Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Undergraduates get active learning opportunities at UIS

As a freshman, Stephen Salvador never thought he’d be working with real world samples in a college laboratory. He’s getting that opportunity at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“It was something I hadn’t experienced in high school,” said Salvador. “To see the final result was satisfying.”

For five weeks, students got hands-on experience working with various types of rock ore to extract the chemical element copper. The students treated the experiment as if they were running a copper mining operation.

“We push them to think like scientists, we engage them in the laboratory to get them to think about what they’re doing,” said Keenan Dungey, UIS associate professor of chemistry.

Angelica Adduru, a non-degree seeking student, took the General Chemistry 2 course to prepare for medical school. The hands-on laboratory taught her how to work as part of a team.

“I learned how to deal with other people, because this is the first lab we actually had to work with a group of students,” she said.

Dungey says it’s important for students to engage in hands-on research because it teaches them analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and communication skills.

“Here in lab they can actually take those concepts (that they learn in the classroom) and apply them to a real world problem,” said Dungey.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tarah Sweeting-Trotter wins the 2014 CAPE Award

Tarah Sweeting-Trotter, an undergraduate academic advisor at the University of Illinois Springfield, was honored with the 11th annual Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award (CAPE) on April 24, 2014.

Sweeting-Trotter, along with Karen Moranski, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education, created the Students Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success (STARS) Living Learning Community at UIS. The program helps select freshmen by offering them enhanced academic support services to help ensure success at UIS.

“This program was created because Tarah saw a need that wasn’t being fulfilled and stepped up to fill that gap,” said her nominator. “She spends extra time, extra effort and goes above and beyond for her students. She has a very can-do-attitude and is a pleasure to work with.”

She’s also helped to create and implement two summer bridge programs for freshmen and sophomore students and a peer advising program. She offers Faculty Development workshops to promote faculty advising, among many other projects.

Sweeting-Trotter has presented at several national advising conferences and recently earned her Ph.D. in English from St. Louis University. She teaches in both the Sociology/Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies departments at UIS.

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.

Others nominated for the 2014 CAPE Award include Jeannie Capranica, Sean Crawford, Rachel Lattimore, Kathryn Kleeman Lesniak, Tulio Llosa, Kara McElwrath, Kerry Poynter, Christina Ryan, Natalie Taylor, and Lisa Whelpley.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UIS Peoria Center MBA student awarded FMC Technologies Inc. Fellowship

Riley Kerestes, a graduate student in the MBA program at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been awarded a $12,000 fellowship from FMC Technologies Inc. for the 2014-15 academic year.

Kerestes, a Dunlap, Ill. resident, takes classes at the UIS Peoria Center. The UIS Peoria MBA format is designed to meet the needs of students who are employed fulltime, but wish to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Courses are offered so that it is possible for students to complete degree requirements in less than two years.

The fellowship program honors outstanding graduate students in business administration, economics, engineering, finance or related fields. Final selections are made by representatives from FMC Technologies, the University of Illinois, and the U of I Foundation.

Applicants are required to submit a background essay describing their achievements as a graduate student, as well as three letters of reference, and official transcripts. Faculty members nominate students for consideration.

The FMC Educational Fund (formerly the Link-Belt Educational Fund) was established in 1963 by U of I alumnus Bert A. Gayman, who generously donated 10,000 shares of stock to the University of Illinois Foundation.

For more information, contact Professor Ranjan Karri, interim director of the MBA Program, at or 217/206-7917.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two UIS students receive award for excellence during internships with local non-profits

The University of Illinois Springfield has awarded two business students with the Wayne and Margie Fox Award for Excellence. The honor is given to students who demonstrate excellence in an unpaid internship with a Springfield area not-for-profit organization.

Jill Gossett of Springfield recently finished an internship with District 23 Mercantile & Foundry, a non-profit store that raises money for the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation.

John Howard of Peoria interned with the Springfield Community Federation, a non-profit which strives to improve the lives and life outcomes of disadvantaged single adults, families, and children in central Illinois.

As part of the award, each student was presented with a check for $1,250. The award was made possible by Wayne and Margie Fox and recognizes the significant time the students commit to their unpaid internships.

For more information, contact Dyanne Ferk, associate dean of the College of Business and Management, at 217/206-7929 or

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

UIS College of Business and Management honor society inducts 64 new members

The University of Illinois Springfield Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society chapter inducted 64 College of Business and Management students during a ceremony on April 12, 2014 in Brookens Auditorium. Sarah Phalen, President and CEO of Illinois National Bank, was also inducted as an honorary member.

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 the graduate students.

Students inducted at this year’s ceremony include: 
Bilguun Amarjargal, Barry Arnett, Stacy Bergen, Megan Bergerud, Allison Burrus, Kristina Cadena, Misty Carter, Sampada Chavan, Megan Coakley, Kristin Cummins, Bernard Donovan, Nancy Fromme, Ryan Frueh, Vernon Gair, Ramya Ganesan, David Gerstenecker, Caitlin Glandon, Jon Grubbs, Justin Gumbel, Paige Heiser, Maria Hemann, Javier Cadena Hernandez, Alycia Hightower, Nicholas Johnson, Taylor Jokisch, Elizabeth Kesinger, Prerna Khullar, Sripada Kuber, Sam Kurian, Matthew Lightle, Divyaa Mahendran, John Martin, Kayla McDaniel, Jonathan Meyer, Glen Minks, Shannon Mitchell, Matthew Motley, Kathie Muller, Matthew Murphy, Elizabeth Owens, Geoffrey Piehl, Gregory Potter, Erin Putnam, Mary Pyle, Katrina Salvador, Bianca Sanchez, Tricia Sanders, Daniel Sears, Brianna Skaggs, Ryan Steffen, Jennifer Stephens, Sara Sulamoyo, Jeanie Thomas, Kimberly Tokarski, Kendra Tucker, Adam Unes, Poonam Vartak, He Wang, Brian Wilkins, Kathryn Woodford, Alyssa Wright, Chen Yang, Nicole Yoder, and Megan Zumbahlen

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.

For more information about the honor society and recipients, contact Jorge Villegas at 217/206-7972 or

Friday, April 04, 2014

Leadership lived: UIS student starts food delivery business in Springfield

Tyler Gansky knew there was a demand for a food delivery service in Springfield, so he took matters into his own hands. The University of Illinois Springfield business administration major started his own business called Abe’s Takeout.

“We’ve contract out with 20 different restaurants to provide a delivery service for them outside of their own employees and insurance,” said Gansky.

Through Abe’s Takeout, customers can place delivery orders from popular Springfield restaurants. Orders can be placed online or by telephone.

Gansky came up with the idea for his business while attending a university in Columbia, Missouri. There he met the owners of four similar food delivery services in Columbia. That sparked his entrepreneurial idea to bring the service to Springfield.

Once back in Springfield, Gansky decided he wanted to learn more about running a business, so he enrolled in the business administration program at UIS.

“The main thing that drew me to UIS was the U of I degree,” said Gansky. “It may be right here in Springfield, but that degree reads the same.”

Ganksy has been actively applying what he’s been learning in the classroom at UIS. Three months before he opened Abe’s Takeout he was busy building the back end of his business, hiring a webmaster to design a website, and hiring employees.

“Here I find myself in this Management Information Systems course, which unbeknownst to me is exactly what I’m paying people to do,” said Gansky.

He knows he made the right decision to pursue his education at UIS, because he’s learning in an environment with smaller class sizes and where professors know his name.

“The classroom situations, the teacher relationships and the overall education experience that I’ve had at UIS is light years ahead of the other institutions I’ve been at,” said Gansky.