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is the recipient of the second annual Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award at UIS. The award was presented at a reception held April 7 in the Public Affairs Center restaurant on campus.

Tavia Ervin receives the second annual CAPE award from Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

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. While the number of recipients and the amount of their awards varies by campus, UIS recipients receive $500 for personal use and $500 for their departments.

In presenting the award, UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen noted that APs are a “pillar” at UIS, serving in many vital roles. “Individually and collectively, what you do is give life to UIS and implement our mission. I could never express my appreciation enough, or thank you enough, for all that you do,” he said.

Of Ervin, he noted, “Tavia is known for providing wonderful service and guidance to our students, particularly those in the Capital Scholars program. Students go to her, they appreciate her, and they grow as a result of working with her. She meets with Cap Scholars and their parents before these students ever get to UIS, and then students rely on her for all kinds of advice and direction.

“She is one of the reasons for the success of the program since it began four years ago. She oversees the program budget and works extensively with both faculty and students. She is not only a great professional at UIS, but she also exemplifies lifelong learning and community engagement.”

Ervin noted, “For me, this award is a reflection of the impact this campus has had on me personally.  I grew and changed on this campus over the years as the campus grew and changed as well; the exciting thing is that we both continue to grow.  This award represents those years of growth for me.

“As a staff person, a student, and an individual I’ve learned lessons here about flexibility, liberality of thought, the importance of humor in the workplace, the role of the individual in higher education, the role of higher education in society, and the exploration of spirituality in the workplace and the classroom.” 

All academic professionals are eligible to receive the CAPE Award. Nominations are reviewed by campus committees and candidates’ names are forwarded to the chancellors, who make the final selections.

The UIS award is based on activities conducted during the previous year. During that time, in addition to performing her regular duties, Ervin taught a class in the CAP program, participated in a panel presentation at the Association for Integrative Studies Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, and served as Capital Scholars program representative at the American Association of Colleges and Universities Conference in Long Beach, California.  In the Springfield community, she is a counselor intern at a local mental health center. Ervin holds two degrees from UIS – a bachelor’s and master’s in literature – and is completing a second master’s degree in Human Development Counseling this spring.

Other finalists for the UIS award this year were Carol Bloemer, assistant to the dean, College of Public Affairs and Administration; Marsha Branson, assistant to the chair, Public Administration Program; Farokh Eslahi, director of Educational Technology; Kim Hayden, director of the Graduate Public Service Intern Program; Sherry Hutson, web developer in the Chancellor’s Office; Shari McCurdy, web developer in the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning; Candace Powers, assistant to the dean, College of Education and Human Services; Janis Santini, network analyst in Campus Technology Services; Patti Sims, assistant provost; Mary Elizabeth Smith, computer training coordinator in the Center for Teaching and Learning; and Sara Storm, assistant director of Campus Services.

The Academic Professional Advisory Committee at UIS is an elected body whose function, as defined by University statutes, is to furnish a channel of communication between academic professional staff and the administrative officers of the University.

The Capital Scholars program at UIS admits a small number of highly qualified first-year college students into a four-year baccalaureate program that combines an integrated core of general education courses with study of a foreign language and any of UIS’ 20 undergraduate majors.



    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.