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.