Friday, September 25, 2009

UIS Student honored with Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship award

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has selected Christopher Crockett from the University of Illinois Springfield as a 2009 award recipient of the ASM Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship (ASM-UTF).

This fellowship is aimed at highly motivated and competitive students who are interested in a career as an elementary or secondary school science teacher. Students will have the opportunity to develop a project to provide instruction in a scientific discipline in a local school or community setting in partnership with a mentor at their home institution and a teacher or site coordinator from the host site.

Each fellow receives up to a $2,000 stipend, a two-year ASM student membership, and travel support to the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE). Awardees are also encouraged to submit abstracts and applications to attend the 2009 ASMCUE.

This year, nine applications were received and four were awarded. Of the four awardees, three students were from masters’ and doctoral institutions and one student was from a liberal arts institution.

Michael Lemke from the University of Illinois-Springfield is Christopher Crockett’s faculty mentor, while Mary Dawson from Taylorville High School is the K-12 site mentor. The title of the project is: Microbes: Improving the Environment.

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization, with over 40,000 members worldwide. Please visit for more information on this fellowship or contact Michael Lemke at 217/206-7339 or

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Assistant Professor of Biology receives national grant to study brain stem development

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development grant to the University of Illinois Springfield.

The $216,150 grant will help Assistant Professor of Biology Rebecca Landsberg, Ph.D. continue her research into the region of the brain known as the brain stem, which is involved in regulating sleep, breathing, and coordination of movement.

“While much is known about the function of the neurons in this region we are just beginning to get an appreciation for how these neurons arise during fetal development,” said Landsberg. “Furthermore, during gestation this region of the brain is susceptible to environmental influences such as retinoic acid (a common ingredient in facial cream) and alcohol.”

Landsberg will study the molecular events that occur during development that results in the production of different types of brain stem neurons and the effects environmental influences have upon this process.

The grant will be used to provide research opportunities in developmental biology to UIS undergraduates. Student who seek to begin a career in science greatly benefit from early exposure to the scientific research process.

“I greatly appreciate that the NIH recognizes the value undergraduates can bring to the research efforts at a school such as UIS,” said Landsberg.

The project described was supported by Award Number R15HD059922 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.

For more information on the research contact Assistant Professor of Biology Rebecca Landsberg, Ph.D. at 217/206-7338 or by e-mail at

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Associate Professor of English conducts poetry reading at Lindsay home

Nancy Genevieve Perkins, Associate Professor of English and Past Chair of the English Department, 2003-2005, who publishes and conducts creative readings under her first two names, Nancy Genevieve, gave a poetry reading at the Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield on Saturday, August 22, 2009.

As Poet in the Parlor, she read from Vachel Lindsay's poems and then from her new work, NYX: Sister of Erebus: A Memoir in Poetry. Perkins’ new poetry is the culmination of her Spring 2009 Sabbatical. She concluded the reading with a selection of poems from the initial work of a fourth poetry book, Prairie Observations.

“I feel completely at home in the Vachel Lindsay home. There is a feeling of kinship there, just as I felt when I walked through the front door of my great grandfather's house in Paducah," said Perkins. "It is the place. And the people--Job and Jennie. And those who attend for the poetry or for the poet or just drop in that day. And perhaps a spirit of Springfield poetry, encouraging us because ‘we finally got it’-- that message he [Vachel] so wanted us to hear when he was alive.”

Approximately, fifty people were in attendance. The reading was followed by a reception in the garden of the Vachel Lindsay Home.

For more information and photos from the event visit:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Same-Sex Marriage arguments explored in book

Jason Pierceson, Associate Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and at the University of Illinois Springfield, has published a book, Moral Argument, Religion, and Same-Sex Marriage: Advancing the Public Good, co-edited with Gordon A. Babst (Chapman University) and Emily R. Gill (Bradley University), with Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield.

The book presents arguments from scholars that demonstrate the moral basis for gay rights claims on a range of issues, from the rights of youth to same-sex marriage. The book challenges the notion that moral arguments can only be used to counter gay rights claims.

According to reviews, the book “contains timely and provocative essays on a subject rightly taking center stage in national debate” and “shows how and why the contemporary case for gay rights in the United States can and should be made in substantive moral terms, appealing to the values that unite us as a free people under the rule of law.”

Professor Pierceson has taught at UIS since 2005 and currently serves as chair of the department of political science. In addition to co-editing the book, Professor Pierceson authored a chapter, “Same-Sex Marriage and the American Political Tradition.”

More information on the book is available at

You may also contact Jason Pierceson at 217/206-7842 or e-mail

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WUIS's Rich Bradley to Anchor Last Newscast

After 35 years leading the newsroom at WUIS-WIPA/Illinois Public Radio News Director Rich Bradley will anchor his last newscast on September 25, 2009.

Bradley has been a part of the radio station since the day it went on the air as WSSR in 1975. Bradley is considered the father of the Illinois Public Radio Network, which he created to allow other public radio stations around the state to voluntarily share stories.

Bradley has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and city government during his more than four decades in radio. He came to Springfield in 1965 to become news director at WCVS radio. Bradley later went on to take a job with the Illinois News Network as a capitol beat reporter before coming to WUIS radio. Bradley attended the U of I at Urbana-Champaign and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“All these years I’ve been reluctant to let go of this child of mine, but the time has come. The technology is at a point where I feel like I’m falling behind the curve rather than staying out in front of the curve,” said Bradley.

Bradley’s advice for young journalists is to focus on good writing and study history.

“Working at the university and in the university environment with young students has in a lot of ways I think kept me young,” said Bradley.

WUIS is currently in the middle of a multi-million dollar upgrade to all digital radio equipment. Bradley says he plans on keeping track of the changes even in retirement and isn’t ruling out voicing holiday specials. Bradley also plans to visit other public radio stations that are part of the Illinois Public Radio network that he built.

For more information on listener-supported WUIS pubic radio visit their website at

Watch the full raw version of our interview with Bradley:

CBM Associate Professor invited to Belarus

Nancy Scannell, Associate Professor in the College of Business and Management, was invited by the Belarus State University (BSU) to deliver a finance seminar. The US Embassy Minsk supported the associated Teaching Assistant Program intended to internationalize BSU's MBA program.

The photo to the above features (left to right) three teaching assistants assigned to Nancy's seminar: Vika, Rodion and Natalia. Each is sporting a CBM bag, compliments of Dean Ron McNeil's office.

The program was a first for BSU; they plan to continue such arrangements in the future based on the positive outcome of this Embassy/BSU initiative.

Nancy also conducted two student recruitment sessions organized and hosted by the Minsk Embassy, American Councils, the European Humanities University, and Streamline (an English-language training organization).

Nancy gives thanks to UIS offices of the Chancellor, Provost and CBM Dean for additional public relations gifts which Nancy shared with BSU administrators and students and to UIS associates Samba Dieng, Rick Lane, Lori Giordono, and Jonathan GoldbergBelle for related inputs and commitment to international academic outreach.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Student Volunteers Create 9/11 Video

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield’s Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center have put together a video in remembrance of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Student and staff volunteers traveled around the UIS campus asking students what impact 9/11 had on them, where they were when the attacks happened and if they think it united the country.

“It’s probably the defining event in young people’s lives on campus since they’ve been alive it’s been the one event that has impacted the entire world,” said Jordan Jeffers, Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center Americorps VISTA.

The project is being done as part of the first ever 9/11 National Day of Service, which will be the culmination of President Obama’s Summer of Service.

Jeffers hopes the video interviews will spark discussion about the importance of the events and inspire people to work towards civic engagement.

The video will air on the campus cable channel at various times through Sunday.

Watch the full video of what the volunteers created below: