Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Searching for a Job? Career Services is a Great Place to Start!

By Melanie Cain

Special Note: The Career Services Center is hosting its biggest event of the year, the Springfield Collegiate Career Fair, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, February 25, on the lower level of the PAC. Over 100 businesses are expected to attend.

We all know that searching for a job can be a trying task, and it’s often especially difficult for individuals entering the work force for the very first time. Luckily, UIS students have a wonderful tool right at their fingertips to assist them in their job searches -- the UIS Career Services Center.

Housed within the Division of Student Affairs, the Career Center offers a large number of services on a variety of topics. For example, students can get help selecting majors and career paths, preparing resumes, conducting job searches, contacting employers, finding internships, networking, and preparing for interviews.

Tammy Craig, interim director of the Center, feels that the most useful tool they have to offer is also one of the newer ones: Career Xplorer, an online database specifically designed for the UIS campus. This program takes a two-pronged approach, as both students and employers can use it. Students are able to post information about themselves and can also search through the various job listings. Employers are able to search student profiles, post job openings, and contact Career Services if they want to obtain a particular student’s resume. There is no charge for either students or employers to use Career Xplorer.

Two other online programs available to students are Career Search and Discover. Career Search is more of a “leads list” that allows students to search employers by industry and also geographically. Users can obtain information about a company, as well as any job openings they have and who to contact for more information about a certain job or department.

The Discover program, more useful for those just beginning college or the career search, helps students who are trying to decide what they want to do with their lives in terms of selecting a major or choosing an occupation. Discover has two basic areas, Occupational and Tips. The first allows students to search through various careers, and provides information on average salaries, related academic programs, and how to prepare for the field. One of the best features of this program is that it takes into account both the student’s work values and interests when recommending occupations. The Tips section offers advice on writing resumes, interviews, and other career-related issues.

In addition to these free online services, the Center also offers career counseling; vocational testing; assistance with resumes, cover letters, and preparing for interviews; information on job shadowing; and advice on graduate schools.

If you would like to learn more about the Career Services Center, you can email their office, call 206-6508, or visit them in SAB Room 50.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Study Abroad Opportunities – A Great Way to See the World

By Melanie Cain

Imagine being able to attend class in a lush, tropical setting just minutes away from the ocean. Thanks to an agreement between UIS and Charles Darwin University, students from UIS can now spend a semester or a year studying at CDU, located on the northern coast of Australia.

Prefer something a little more Old World? UIS also has a new agreement with Veritas, a social work program in Romania.

Thanks to UIS’ Office of International Affairs, students also have opportunities to study in Japan, China, Jamaica, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Peru.

International Affairs director Jonathan GoldbergBelle highly recommends that students participate in a study abroad program. He says that by taking advantage of these great opportunities, students are able to “gain an understanding and appreciation of other cultures and people.”

GoldbergBelle also emphasizes that global experience can only benefit students when they reach the “real world,” because international business plays such a large role in the world today. “Gaining international perspectives can help you become a better person and a better citizen in society,” he says.

Jennifer Poss, a senior at UIS, took part in a trip to Ashikaga, Japan, in the summer of 2004 and has nothing but great things to say about it. She says she truly enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with the people, ask questions about the culture, visit different parts of the country, and participate in various activities. “I would definitely recommend that students participate in a study abroad program if they can. It’s so worth the time and money. You are able to learn so much about culture, language, and customs.”

And, since agreements like those between UIS and Charles Darwin, and UIS and Veritas, allow students to pay regular tuition to their home university, they provide a less expensive opportunity for students to travel and study internationally.

CDU, located in Australia’s Northern Territory, is an ideal location for students looking to spend some time in a beautiful and fascinating atmosphere. Near the coast, the tropical area is filled with luscious landscape, great beaches, and a gorgeous harbor. Further inland, savannahs give you a taste of the true Australian Outback. This combination of surroundings provides a great location for environmental studies majors, but the option is open to students of all majors.

The other new addition to the Global Experience Program, Veritas, is a social work program in Sighisoara, Romania. This arrangement provides internship opportunities for students in the field of social work; however, students in other majors are also encouraged to participate in the program in order to fulfill AST requirements.

Study abroad opportunities for UIS students continue to expand as International Affairs works to secure other options in various areas around the globe. For more information, you can e-mail the UIS Office of International Affairs or visit

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Campus community raises nearly $3,000 for Tsunami relief

by Campus Relations staff

Members of the campus community have proved once again that “UIS cares” by contributing nearly $3,000 to aid victims of the December 26 Tsunami.

One effort was coordinated through the UIS chapter of UPI Support Staff Local 4100. Normajean Niebur, chapter president, explained that the idea arose when she and her husband decided to use the contents of a change jar, usually reserved for savings bonds for their grandsons, as the basis for a collection.

“Our grandsons live in nice homes, with warm clothing and plenty of food,” she said. “So we decided to take what change we had and use it as the beginning of a fund raiser.”

Margot Duley, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, issued a challenge to match any donation made by staff in her college, up to $1,000. Mailroom staff Terry Pryor issued another challenge of a day’s pay.

“Some donations were larger than others,” said Niebur, “but it all added up. People seemed to drop whatever change they had in our container as they left the Food Emporium. I was really impressed on how people came forward.”

This effort ran throughout January and ultimately raised more than $2,500, which will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Another campus effort was sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, which held a week long collection in the PAC lobby and sold bumper stickers to raise more funds. Diana Dobie, MSA president, said, “We aren’t sure of the total at this time. The Red Cross collected the canisters, and they will count the money and let us know how much was raised.”

Dobie also said that MSA’s sale of buttons in the local Islamic community has brought in about $250 so far. “We still have buttons available if anyone is interested in purchasing them,” she said.

Dobie added that the MSA is planning a community night at UIS on February 19 and Tsunami buttons will be available at that event as well. A bazaar and bake sale to raise additional funds is in the planning stages.

Perhaps Niebur summed it up best: “We were able to accomplish a very good thing.”

For more information, contact Niebur at, Dobie at, or MSA adviser Baker Siddiquee at

Friday, February 04, 2005

Feeling Stressed? Try Drumming

By Melanie Cain

Some students at UIS have found a great way to escape the pressures of school work, have some fun, express their musical talents, and simply relax. Every Wednesday night you can find them participating in the World Percussion Ensemble, a music class that focuses on the rhythms and sounds of the hand drum.

The class is actually split into two different sections, each concentrating on a different aspect of drumming. The first section, taught by Doug Marshall, runs from 4 to 5 p.m. and is titled “World Percussion Rhythms.” The music selected for these students consists mostly of basic African and Middle Eastern rhythms.

During this class, students warm up with a simple beat that everyone plays together. Next, each student is assigned a different rhythm to play and finally all of the different sounds are brought together into a fantastic end product. The group is currently preparing a piece to play in the Talent Expo next Friday night.

The second section, from 5 to 6 p.m., is called “Rhythm Concepts” and is taught by Dennis Maberry. In this class the focus is more on breaking down different rhythms and learning how they all come together. While in this section the instructor also breaks down different rhythms for the students to play, the pieces selected are a little more difficult, and more time is spent learning the concepts behind the music as well as various techniques.

Both students and instructors had a variety of answers to the question “What’s your favorite part of these classes?” Amber, a sophomore, said that the classes are “fun, easy-going, and it’s something to get away from studying.” Natalie, also a sophomore, described the class as a “great way to relieve stress.”

Maberry agreed that playing the drums can be a wonderful stress reliever, and noted that drumming is beginning to be used in health care facilities to treat many types of diseases, such as cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. Maberry has actually been trained in a program called Health Rhythms, which is used in hospitals, nursing homes, addiction centers, and other health facilities.

Maberry, who has been playing drums for a number of years, describes his passion for drumming and just how soothing it can be. “When you’re playing music and the groove is just right, there’s a feeling that’s hard to describe. It might sound silly, but you could almost describe it as magical, blissful. Time is suspended, and you just feel like you’re connected with everyone involved in the rhythm.”

The UIS World Percussion Ensemble meets every Wednesday night from 4 to 6 p.m. in HSB 208. Interested in finding out more? Feel free to contact either Doug Marshall or Dennis Maberry, or visit for more information.