Monday, December 12, 2011

UIS leader co-authors biography on former Illinois senate president Philip J. Rock

Ed Wojcicki, associate chancellor for constituent relations at the University of Illinois Springfield, has co-authored the political memoirs of former Illinois senate president Philip J. Rock.

The biography, Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello: Reflections on Twenty-Two Years in the Illinois Senate, was released on November 28 and published by Southern Illinois University Press.

The book draws on dozens of interviews conducted by Wojcicki to present Rock’s story in his own words. It takes readers through his legislative successes, bipartisan efforts, and political defeats, giving a rare insider's perspective on Illinois politics over the last three decades of the twentieth century.

A native of Chicago's West Side, Rock became one of the most influential politicians in Illinois during the 1970s and 1980s, serving twenty-two years in the Illinois Senate. Fourteen of those years were spent as senate president, the longest tenure anyone has served in that position.

Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello takes its title from the volume of calls and visits to elected officials from constituents in need of help. According to the publisher, the book “perfectly captures Rock's profound reverence for the institutions of government, his respect for other government offices, and his reputation as a problem solver who, despite his ardent Democratic beliefs, disavowed political self-preservation to cross party lines and make government work for the people.”

In addition to his administrative duties, Wojcicki teaches in the Public Administration program at UIS. He is the former publisher of Illinois Issues and had been a staff writer and columnist for several magazines and newspapers. He is also the author of A Crisis of Hope in the Modern World, which was published in 1991.

The new book is available in local stores and online. Additional information on the book can be found here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Amanda Wilczynski honored with Student Laureate Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois

University of Illinois Springfield senior Amanda Wilczynski was honored with the Student Laureate Awards from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois during a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Wilczynski, a Compton, Ill. native, is majoring in Computer Science at UIS with a minor in Accountancy. She holds a 3.56 GPA at UIS and plans to enter the work force after graduation and earn her master’s degree.

“I am extremely honored to win this award and be among so many other outstanding students from other institutions around Illinois,” said Wilczynski.

Each year an outstanding senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Wilczynski is a ministry leader in the Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) group at UIS. She takes part in the planning, execution, and review of all the CSF events. She also volunteers by leading a weekly bible study group. Wilczynski serves as a peer mentor for the Capital Scholars Honors Program and is employed as a student worker in the UIS Chancellor’s Office.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Avery Brundage Scholarships available for the 2012-2013 academic year

University of Illinois students who excel in both academics and athletics are encouraged to enter the 39th annual Avery Brundage Scholarship competition.

Scholarship applications can be submitted online at www.usp.uillinois.edu/brundage. The deadline for submission is Monday, February 13, 2012. Paper applications will not be distributed.

Full-time University of Illinois students at the Chicago, Springfield and Urbana campuses, including incoming freshmen, graduate and transfer students, may apply. Grant-in-aid recipients may be eligible for Brundage scholarships, under specific conditions. Academic and athletic excellence will be considered over financial need.

Undergraduate and transfer student applications must rank in the top 25 percent of their college, and incoming freshmen must rank in the upper 25 percent of their incoming class. Graduate and professional students must be in good academic standing.

Students must demonstrate “special athletic ability” in an amateur sport. However, their participation must be for personal development, rather than as preparation for professional athletics. Previous Brundage scholarship winners represent a wide variety of sports from archery and tennis to swimming and wheelchair basketball. Last year, 16 winners were awarded $2,500 each.

The late Avery Brundage, a 1909 U of I graduate, competed in the 1912 Olympics and later was president of the U.S. and International Olympic committees. He established the scholarship in 1974, with a $343,000 endowment to the University of Illinois Foundation. Over the past 38 years, 828 scholarships with a total value of $1,057,200 have been awarded. Brundage maintained his interest in the University through service as a member of the University of Illinois Foundation, President's Council and Citizen's Committee.

For more information, contact Tim Gilles, scholarship coordinator for University-wide Student Programs at 217/333-2030.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Chancellor Koch kicks off Access Illinois scholarship initiative at UIS with $25,000 donation

Susan J. Koch, University of Illinois vice president and UIS chancellor is helping to kick off Access Illinois: The Presidential Scholarship Initiative on the Springfield campus with a $25,000 personal donation.

In establishing the Dennis D. and Susan J. Koch Scholarship Fund, Koch said she plans to lead by example and won’t be shy about asking for private support from friends of the University to fund badly needed student scholarships at UIS.

“Providing access for students is a personal matter for me and for my husband, Dennis,” said Chancellor Koch. “We’re looking forward to watching the progress of the UIS students who receive this scholarship.”

The fund was established in honor of both Koch and her husband’s parents and grandparents, who made it possible for each of them to seek a higher education.

“When my father, the son of an electrician and the grandson of an Illinois miner, was given the opportunity to attend a public university here in Illinois, it changed his life and the lives of our entire family forever,” said Chancellor Koch. “My husband’s grandmother, a pioneer farm wife on the plains of South Dakota, provided my husband and his brother the financial means to attend college.”

University of Illinois President Michael Hogan launched the Access Illinois initiative in June. The goal is to raise $100 million or more over the next three years to fund scholarships on the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses. The fund will increase financial aid to help students and their families offset tuition costs that have risen sharply as state funding for the University has declined over the last decade.

The initiative will solicit donations from the University’s more than 600,000 alumni from all three campuses and other supporters, seeking general-use gifts that can be used to meet current needs as well as endowed scholarships that provide financial aid in perpetuity.

For more information on the Access Illinois initiative at UIS, visit www.uis.edu/accessillinois or contact Vicki Megginson, associate chancellor for development, UIS, and senior vice president, University of Illinois Foundation at 217/206-6058 or email vhens1@uis.edu.

Monday, October 31, 2011

UIS honors donors and alumni during celebration of Brilliant Futures campaign



The University of Illinois Springfield celebrated the accomplishments of the University of Illinois Foundation’s Brilliant Futures fundraising campaign with an evening gala celebrating the difference donors have made on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011.

The evening began with a reception, followed by an “Appreciation and Accolades” ceremony in the Sangamon Auditorium where donors were celebrated for the difference their gifts have made to the university’s growing success. In addition, several awards and honors were presented.

The four-year Brilliant Futures Campaign helped raise $26.7 million to date to support students and programs at UIS. The donations came from graduates, corporations and the university’s many friends and supporters in the Springfield area. The resources generated through this campaign will ensure that UIS continues to create a better world through our teaching, research, and public engagement.

While the Brilliant Futures Campaign will soon be ending, U of I President Michael Hogan has launched Access Illinois: The Presidential Scholarship Initiative, a crucial initiative for the campuses of the University of Illinois. The initiative is to help ease the financial burden of a growing number of students and their families. The goal is to raise $100 million or more over the next three years.

“Many students do everything right to prepare for college,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “The greatest barrier to their enrollment is the cost. With more scholarships, we can make the valuable UIS experience available to all students who deserve that opportunity.”

Award Recipients

As part of the evening gala, four awards were presented, one by the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) and three by the University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA).

The UIF honored Leonard Branson, chair and professor in the UIS Accountancy Department with the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. In 1998, Branson headed a fundraising drive for the UIS Donald Stanhope Scholarship fund. His personal gift, energy and commitment to the fund were inspiring to his peers and alumni and raised over $100,000 for the scholarship. As part of that fundraising effort, Branson developed a campaign committee of alumni, which identified alumni interested in further engagement. Now, Branson has launched a new campaign, to raise money to endow the Donald O’Neal Scholarship for UIS Management students. “I’m honored to receive the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership,” said Branson. “It’s important that students have the financial support they need to attend college and achieve their dreams.”

Don Johnson,’82, retired Chairman of the Board from ATC Technology Corporation recieved the Alumni Achievement Award from UIAA. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon graduates of the University. It is given to those who have attained distinction and success in one’s profession or life work. Johnson earned most of the credits toward his bachelor’s degree by attending courses at the UIS Peoria Center. “The convenience and format was great for someone who was working full time,” he said. He joined ATC in early 2004 and held the position of President, CEO and Chairman through 2008. ATC is a publicly traded corporation that provides supply-chain solutions through both logistics and refurbishment services to the consumer electronics and automotive markets. Prior to ATC, Johnson held global executive positions with Ford Motor Company (5 years), and with Caterpillar and CAT Logistics.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to the University. Ray Schroeder, professor emeritus of communication was the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Service Award from UIAA. UIS is recognized as a leader in online education and that is due, in large part, to the work Schroeder. He founded the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning (OTEL) and the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service (COLRS) at UIS, is a beloved member of the UIS community, and has been part of it since 1977. His work in online education has brought the University a number of accolades and grants for him and his colleagues to continue pursuing their work, but he is quick to spread the praise: “Our success in online [education] is really due, first, to the faculty, second, to the staff members who support those faculty, and then, of course, the students and their dedication as online students,” he said.

Suzanne Brown received the Alumni Humanitarian Award from UIAA, which recognizes alumni who have made great contributions of leadership and service to improve the lives of others. After earning her M.A. in Legal Studies, she worked as a Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representative, which allowed her to represent people during legal proceedings in front of the Immigration Service. Having been involved in the Central America solidarity movement, Brown was “interested in the plight of Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees arriving in the United States.” During this time “I was interested in helping refugees adjust to life in the U.S.,” she said. Eventually she was offered an opportunity to help the Illinois Conference of Churches (ICC) set up its Legalization Program, which over the years, evolved into the Immigration Project.

In addition, two alumni loyalty awards were presented, one to Grace Wenz ’73 during the alumni association lunch held earlier on October 28 and one to Victor Juarez ’87 during a special celebration in Washington, D.C.

Wenz is one of the Alumni Association’s most reliable volunteers, and attends nearly every event sponsored by the UIAA or UIS. Wenz is a founding member of the UIS Alumni SAGE Society Coordinating Committee, and has served in leadership roles with the SAGE Society. She says she enjoys staying involved with the University because it serves as the center of her and her husband’s cultural and intellectual interests. She said the two of them drive to UIS often for meetings and events. “I just feel compelled to give to UIS because it is helping me fulfill my intellectual and cultural goals,” she said. “[Volunteering is] my way of giving back.”

Juarez, who works as a taxpayer advocate for the Internal Revenue Service, was voted the Best Dressed Fed in 2010 through a poll conducted nationally with federal employees. However, more important than his keen sense of style is his loyalty to UIS and his interest in reaching out to the Hispanic community. Juarez earned a degree in accountancy from UIS and as an alumnus, he has answered the call to serve as leader in alumni affairs. He served more than eight years as a member of the UIS Campus Alumni Advisory Board and served on the National Commission for the Future of Alumni Relations in 2006. “If it wasn’t for the campus, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he said.

For more information on the Brilliant Futures Campaign or on the Access Illinois Presidential Scholarship Initiative, contact Vicki Megginson, associate chancellor for development, UIS, and senior vice president, University of Illinois Foundation at 217/206-6058 or email vhens1@uis.edu. For information on the alumni awards, contact Chuck Schrage, UIS Office of Alumni Relations at 217/206-7395 or email cschr1@uis.edu.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

U of I student trustees work together to be voice of student body



Being the student trustee with the binding vote is not something University of Illinois at Chicago junior Kenneth Thomas takes lightly.

The political science major from Midlothian, Ill. has made it his priority to communicate with his fellow trustees – Hannah Ehrenberg for Urbana-Champaign and John Tienken for Springfield – and the student body as much as possible.

“I am honored to be the student with the binding vote,” Thomas said. “It is a responsibility I take very seriously and I am going to need my counterparts very much. This is truly going to be a vote for the students of the University of Illinois.”

Thomas has started a Facebook page as an open forum for the UIC student body to share their concerns. He also uses twitter to obtain feedback on different initiatives and holds town hall-style meetings.

Ehrenberg, a senior human development and family studies major from Lincolnwood, Ill., and Tienken, a junior political science and English major from Clarendon Hills, Ill., also use social media, town hall meetings, student government and the student newspaper to gain a perspective on what is ailing students.

“Most importantly I ask classmates and friends on campus what matters to them,” Ehrenberg said. “I ask them what they are worried about and what they love about the University. Students need to know their opinions are important and my goal is to truly represent what the students want.”

The student trustees regularly talk though email and over the phone sharing the concerns of the students on their campus. Most of the time, Tienken said, the concerns are similar and the students are able to come to an agreement on the best course of action. Thomas then uses that information to determine his vote.

Being involved in the inner workings of the University is something that all three students deem as “crucial.”

“It is key,” Thomas said. “Student involvement in this University is very important. We are the ones in the classes, the ones getting our education. We need to be involved in the process in everything we do. It is important that students be at the table.”

Thomas, who plans on attending law school with a goal of going into politics, decided to run for student trustee after joining student government as a freshman.

“I saw being a student trustee as a way to fulfill my desire to help students,” he said.

The Board of Trustees, the governing body for the University of Illinois, consists of 13 members, three of which are the student trustees. The students are elected by the student body of their respective campus. One of the students is then selected by the governor to serve as the student with the official vote. Each student trustee serves a term of one year, beginning on July 1.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

UIS student named to national AAUW Student Advisory Council

Caitlin Crane, a junior Management Information Systems major from O'Fallon, Ill. has been selected to serve on the 2011-2012 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Student Advisory Council.

Crane will advise the national organization and offer a student’s perspective during monthly conference calls. She will also attend a two-day leadership retreat in Washington, D.C. later this month and assume a leadership role at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders this summer.

“The trips to Washington, D.C. will be a great opportunity to meet women leaders of all ages from across the country,” said Crane. “I hope the position will allow me to make a difference in the lives of women both at UIS and in the wider world.”

Crane is a member of the Springfield branch of AAUW. The national organization will cover all of her travel expenses for both of the trips.

“Thank you to Kay Henriksen and Lynn Otterson, who encouraged my interest in women's issues, and to the many strong female figures in my life, who inspire me every day. Without their help and encouragement, I would not have received this opportunity,” said Crane.

Students serving on the 2010-2011 Student Advisory Council came from schools, such as the University of Michigan, UC - Berkeley, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Stetson University, and Mount Holyoke College.

U of I VP of Health Affairs elected to Institute of Medicine

Dr. Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Vice president for health affairs at the University of Illinois and vice chancellor for research on the Chicago campus, Garcia is known for his research on genetics, prevention and treatment of inflammatory lung disease and pulmonary edema.

Garcia is one of 65 new members elected to the Institute of Medicine this year. Honorees are chosen based on their professional achievement in medicine and health and their continued involvement with the issues of healthcare, prevention of disease, education or research. Members are nominated and elected by the current membership.

Since his appointment as vice president in February, Garcia has been active in increasing the visibility of the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and effectiveness of the delivery of healthcare to citizens around the state. Garcia joined the faculty at UIC in 2010. He has written 370 peer-reviewed publications and is widely recognized as a leading National Institutes of Health-funded scientist.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Two UIS students awarded scholarships from Latino organization

Two University of Illinois Springfield students have been awarded Victor A. and Daisy A. Juarez Latino scholarships from the Culturally Integrated Education for Latinos Organization (CIELO) in Springfield.

Linda Hernandez, a senior Criminal Justice major from Melrose Park, Ill. was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Jessica Avendano, a junior Business Administration major from Beardstown, Ill. was awarded a $500 grant.

Hernandez is a member of the UIS Women’s Soccer team, Legacy Dance Team, and Organization of Latin American Students. She is a first-generation Mexican-American college student.

“This scholarship has been such a blessing and has reminded me there are great people out there who care about students, like me, and want them to succeed,” said Hernandez. “Opportunities like this are something you can’t forget.”

Each year, CIELO awards three scholarships and one grant to students who are accepted to attend an accredited university, college, or trade school that has its main campus located in Sangamon County. CIELO members who live within 60 miles of Springfield may also apply. The group’s mission is to mission is to help central Illinois Latinos pursue their educational goals.

“I feel very grateful and lucky for winning the grant! I truly appreciate CIELO and everything they do for the Hispanic community,” said Avendano.

Applicants are evaluated based on a personal essay, references, academic achievements and perceived financial need. A student’s commitment to community service is also a major consideration.

Five join Illinois Issues sponsored Legislative Internship Hall of Fame

The Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame will honor five individuals who have served as legislative interns at the state Capitol. David Kennedy, Bruce Kinnett, Michael Maibach, Catherine Shannon and Frank Straus will be inducted during a ceremony at the Executive Mansion on Monday, November 7. Inductees are selected based on their contributions to Illinois and its citizens. The Hall of Fame is also recognition of the important role that public service internships play in developing public sector leadership.

Kennedy, 57, has served as executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL) for the past 25 years. He chairs the State House Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition that advocates at the state and national levels for more transportation funds. Kennedy is also active in his profession, association management. He has served as president, board member, member and chair of many committees for the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Following his graduation from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Kennedy was a legislative intern from 1978-79 with the House Democratic staff where he remained until 1986 when he moved to ACEC-IL. Kennedy is a Springfield resident.

Kinnett, 56, is vice-president at Cook-Witter Inc., a Springfield lobbying firm. He joined the organization in 1988 with extensive experience in state and national governmental relations, particularly in the areas of health care, agriculture, conservation, natural resources and environmental concerns. While serving as a legislative intern from 1976-77 with the Senate Republican staff, he coordinated policy research and legislative analysis of many of those same issues. Prior to joining Cook-Witter Inc., Kinnett moved to Washington, D.C., and founded a private corporation to promote the development of aquaculture and then returned to Illinois in 1987 to assist with the family farming operation near Alexander. Kinnett is on the board of directors of two medical missions that provide health care to the needy in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He is a graduate of Illinois College and resides in Springfield.

Maibach, 60, has been president and CEO of the European-American Business Council since 2003, an entity that has grown from 12 to 75 member companies with offices in Washington, D.C., and Brussels, Belgium. He is a member of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Council on International Economics and has published more than 70 essays on American history and society, commercial policy and global competitiveness. Prior to his current position, Maibach worked for Intel Corporation, rising to vice president in 1996. He opened the Intel Government Affairs Offices in Washington, Brussels and Beijing, becoming a leading spokesman for America’s ICT industry on trade and technology policy. He also worked for Caterpillar Inc. in various positions then as government affairs manager in Illinois, California and Washington, D.C. Maibach served as a legislative intern with the Senate Republican staff in 1975-76, assigned to then-Minority Leader Bill Harris. He holds a number of degrees from various universities in the subject areas of history, political science and international business. A native of Peoria, he resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

Shannon, 47, is deputy director at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and assists in the management of 26 state historic sites and historical preservation programs. The agency has about 180 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $24 million. From 2007 through April 2011, she served as director of the Illinois Department of Labor, the state agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of more than 20 labor and safety laws with 90 employees and an annual operating budget of $7.5 million. Shannon had worked as the agency’s legislative director since 2004 and as the labor policy adviser to the governor’s office from 2003 to 2004. She also worked previously as legislative director for both the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois AFL-CIO. Shannon was a legislative intern from 1987-88 and worked on the research/appropriations staff for the House Democrats. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and a resident of Springfield.

Straus, 52, is deputy director for Revenue and Public Safety for the House Republican staff and has served in that capacity since 2003. He also serves on the Budgets and Revenue Committee for the National Conference of State Legislators. A graduate of Harvard, Straus began working in state government in 1982 as a Secretary of State Fellow. He then followed that experience into the Legislative Intern program in 1983-84, serving with the House Republican staff. Straus has staffed a wide variety of committees, handling everything from criminal law to financial institutions, serving as a mentor for fellow analysts and providing support for members of the House Republican caucus. He has written a book about Mackinac Island, Mich., and writes a column on the island’s history for that area’s newspaper. Straus is a resident of Springfield.

Illinois Issues, sponsor of the Hall of Fame, is the state’s leading public policy magazine. It is published at the University of Illinois Springfield. The Hall of Fame is named for Samuel Gove, one of the magazine’s founders and a longtime director of the internship program. Gove died January 28, 2011. Besides commemorating Gove’s legacy, this year’s event marks the 50th anniversary of the Illinois Legislative Internship Program’s creation in 1961. Both the magazine and the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program are part of UIS’ Center for State Policy and Leadership. Established in 1990, the Hall of Fame, including this year’s inductees, now numbers 54 individuals, among them a former governor and several former and current state legislators. The names of the Hall’s members are inscribed on a plaque that hangs on the fourth floor of the Statehouse.

The event on November 7 will begin with a reception at 5:15 p.m. at the Executive Mansion at Fourth and Jackson Streets, followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person. Reservations are required. For more information on attending, call 217-206-6084. Or, to purchase tickets online go to http:///illinoisissues.uis.edu, and look for Gove event registration in the right-hand margin of the Web page.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UIS Blue Crew ready to make some noise!



The Blue Crew, the student cheering section at Illinois Springfield, is growing and ready to cheer the Prairie Stars onto victory.

A dedicated group of students, led by President Tony Vetter, are in charge of the group this year. The crew plans to attend the majority of UIS home sporting events, including men’s and women’s soccer and basketball games. They also hope to make it to volleyball matches, tennis tournaments and baseball games.

“I love coming to the games. I love screaming and yelling at the stands. I would love to have 100-125 people behind me yelling with me,” said Vetter.

So far, Blue Crew attendance this year is up, as more students get involved. Crew leaders are happy to paint your face, give you a megaphone or even a pompom to cheer on the Stars!

“It’s a lot more fun and I think the teams really like it,” said Alex Kinzinger, junior legal studies and political science major.

So how do you get involved? The best way is to follow the UIS Blue Crew Facebook page and show up to the games with your game face on!

“The louder we can get, the better off we are,” said Tyler Scherer, junior political science and communication major.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

UIS students & alumni take over 200 dresses to Africa during summer trip



A group of University of Illinois Springfield students and alumni helped take over 200 handmade dresses to children in Africa this summer. The trip was organized by the non-profit group Jump for Joel, which was started at UIS in 2005.

The students traveled to Gathiga Children’s Hope Home in Nairobi, Kenya where they handed out the dresses, helped build a shower for the children and lived with a host family.

“Each team member had one suitcase for their personal belongings and one suitcase for donations and different things we needed to take over,” said Amanda Cummins, sophomore biology major. “We were able to fit all the dresses into two big 50 pound suitcases.”

Cummins’ mother came up with the idea to make the dresses and have her daughter take them on the trip. The Cummins family, along with a group of volunteers from her hometown of Cedarville, Ill., helped to sew and design the dresses. In total, they made 280 dresses and 50 pairs of shorts for the boys living at the home.

“Most of the kids (in Kenya) have a few changes of clothes and they share the clothes,” said Cummins. “Everyone just kind of fends for themselves once it goes through the wash. A lot of the clothes are falling apart.”

UIS alum David Lasley has made the trip to Africa with Jump for Joel three times before, but seeing the conditions the children face never gets easier.

“The kids can’t afford clothes. They don’t have parents, they don’t have anyone to pay for that stuff, so they need help with basic things,” said Lasley.

The students who went on the trip are each sponsoring a child and some, like Cummins, plan to make a second trip to Africa soon. In the meantime, she plans to continue to collect items and send them to the children.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

UIS faculty member awarded second Fulbright grant to study in Bangladesh

Mohammed Shahidullah, an adjunct faculty member of Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, has received a Fulbright Specialist grant in Sociology to teach and offer seminars at Mawlana Bhashani Science & Technology University, Bangladesh.

Shahidullah, who also works as a state demographer for the Illinois Department of Public Health, will spend six weeks in the country starting Oct. 1, 2011. During the trip, he will teach students and faculty members, lead workshops, and assist in developing a new population/demography course in the Department of Criminology and Police Science. He will also offer talks in Dhaka on public health informatics and health needs assessment.

“Part of the trip will involve training faculty and graduate students in using online methods to conduct population studies,” said Shahidullah. “I will also be organizing workshops for faculty members on social research methods.”

Shahidullah was previously awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and do research with BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2006. He spent six months teaching biostatistics face-to-face and an online course in marriage and families as a collaborative course on global learning between UIS and BRAC University.

The Fulbright Specialist grant is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is managed by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. For further information on the program, visit the CIES website at www.cies.org.

Monday, September 12, 2011

UIS Computer Science professor a finalist for a World Technology Award in Ethics

Dr. Keith Miller, University of Illinois Springfield professor of computer science, has been named a finalist for a prestigious World Technology Award for Ethics, presented by The World Technology Network (WTN) in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, Science/AAAS, and Technology Review.

He joins a roster of organizations and individuals from over 60 countries around the world deemed to be doing the most innovative and impactful work. The awards have been presented by the WTN since 2000, as a way to honor those in 20 different categories of science and technology and related fields doing “the innovative work of the greatest likely long-term significance.”

Miller’s research focuses on robot ethics and professional ethics for computing professionals. He is currently the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation award to study the effect of ethics instruction on the technical skills of computer science undergraduates. During his career, Miller has authored or co-authored over 300 papers and presentations.

Nominees for the 2011 World Technology Awards were selected through an intense global process by the WTN Fellows lasting many months. Winners will be announced during a ceremony at the United Nations on October 26, 2011 at the close of the World Technology Summit, a two-day “thought leadership” conference held at the TIME & LIFE Building and presented by the World Technology Network in association with TIME magazine, Fortune, CNN, Science/AAAS, Technology Review, and others.

The WTN is a curated membership community comprised of the world’s most innovative individuals and organizations in science, technology, and related fields. The WTN and its members – those creating the 21st century -- are focused on exploring what is imminent, possible, and important in and around emerging technologies.

Miller has been teaching in the UIS Computer Science Department since 1993. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Iowa, his M.S. in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary, and his B.S. in Education from Concordia Teachers College.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

UIS reflects on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001



Members of the University of Illinois Springfield community share their memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

Scannell receives Malone Fellowship

Nancy Scannell, associate professor of Business Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield was honored this summer with a Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies.

As part of the fellowship, Scannell spent 10 days in Morocco (June 24 to July 04, 2011) visiting Rabat, Fez, Erfoud, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh, and other sites of cultural and historical interest. She also visited parliament, the U.S. Embassy, and the University of Mohammed V.

The trip was organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR), which sponsors the Model Arab League (MAL) program. The council’s mission is to enhance American awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the Arab countries, the Mideast, and the Islamic world.

According to the council’s website, “The Fellowship projects its participants into the dynamics of Arab-U.S. relations and provides first-hand exposure to the region's considerable cultural, economic, political, and social diversity pursuant to increased knowledge and understanding.”

The Malone Fellowship is available to qualified American professionals in academia, government, and business. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Students are not eligible.

Monday, August 08, 2011

UIS names new director of Graduate Public Service Internship program

Rance Carpenter has been selected to become the Director of the Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) program in the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield effective September 1.

“Mr. Carpenter brings the right blend of experience to the leadership of the GPSI program,” said Dr. David Racine, interim executive director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership. “He is familiar with state and local government in Illinois, knows the program first-hand, as both a former intern and a supervisor of interns, and has an extensive management background.”

Carpenter comes to the position from a career in the field of services for the aging. Starting in the local area agency on aging based in Springfield, he subsequently moved to the Illinois Department on Aging and rose through the ranks there to chief of its community operations bureau. The bureau administers federal grants to Illinois’ 13 area agencies, manages the state program that employs seniors in community service work, and the state’s community care program. Carpenter has direct experience with the GPSI program, having been one of its interns and a supervisor of interns during his time with the Illinois Department on Aging. Carpenter holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois Springfield.

For nearly four decades, GPSI has partnered with state and local government agencies and major nonprofit organizations to provide part-time internships for UIS graduate students. The internships allow students to gain practical, professional experience while earning a master’s degree in their chosen field. GPSI is regarded as one of the premier graduate internship programs in Illinois. In fiscal year 2011, the program placed 152 graduate students in internships with 18 different agencies.

Carpenter succeeds Kim Hayden, who retired in 2010 after serving as director of GPSI since 2001. For more information, contact David Racine at 217/206-8417 or email draci2@uis.edu.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Four UIS faculty members participate in undergrad research conference

COPLAC workshop participants (Courtesy COPLAC)
Four faculty members from the University of Illinois Springfield attended the “Institutionalizing Undergraduate Research for State Systems and Consortia” conference at the University of North Carolina – Asheville on June 28-30, 2011. Teams from 22 other Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) member institutions participated in the workshop. The collaboration was made possible by a National Science Foundation grant awarded to COPLAC, and administered by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Prior to attending the meeting, the faculty from UIS – Hei-Chi Chan (Mathematics), Rebecca Landsberg (Biology), Dennis Ruez (Team Leader; Environmental Studies), and Carrie Switzer (Psychology) – completed an institutional assessment on the extent, culture, and campus support of undergraduate research efforts, scholarly products, and creative works. While the conference was focused specifically on undergraduate research in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the UIS team approached the task with a broader perspective to include undergraduate students of all majors as well as graduate students.

“The conference provided much information on the transformative potential of incorporating student research within curricula, student assessment, faculty evaluations, and campus marketing,” said Ruez.

The UIS team has created a set of goals and strategies along those lines, and will initiate efforts at informing the campus community about the benefits of student research, not only to students, but to faculty, alumni, and our community.

There are 26 COPLAC colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. UIS is the only one in Illinois. COPLAC institutions have several core values in common:
  • Faculty are dedicated to teaching undergraduates
  • Classes are small and students receive personal attention and mentoring
  • Students work with professors, not graduate assistants
  • Leadership and co-curricular opportunities abound
  • Emphasis is on civic engagement and service learning
For more information, visit www.coplac.org.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two UIS faculty members publish new books

Two University of Illinois Springfield faculty members have published books with London connections.

Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science has written a book entitled “Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy”. A book launch celebration will be held in London on Saturday, June 25.

Over the past forty years the ideas and practices of Guy Debord and the Situationist International have become a constant reference point for those involved in radical politics, the arts, and cultural theory. Despite this ubiquity Debord’s work has been reduced to a palatable cliché rather than being used as a tool for crafting an ongoing practice of critique and engagement.

Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, Gilman-Opalsky argues that the theory of practice and practice of theory are superseded by upheavals that do the work of philosophy. Spectacular Capitalism makes the case not only for a new philosophy of praxis, but for praxis itself as the delivery mechanism for philosophy – for the field of human action, of contestation and conflict, to raise directly the most irresistible questions about the truth and morality of the existing state of affairs.

For more information, visit http://www.minorcompositions.info/spectacularcapitalism.html.

Adjunct Philosophy Instructor Boria Sax also has a new book coming out entitled “City of Ravens: The True History of the Legendary Birds in the Tower of London”.

The book solves the century-old mystery of how and when ravens came to the Tower of London, and traces the origin of the legend that "Britain will fall" if they leave. For over a century, the ravens have been symbols of cruelty, avatars of fate — and cuddly national pets. But ravens have come to represent British natural heritage. This informing and reflective volume addresses the need to connect with animals and the natural world and shows the human need for wonder at nature.

Boria Sax has been awarded numerous awards for his articles on human-animal relations. He has been a human rights activist and the founder of the organization Nature in Legend and Story.

For more information, visit http://www.ducknet.co.uk/general/title.php?titleissue_id=563

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two emeriti faculty members honored at CEHS celebration

The University of Illinois Springfield College of Education and Human Services honored two emeriti faculty during a reception on June 14, 2011. Emeriti faculty members James H. Cherry, Ed.D. and Rosamond Robbert, Ph.D. will have their portraits hung on the CEHS Wall of Fame.

Larry Stonecipher, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Education and Human Services praised the two for their accomplishments, and then turned the microphone over to them. He asked them a series of questions about their time at UIS and their professional accomplishments. The event was highlighted by the unveiling of the two portraits.

Cherry started working for what was Sangamon State University (now UIS) in August 1993. He was awarded tenure in 1999 and served as Program Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership. He retired in 2002. He holds three degrees from Illinois State University, a bachelor’s in Social Science, master’s in Educational Administration, and a doctorate in Educational Administration.

Robbert started working at Sangamon State in August of 1985. She was awarded tenure in 1991 and served as an Associate Professor of Gerontology. She retired in 2000. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in Sociology, all from Western Michigan University.

Cherry and Robbert join eleven other CEHS emeriti faculty on the Wall of Fame in Brookens Library.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

UIS professor receives Fulbright grant to study legal and political system in Canada

Dr. Jason Pierceson, associate professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois Springfield, has received a Fulbright grant to study the legal and political system in Canada.

He will spend the 2011 fall semester, from September through December, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB Canada, serving as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in United States Policy Studies. Pierceson will research the role of courts as policy-makers in Canada, comparing their role to courts in the United States.

“I am looking forward to immersing myself in the Canadian legal and political systems,” said Pierceson. “It is difficult to fully understand a country's political system without spending time in that country, and this affords me that opportunity.”

Each year, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars awards 800 traditional Fulbright Scholar grants to college or university faculty and professionals to lecture and conduct research abroad. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Awards recognize the recipient's globally important teaching, research and service; in addition, they provide an opportunity for faculty to further their areas of expertise or pursue new directions in research.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is managed by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

For more information, contact Derek Schnapp, director of Public Relations at 217-206-6716 or email dschn3@uis.edu.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Downtown Jacksonville Gallery Hop to feature UIS professor's photography

The photography work of Kathy Petitte Jamison, assistant professor of Communication at the University of Illinois Springfield will be on display during a Downtown Gallery Hop in Jacksonville on Friday, June 3, from 5-8 p.m.

Jamison will display about 20-25 color digital photographs at downtown Jacksonville business Inner Harmony Day Spa, located at 227 South Main Street. The hop itself will feature the work of other local and nonlocal artists, music, food and fun! All sales benefit Imagine Foundation, which promotes area arts.

Jamison’s primary subject for the upcoming show is a study in hedge apples. She was inspired to photograph them last fall while shooting other photos of pre-dawn scenes.

“I picked up two hedge apples and brought them back to my house where I played with the different early autumn lighting and the textures around my house, such as concrete, rusted metal and brick,” said Jamison. “I had been thinking for some time about going for more abstraction in my photos, and I always love the play of natural light and manual maneuvers on the camera.”

Additionally, the exhibition will feature a few studies in light and abstraction of a South African seed pod, which she brought home from a safari.

“The hedge apples, of course, are local through and through,” said Jamison. “I always thought these fruit from the Osage Orange tree were alien-looking, so it's only appropriate to photograph them as abstractions in bold color and light so that they almost look like odd planetoids, in my opinion.”

Before joining UIS, Jamison was a photojournalist and long-time area reporter, columnist and feature writer for the Jacksonville Journal-Courier. As a Jacksonville resident, she has taken part in a number of art shows in area since 1991.

For more information about her exhibition, contact Jamison at 217/206-8032 or email kjamison@uis.edu.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Renowned Lincoln scholars' speech to air on C-SPAN

Renowned Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield is scheduled to appear on C-SPAN 3 on Saturday, May 14, at 11 p.m. (CDT) and on Sunday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m. (CDT).

The network is expected to air part of Burlingame’s speech on “Lincoln & Secession: The Evolution of His Strategy”, which was delivered at Union League Club of Chicago on March 4, 2011. The speech was given as part of The Lincoln Inaugural Sesquicentennial, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of his oath of office.

When southern states seceded from the Union during the winter of 1860-61, Lincoln intended to take a hard line by reclaiming forts, court houses, mints, arsenals, and other federal facilities commandeered by secessionists. Persuaded to take a softer line, Lincoln refused to compromise on two essential matters: he would not sanction the expansion of slavery into the territories, nor acknowledge the legitimacy of secession. Dr. Burlingame explains why Lincoln changed his mind and why he rejected the one compromise likely to prevent war.

Burlingame’s two-volume biography Abraham Lincoln: A Life was the recipient of the 2010 Lincoln Prize. Burlingame received his Ph.D. in 1968 from Johns Hopkins University and joined the history department at Connecticut College in New London, where he taught until retiring in 2001 as the Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield in 2009.

C-SPAN 3 is available locally on Comcast Cable channel 447 in Springfield. The channel is also available online at www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN3/.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Faculty honored for excellence and commitment as teacher-scholars

The University of Illinois Springfield held its annual Faculty Honors and Recognition Reception on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Chancellor Harry Berman and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lynn Pardie presided over the ceremony honoring faculty members who have received tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emeritus status. Four major awards -- the Pearson Faculty Award, the Spencer Faculty Service Award, Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award and the Faculty Excellence Award -- were also presented.

The Pearson Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Heather Dell, associate professor of Women & Gender Studies. The award recognizes a faculty member who has established a record of teaching excellence and supports his or her continuing development as a teacher and a scholar. The award was established by a gift from Dr. Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.

“Professor Dell is known as a teacher-scholar whose passion for excellence in teaching and commitment to scholarship serves both her students and her colleagues well,” said Berman in presenting the award. “Her colleagues praise her ability to inspire students through her use of thought-provoking questions, skillfully conducted substantive discussions, creative exercises, and innovative approaches to experiential learning and study abroad.”

The Spencer Award was given to Tih-Fen Ting, associate professor of Environmental Studies. Honoring Robert Spencer, founding president of Sangamon State University, this award recognizes faculty who best exemplify the ideal of the “professor-citizen” through public service and service to the academic community.

“Professor Ting brings an impressive level of focus, energy, dedication, and skill to her professional service endeavors, and she has established a remarkable record of substantive and meaningful service at every level,” said Berman.

Ting has been a long-standing member of the Campus Senate and has served as chair for several years. She has also served on or chaired multiple search committees for campus-level administrative personnel, including a search for a Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Most recently, she represented the campus as a member of the University Senates Conference and as a member of the U of I Presidential Search Committee.

Michael Cheney, professor of Communication was honored with the Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award. The award was established by Burks Oakley II, who helped launch UIS’ online programs. Cheney is known for his creative use of a wide variety of technologies to reach students with varying learning styles, and his openness to the use of new technologies in teaching has made him a role model among his peers.

“By all accounts, he has been quite successful in designing high quality online courses that students find both engaging and educational,” said Berman. “Not surprisingly, web statistics indicate that his work is also very popular. Podcasts of his course on the Beatles have been accessed more than 2 million times and downloaded by nearly 500 thousand.”

Professor Cheney has also been instrumental in developing and delivering several innovative online courses involving the Emiquon project.

The Faculty Excellence Award was given to Peter Boltuc, associate professor of Philosophy. The award is intended to recognize sustained, career-long accomplishments at UIS in teaching and scholarship. It provides an opportunity to honor colleagues who best exemplify the ideal of the teacher-scholar and whom the faculty recognize as role models. The award is funded through the generosity of Wilbur and Margaret Wepner.

Boltuc has established a strong record of scholarship that includes having published in international as well as national journals in his field. His recent work on machine consciousness has brought him international attention. In addition to his scholarship, Peter has served on the Board of the American Philosophical Association and as editor of the Association’s newsletter on Philosophy and Computers, which is gaining in prominence under his direction.

“Dr. Boltuc’s combined interests in computers and philosophy are also reflected in his teaching,” said Berman. “He successfully led the UIS Department of Philosophy in developing an online baccalaureate degree program, which was one of the first of such programs in the world, and has published and presented work on e-Learning and philosophy.”

Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were Len Bogle, Tena Helton, Kathy Jamison, Nithya Karrupaswamy, Jennifer Manthei, Linda McCown, Sheryl Reminger, Peter Shapinsky, Holly Thompson, John Transue, Te-Wei Wang, and Yifeng Zhang. Michael Lemke was promoted to the rank of full professor.

Receiving the designation of emeritus faculty were Harry Berman, Mary Bohlen, Loretta Meeks, Tim Miller, Don O’Neal, and Theresa Sullivan-Stewart.

Sabbatical leaves were granted to John Barker, Sara Cordell, Shahram Heshmat, Jason Pierceson, Sheryl Reminger, and Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson.

All promotions, tenure, sabbatical leaves, and emeritus status are approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

College of Business and Management honor society inducts new members



The University of Illinois Springfield Beta Gamma Sigma honor society chapter inducted 34 College of Business and Management students and three faculty members during a ceremony on Sunday, May 1, 2011 in Brookens Auditorium.

Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International. The society grants admission to the top 10 percent of the baccalaureate class and the top 20 percent of graduate students.

Students inducted at this year’s ceremony are Jiraphan Boonprakob, Aprile Combes, Lawrence Crowley, Taralee Darst, Trevor Debelak, Bradley Gaylord, Brett Gerger, Stephen Goudreau,
David Guggenheim, Allison Hester, Cori Hurt, Richard Johnson, Joshua Kilhoffer, Jodi Killion, Prajakta Kulkarni, Janice Marvel, John Mayer, Todd Metcalf, Satoko Mizuno, Vidya Nagarajan, Shilpa Perugupalli, Mark Pfister, Amruta Prabhuwaingankar, Laura Rabe, Soorya Ramanathan, Hari Ravi, Charles Satterlee, Preston Searl, Bereket Seyoum, Michele Stine, Robert Vansolo, Amanda Wells, Ashley Wilson, and Joshua Winkler.

Faculty members inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma are Xiaoqing Li Ph.D., Atul Agarwal, Ph.D, and Feng-Shun (Leo) Bin, Ph.D.

Douglas Rahn, Vice President and COO of Memorial Health Systems was also recognized as Chapter Honoree in acknowledgment of his support for UIS and the College of Business and Management.

The mission of the society is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, to foster personal and professional excellence, to advance the values of the Society, and to serve its lifelong members.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Andy Egizi wins the 2011 CAPE Award



Andy Egizi
, program information coordinator for the Department of Liberal & Integrative Studies (LIS) was honored with the eighth annual Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award (CAPE) on April 28, 2011.

Egizi has been working at UIS for 17 years advising online and on campus LIS majors, coordinating online enrollment, voluntarily helping other programs, and mentoring other academic advisers.

“He freely shares advising tips with other online program coordinators, thus contributing to the success of our entire online enterprise, is trusted by faculty… and is one of the pioneers of online degree programs at UIS,” said Harry Berman, UIS Chancellor.

In nominating him for the award, his anonymous supporter noted his current work on bringing continuing education courses to Liberal & Integrative Studies.

“If I’m here it’s because I represent all of you and the excellence you have,” said Egizi in accepting the award. “I look around and see all kinds of excellent people, so I congratulate all of you on your excellence as well.”

Egizi is heavily involved in many committees on campus and serves as Chapter Councilor for Alpha Sigma Lambda, an honor society for non-traditional students. He’s also been a panelist for Faculty Development Workshops addressing academic advising and transfer student advising.

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. The winner receives $500 in cash for personal use, and another $500 is given to the winner’s department.

All academic professionals are eligible to receive the CAPE Award; nominations are reviewed by campus committees and candidates' names are forwarded to the chancellor, who makes the final selections.

Other nominated for the 2011 CAPE Award include James Burgdorf, Carmalita Kemayo, Jim Korte, Tulio Llosa, Carly Shank, and Shawn Craig Shures.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Public Affairs Reporting graduate student honored for mentoring program

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Harry Berman honored Public Affairs Reporting graduate student Tametria Conner for her work mentoring children at Washington Middle School during a recent visit to his office.

Conner wrote a poem, “Girls in Heels”, which she presented to the U of I Board of Trustees during a March meeting on campus. Berman presented Conner with a bag full of formal copies of the poem to be delivered to the children at the school.

“Girls in Heels" is an etiquette mentoring program created by Conner with the help of Washington Middle School Assistant Principal Roosevelt Wilson. Conner holds etiquette sessions with nearly 40 seventh and eighth grade girls at Washington Middle School in Springfield. The first of its kind at the middle school, "Girls in Heels" provides demonstrative and instructional information on posture, poise, public speaking and professional attire.

The highlight of the mentoring program was the "Project Runway for Success" Fashion Show at Macy's on March 25. The fashion show aired on Comcast Cable's Educational Channel.

Conner is a Whitney M. Young Fellow and will be graduating from the PAR program in May 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

UIS research symposiums provide students with valuable experience



Student researchers at the University of Illinois Springfield got a chance to show off their research and discuss their findings during two recent symposiums.

The Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Research Symposium and Science Research Symposium offered students the chance to speak about their topics before a public audience.

“It gives them a much deeper understanding of the research process and it also allows them to practice communicating those results back out to the broader community,” said Lynn Pardie, UIS Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Layne Morsch, chair of the Science Research Symposium and assistant professor of Chemistry has found students learn a valuable lesson from talking about their research. He says students not only have to be prepared, but really understand what you are talking about.

“It gives our students a chance to present the research they’ve been doing in a less intimidating atmosphere than a national meeting where there might be thousands of people there from all over the United States or the world,” said Morsch.

Pardie says the research process is essential to a college education because it teaches students to be keen observers of people around them and ask good questions.

“They get to practice their professional communication skills and they have the opportunity to be in the role of a researcher answering questions,” said Pardie.

Amanda Dahlquist, a graduate student who chaired the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Research Symposium says students are often nervous about giving a presentation, but they realize the reward.

“It’s a great opportunity to give students a chance to show off work that they’ve done and to let them take pride in their own research,” said Dahlquist.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Atul Agarwal studies lean operations systems and quality in business



University of Illinois Springfield Associate Professor of Production Operations Management Atul Agarwal studies waste and product quality issues in business that cost companies money. His research focuses on ways to reduce waste using lean operations systems.

“Waste could be overproduction, re-working, defects, or anything that a customer does not want to pay money for,” said Agarwal.

On a recent trip to a production plant, he witnessed workers dropping nuts and bolts when assembling cars and not picking them up.

“When it fell down, there was no motivation to pick it up. To them it was a small piece of metal scrap waste and they just kicked it under the machine,” he said.

But if you add up all the nuts and bolts on the floor the money starts to add up. Other companies, such as Toyota, have realized the waste taking place by using lean operations systems and now look at the scrap metal as “cash on the floor.”

Agarwal uses toy cars to demonstrate assembly line efficiency to his students. The students learn how important it is to have a good relationship with part suppliers and how to save money during production.

“One of the important elements is the standardization, which means can I use the same chassis and transmission to produce different models of cars,” he said.

His research into quality involves looking at companies, such as Coke and Pepsi, who have been known to ship out empty cans of soda.

“Customers have paid $1 to drink 12 fluid ounces. This is a classic quality problem,” said Agrwal.

In today’s economy, he says it's more important than ever for United States companies to increase competitiveness, grow productivity, and do it at a low cost.

For more information visit the Management Information Systems website.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

UIS chef serves up Asian food with a smile



When you first meet Danny Lau you can’t help but first notice his smile, second his contagious laugh. Lau cooks Asian stir-fry in the Showtime section of the Public Affairs Center Food Emporium about once a week.

“He’s so welcoming and puts a smile on my face every time I see him,” said Jessalyn Fontana, sophomore chemistry major.

Students like Mark Frakes know there’s a good chance Danny is cooking when there’s a line out the door.

“He’s not there just to work. He really interacts with you in line. He’s really good about making your food how you want it,” said Frakes.

Danny is not only known for his positive attitude, but his special hot sauce. How hot is it? “Really hot,” he said.

He has been working at UIS for almost seven years. He has over 30 years of experience cooking in Chinese restaurants and learned his craft in Hong Kong.

“I like cooking food,” said Lau.

Danny is one of several chefs that prepare gourmet meals Monday-Friday during lunch in the Food Emporium. Other chefs commonly featured in Showtime include Executive Chef Howard Seidel, Mike Baggerly, Jay Chaplin, Eric Chrans. Kyle Lucas, and Kevin Walsh.

You can find out the Showtime meal of the day by following the Food Services Twitter account at www.twitter.com/uisfoodservice.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Three UIS Visual Arts majors work to be displayed in downtown exhibition

The work of three University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts majors will be displayed in April at the Prairie Art Alliance’s Gallery II, located at 221 South Sixth Street in downtown Springfield.

The 2011 Juried College Exhibit is designed to showcase and celebrate work created in Springfield’s local academic culture. The exhibition will include the artwork of UIS students Sarah Ayers, Judah Johnson and Joel Walter.

The exhibit will run April 1-30, with an opening coinciding with downtown Springfield's First Friday on April 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. The opening is free and open to the public. The event will feature live music, wine, hors d'oeuvres, and great conversation in addition to the thought provoking student pieces.

The Prairie Art Alliance is committed to fostering community awareness and participation in the visual arts. Its mission is to serve the public through exhibits, classes and community outreach programming, and encourage the development of member artists. For more information on the Prairie Art Alliance visit www.prairieart.org.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Executive directors to manage IT, HR and labor relations


Three administrators have been named to manage information technologies, human resources and labor relations across the three University of Illinois campuses.

Appointed by UI President Michael J. Hogan: Michael Hites as executive chief information officer, Maureen Parks as executive director for human resources and Steven Veazie as executive director of labor and employee relations. The positions and attendant responsibilities stem from recommendations in the final report of the Administrative Review and Restructuring Working Group.

The ARR report in June examined administrative functions at the Urbana, Chicago and Springfield campuses, central university administration, the UI Alumni Association and the UI Foundation.

Hogan cited two principles that guided the working group and are important to the executive director positions: clarify organizational structures to better align responsibilities and accountability, and improve coordination and sharing of resources to enhance service and achieve economies of scale.

“It’s what I refer to as integration of back-office but mission-critical operations to make us a more cohesive and effective entity,” Hogan said.

Hogan said the three administrators have outstanding reputations in their fields and extensive knowledge in their areas of responsibility.

Hites joined the university in 2008 with more than 15 years of experience in higher education information technology administration. He will retain his position as associate vice president for administrative information technology services. As executive chief information officer, each campus chief information officer will report to Hites regarding administrative IT operations and policies. He will oversee the universitywide implementation of the ARR report’s IT recommendations. Hites reports to Walter Knorr, vice president and chief financial officer.

Parks has worked as a human resources professional at the university for more than a decade. As executive director, she will oversee non-academic human resources staff members on each campus and the implementation of the ARR report’s recommendations. Faculty human resource matters will continue to be handled at the campus level. Also an associate vice president, Parks reports to Knorr.

Veazie has been with the university for more than 25 years and has extensive experience negotiating agreements with collective bargaining units. He has served as deputy legal counsel and counsel for the Urbana campus. Veazie retains his position as deputy legal counsel reporting to University Legal Counsel Tom Bearrows. He also reports to Hogan regarding university-wide coordination of labor and employee relations.