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Liz Moran

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This Year



UIS faculty, staff, and students among teachers at Peace Academy

January 27, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Springfield will be among the volunteer teaching staff at the Heartland Peace Academy, a new school for social justice education sponsored by Springfield’s Heartland Peace Center, set to open its doors in February.

In its charter semester the academy will offer 11 classes and five seminars to an anticipated 100 students of all ages and backgrounds. The eight-hour classes will begin in February and end in June.

Members of the UIS community who will volunteer their time to teach at the academy include Proshanta Nandi, professor emeritus of Sociology; Tavia Ervin, assistant to the director of the Capital Scholars program; Terri Jackson, coordinator of Multicultural Student Affairs; Ted Matula, assistant professor of Communication; Karin Cotterman, coordinator of the Office of Student Volunteers and Service Learning; Dana Goodrum and Carrie Bauer, both Capital Scholars students; and Dennis Maberry, a UIS alum.

Housed within the Peace Center at 830 S. College in Springfield, the academy will offer classroom discussion, readings, and lectures all designed to empower students to act on social issues such as racism, sweatshops, environmental destruction, building democracy, and strengthening communities. Students who complete the four-month courses will be able to take part in community organizer training in June and will be encouraged to actively work for social justice in the community.

“The Peace Academy offers a unique opportunity to work with a small group of people who choose to develop their skills in order to promote peace in the world,” said Cotterman, who will co-teach an academy course titled From Passion to Action: Communicating Effectively, Inclusively, and Creatively.

“As a teacher and participant I find this work invigorating. It is important for like-minded people to share ideas and inspiration in an environment that can be both challenging and renewing,” she said.

Liz Moran, academy coordinator and a junior in UIS’ Political Studies program, noted that the idea for the school was inspired by the frustration of students who were upset about the problems facing society today but felt they lacked the education and skills to bring about positive change. 

“Education helps build the confidence people need to speak out against injustice,” said Moran. “Students will graduate from the academy with the skills and local support they need to fight for issues they care about.”

The Heartland Peace Center offers a number of programs -- such as an annual summer peace camp for children -- that help fulfill its mission to increase the visibility of justice issues, promote communication, and educate the public about peace and justice issues.

 For more information about the academy, including registration and scholarships, contact Moran at (217) 528-2457 or Information about the center is available at


    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 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.