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Mary Caroline Mitchell


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This Year



Taste of UIS lunchtime lecture series returns

January 10, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois Alumni Association at UIS will sponsor A Taste of UIS: Distinguished Faculty/Alumni Lunchtime Lectures – a series of three monthly presentations featuring distinguished UIS faculty and alumni – to be held at Maldaner’s Upstairs, 222 South Sixth St., Springfield. The programs are open to the public; however, reservations are required.

The program for Wednesday, February 22, will feature a presentation by local political pundits Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of public radio station WUIS, and Ron Michaelson, adjunct professor of political studies.

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Wheelhouse was formerly WUIS’ Statehouse bureau chief; Michaelson was executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections.  The two will share their forecasts – based on years of reporting and observing Illinois politics – on such topics as “Could we be in store for one of the bloodiest political wars in Illinois gubernatorial election history?” and “Can the Republicans recover from their 2002 debacle and retain even their sole constitutional office?” 

On Thursday, March 23, alumnus Mike Pittman will discuss “Springfield’s Eastside Development.” Currently president of the Black Chamber of Commerce, Pittman once played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. Since coming to Springfield, his career has included stints as a prison guard, state employee, director of community relations under Mayor Karen Hasara, as well as businessman and developer. He is also active in the community as a church deacon and board member of several local organizations. In this presentation, Pittman will share his unique perspective on the Springfield community and his commitment to making the city a better place to live for everyone.

The series concludes on Wednesday, April 19, as two UIS faculty members review their most recently published books – Shake the Thunder Down by Associate Professor of English Marcellus Leonard, and Zinaida Vengerova: In Search of Beauty by Associate Professor of Liberal Studies, Individual Option, and English Rosina Neginsky.

Called “poignant and original, finely crafted, superbly imaged – and controversial,” Leonard’s new volume of poetry spans his 30 years as a poet, performer, and scholar.  Neginsky’s comprehensive study of Vengerova, a once-famous Russian literary critic, explores her role in the late-19th century world of art and thought and her importance as an ambassador between Russian and western European literature. 

All three programs will run from noon to 1:15 p.m. and include a hot buffet lunch. Cost for each is $20 per person, $15 for Alumni Association members and their guests. Make reservations no later than one week in advance of the event by calling Alumni Relations at (217) 206-7395, registering on-line at www.uiaa.org/spfld/, or e-mailing alumni@uis.edu.


    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.