Tuesday, March 31, 2015

UIS Forensics Team wins big at national tournament

The UIS Forensics Team finished the 2014-2015 season strong, bringing home many awards and recognitions from the PCSDL National Tournament in Indianapolis on March 28-29.

Freshman Simon Andrews was awarded National Champion in Editorial Impromptu, 2nd place in Current Events Speaking and 5th place speaker in Student-Congress.

Team captain and senior Bob Gibbons was awarded 3rd place speaker in Student-Congress, 3rd place in Stand-Up Comedy and 5th place in PowerPoint Sales.

Junior Jerica Griffin won 6th place in PowerPoint Sales and 6th place in Stand-Up Comedy.

Junior Tabbitha Medina won 6th place in Audition Monologue.

The team took 6th place overall in the competition.

The team has had an outstanding season winning a total of 41 awards, the largest number earned since the team was re-established in 2011.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Leadership lived: UIS student lands job with Illinois House of Representatives

Senior political science major Garrie Allen credits the opportunities he’s been given at the University of Illinois Springfield for helping him land a full-time job with the Illinois House of Representatives before graduation.

Allen began his career in state government working on the House floor as a page and was recently promoted to a Committee Clerk.

“Right now, I’m a transcription editor, so we transcribe what happens on the floor and we write it down for people to be able to read,” said Allen. “I work on that, as well as taking the records for committee action.”

At UIS, he’s president of the College Democrats, Student Government Association External Vice President, a Resident Housing Association Senator and a member of Model United Nations and Model Illinois Government (MIG).

He was recently elected Speaker of the House during the Model Illinois Government simulation at the Illinois State Capitol in March 2015. MIG served as a gateway for helping him land his first job with the Illinois House of Representatives.

“After spending a year in Model Illinois Government, the (House) Sergeant at Arms actually asked UIS for help because he was so impressed by how we conducted ourselves. So, he asked us for help with paging and other things and we responded,” said Allen.

After he earns his bachelor’s degree in May 2015, Allen plans to earn his master’s degree in political science at UIS. One day he may consider a run for political office.

“I really want to serve my community and help in any way I can,” he said. “If that means running for political office, then I’ll do that; if that means standing behind the scenes and whispering to the guy who ran for political office that’s what I’ll do.”

Allen knows he wouldn’t be working at the capitol without the education he’s received at UIS and says it has completely changed his world view.

“Education opens your eyes to all types of different opportunities and ways of looking at the world, so I highly recommend UIS to anyone who’s considering coming here,” he said.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Leadership lived: Student Trustee makes sure others have a voice

University of Illinois Springfield senior Hannah Cave can usually be found meeting with students on campus or attending one of many committee meetings.

The Global Studies major was elected UIS Student Representative to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in April 2014. She’s also a resident assistant (RA) on campus.

“As the Student Trustee, I really engage with the students,” said Cave. “On campus, I serve with the Student Government Association as an ex officio member. I’m at the meetings every Sunday and at events. I go to a lot of committee meetings on campus and off.”

As the Student Trustee, Cave works closely with the student representatives on the Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses to make sure student’s voices are heard. The three Student Trustees share a single vote, which allows them to shape university policy.

“It’s been a really great learning experience,” said Cave. “I’ve met a lot of really great people and really learned a lot about myself, my students, my peers, and how universities work as a whole.”

On the board, she works alongside professional board members appointed by the governor, and the president and chancellors of the three U of I campuses.

“I’m sitting at the table discussing these issues with very smart, very successful people and getting that experience is really phenomenal,” she said.

Following graduation, Cave wants to be a middle school or high school social studies teacher or possibly work in higher education student affairs. It’s a career choice that has been shaped by her experiences at UIS.

“Being able to be an advocate, as well as a representative of the students, is really great and important to me,” said Cave.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

UIS professor explores the corporate monopolization of the global food supply in a new book

Ali Nizamuddin, associate professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois Springfield, has published a new book entitled The Patenting of Life, Limiting Liberty, and the Corporate Pursuit of Seeds.

The book investigates the corporate dominance of the world’s seed supply. The seed is nature’s gift and the first link in the food chain. This life form is becoming the exclusive intellectual property of the corporation. The advent of genetically modified seeds and strict patent protection accorded to them enable companies to own the seed even after the farmer has bought, planted, and harvested the seed.

Nizamuddin explores how multinational corporations have a monopoly control over seeds and the accompanying pesticides which is leading to monocultures in the food system and the disappearance of traditional methods of farming. Local producers are forced to buy seeds each year, thereby fostering a feudalistic relationship of perpetual dependence. An imbalance of power has emerged and farmers are transformed from producers to consumers by these new arrangements.

The leap to embrace biotechnology and genetically modified foods has been quite swift and conducted without the public’s knowledge. The food that our stomachs ingest may be increasingly bad for us. Case studies from four developing countries are presented for consideration.

The book was published by Lexington Books, an import of Rowman & Littlefield, and is available for purchase online. For more information, contact Ali Nizamuddin at 217/206-8424 or aniza2@uis.edu.

Monday, March 02, 2015

UIS students win awards and offices at Model Illinois Government simulation

Several University of Illinois Springfield students were honored during the annual Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation at the Illinois State Capitol this weekend.

Five students won individual awards for their involvement in MIG. Garrett McAlister was honored with the Outstanding Contribution to MIG award, Michael Dahmane won Outstanding Member of the Senate, Duane Malany won Outstanding Journalist, and Andrea Carlson and Austin Mehmet won the award for Outstanding Moot Court team.

Additionally, four UIS students were elected to statewide office within the Model Illinois Government organization. Marc Reiter was elected governor, Nathan Piper was re-elected president of the senate, Garrie Allen IV was elected speaker of the house, and David Wilson was elected treasurer.

Each year, students from about 30 colleges and universities around the state gather at the Illinois State Capitol to serve as legislators, staffers, lobbyists, journalists, and officials of the executive branch. Through committee actions, a regular legislative session and a veto session, participants learn the legislative process by doing it.

MIG members get started in the fall term preparing legislation, polishing up parliamentary skills, and organizing the membership into a delegation for the spring conference.

For more information, contact Kenneth Owen, UIS assistant professor of history at 217/206-7439 or kowen8@uis.edu.