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

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

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.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Communication graduate wins regional Distinguished Thesis Award

James Anderson, a May 2010 graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield Communication master’s program has been selected as one of two recipients of the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools’ Distinguished Thesis Award.

Anderson’s thesis “Laughter is Critical: An Analysis of the Sociopolitical Satire on The Daily Show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report Using the Propaganda Model as a Guide” was selected from a group of 39 entries from around the Midwest. His thesis previously earned the 2010 UIS Special Merit Award on the campus level.

“I put a lot of time and energy into the thesis -- some serious 'special merit,' if you will -- and recognition for all of that hard work from UIS and MAGS has been much appreciated,” said Anderson.

The award will be handed out during at the annual meeting of the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools March 30 – April 1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Anderson and his faculty adviser Dr. Amie Kincaid, assistant professor of Communication have been invited to attend. Anderson has been asked to give a ten minute overview of his work at the conference.

“I would be remiss not to thank Amie ‘The Doc’ Kincaid for her enormous contribution as chair of my committee. She deserves a lot of the credit. Without her guidance I never would've been able to do what I did,” said Anderson.

“James was a pleasure to work with and I find his thesis to be emblematic of all the work he takes on – high quality, entertaining and thought provoking. This is not the last time we will see James bring honor to UIS,” said Kincaid.

Anderson is currently enrolled in the Mass Communication and Media Arts doctoral program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He hopes to one day become a professor studying critical communication.

The Midwest Association of Graduate Schools is made up of more than 100 member institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Legal Studies major a finalist in international college photography contest

Ken Cloyd, a Legal Studies major at the University of Illinois Springfield, is a finalist in the "Best of College Photography 2011" contest, co-sponsored by Photographer’s Forum Magazine and Nikon.

Out of over 13,000 entries from the United States, Canada, and around the world, Ken’s submitted photograph, “Piza of the Prairie” was selected from a group made up of primarily art and photography students. Professional photographers judged the photo submission.

“I was really surprised that my photo was selected because this is just a hobby for me and I had never entered a photography contest before,” said Cloyd.

All contest finalists, top 8% of all entries, will be published in the hardcover book Best of College Photography 2011. The winning photos will be published in the May 2011 issue of Photographer’s Forum and entered into Nikon’s Emerging Photographers Hall of Fame.

This marks the fourth year in a row a UIS student from Communication Professor Michael Duvall’s photography class has been selected as a finalist.

“Ken has successfully developed a photographer’s eye and strong grasp of the technical issues,” said Duvall. “Given the pervasive nature of photography in the business world today, he will likely use these skills in his career while he continues to enjoy his creative development.”

The grand prize for the contest is $2,000, plus a Nikon D90 camera and lens system. Prizes will also be awarded to second, third and fourth place winners.