Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Leadership lived: Greek Life helps UIS student feel at home


Crystal Terrazas admits to being a little homesick her freshman year, but that changed when she became a member of the Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority Inc. She now services as vice president of the University of Illinois Springfield colony.

“Greek Life is a home away from home,” she said. “When I decided to be part of it, I started doing my own research on the different organizations on campus and Gamma Phi Omega made the most sense to me.”

Terrazas, now a junior political science and legal studies major, is a member of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), Model United Nations (MUN), a resident assistant in east campus housing and a mentor for the Hispanic and Latino Mentorship Program.

As part of Gamma Phi Omega, she helps organize academic events designed to help other students on campus, cultural awareness programs and participates in community service, along with raising money for the American Diabetes Association.

“Greek Life is not just about the parties or all of the fun stuff you see on TV or in movies. It’s more about the academics,” said Terrazas.

She chose UIS because of its location in the state capitol and has already completed several internships. She plans to attend law school following graduation from UIS.

“I want to own my own law firm,” she said. “I want to go into immigration and family law, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”

Terrazas is thankful for the wonderful people she’s met at UIS and the leadership skills she has learned on campus.

“I love the close-knit community and the people who are here,” she said. “It’s just great. I don’t think I would have had that experience anywhere else.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Leadership lived: New student trustee has big plans for the future

It’s fair to say that Nathan Hoffman is busier that your typical college undergraduate. At 21, the University of Illinois Springfield political science major is managing a state representative’s political campaign and representing UIS students, as student trustee, on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

“Time management has probably been the biggest thing I’ve learned as a leader,” said Hoffman. “In all the different roles I have as a student leader, as a community leader, there’s never a night where there’s not something going on.”

On the Board of Trustees, Hoffman is responsible for making sure that UIS students have a voice. He is also charged with making decisions that will impact the future of the entire University of Illinois system.

“For the system as a whole, my focus is going to be making sure we’re making the right kind of financial decisions, considering the tight state budget times we’re in right now,” he said.

At UIS, Hoffman is a member of the Mock Trial and Model Illinois Government Moot Court teams. He is the former president of the College Republicans at UIS.

Off campus, Hoffman is working full-time for the Illinois Republican party managing Rep. David Welter’s run for the 75th Legislative District. Previously, he worked in U.S. Congressman Darin LaHood’s Springfield office where he assisted municipalities and other groups seeking federal funding.

“My plan immediately upon graduation is to go to law school,” he said. “I’m studying for the LSAT on top of all of this right now and I will take that in September.”

Hoffman ultimately hopes to become a lawyer and plans to run for a public office. He says UIS has given him and many other students the skills necessary to succeed.

“You can’t walk to the state capitol, you can’t walk to many places in Washington, D.C. and not find a UIS alumnus. I think I definitely made the right choice.”

Monday, August 22, 2016

UIS welcomes seventeen new faculty members

Seventeen new faculty members have joined the University of Illinois Springfield for fall semester 2016. Six will teach in programs within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, four in the College of Business and Management, one in the College of Education and Human Services, four in the College of Public Affairs and Administration and two in Library Instructional Services.

Amandailee Adams, visiting instructor for allied health in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, holds a Master’s Degree in biology from the University of Illinois Springfield. Adams research includes microbial biofilms, emergence and implications of antibiotic resistant organisms. When she is not teaching at UIS, Adams enjoys spending time with her two young children, going on family adventures, traveling, boating, exercising and mentoring children.

Yazan Alnsour, management information system lecturer, in the College of Business & Management, earned his Ph.D. in computer science and information systems from the University of Colorado, Denver. Alnsour’s professional interests include health information technology and innovation, analytics and big data. Away from UIS, Alnsour enjoys biking, hiking, camping and traveling.

Matthew Brown, a business administration lecturer, in the College of Business & Management, holds a Ph.D. in economics from Florida State University. Brown’s research includes financial economics, law and economics, political economy, Austrian economics and market process theory, as well as cultural, social and economic history. Other professional interests include LGBT history/queer theory.

Paul Caselton, visiting associate professor of accountancy in the College of Business & Management, holds a J.D. in law from Stanford Law School. Caselton’s professional interests include law as well as state and federal tax law. When not at UIS, Caselton enjoys reading both fiction and history.

Chun Zhang Creaser, assistant professor of human services in the College of Education & Human Services, holds a Ph.D. in education, curriculum and instruction, from the University of Minnesota. Creaser’s research includes the reciprocal influence of parent-child learning and development among diverse culture and ethnicities. Her personal interests include hiking and swimming in the summer and snow skiing during the winter.

Brandon Derman, associate professor of environmental studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in geography, from the University of Washington. Derman has a professional interest in geography, socio-legal studies and geographic information systems; politics of climate justice. Away from campus, Derman enjoys music, food, spending time outdoors and relaxing with his wife and daughter.

Angela Doehring, assistant professor of allied health in the College of Liberal Arts & Science, holds a Ph.D. in health promotion and disease prevention/gerontology from Purdue University. Her professional interests include studying the physical activity and behavioral changes in older adults. Personally, she enjoys spending time with her family outdoors.

Mark Huson, assistant professor of computer science in the College of Liberal Arts & Science, received a Ph.D. in computer science from Arizona State University. His research includes computer security, parallel and high performance computing, computer architectures and computer simulation. Outside of UIS, Huson enjoys music, reading, science fiction, material arts and doing anything outdoors.

Sally LaJoie, clinical assistant professor in Library Instructional Services, holds an M.L.I.S. in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. LaJoie’s professional interests include information literacy and usability. Personally, she enjoys traveling, running and reading.

Gregory Mayes, visiting instructor of computer science in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, holds a Master’s Degree in computer science from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Eugene McCarthy, assistant professor of legal studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in rhetoric from the University of California Berkley. McCarthy’s professional interests include law, culture, the humanities; legal philosophy and theory, corporate personhood and corporate law; legal history. His personal interests include running, baseball and outdoor activities like hiking and camping.

Debra Parker, visiting instructor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, is working on her Ph.D. in English studies and rhetoric at Illinois State University. Parker’s professional interests include rhetoric, writing, autobiography, linguistics, cultural studies and interdisciplinary pedagogy. Her dissertation is titled: "The Rhetoric Bravery in Contemporary Women’s Memoir". Outside of UIS, Parker enjoys running, biking, baseball, photography and spending time with her family.

Neetu Singh, assistant professor of management information systems, in the College of Business & Management, holds a Ph.D. in business administration from Georgia State University. Singh’s professional interests include health information technology, design science research, big data/advanced analytics adoption and actionable business intelligence. Outside of UIS, Singh enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and dress design.

Steven Ward, visiting clinical assistant professor in Library Instructional Services, holds an M.L.I.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Professionally, Ward has an interest in academic librarianship: reference, instruction and assessment. His subject specialties include African American studies, environmental and political sciences, criminal justice and global studies. Outside of UIS, Ward enjoys writing and cooking.

Celest Weuve, assistant professor of allied health in the College of Liberal Arts and Science will also serve as the program director for athletic training. She received her Ph.D. in athletic training from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her professional interests include workplace environment, bullying and harassment. In her free time she enjoys carpentry work.

Kimberly Wiley, lecturer in public administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, is working toward her Ph.D. in public administration and policy from Florida State University. Wiley has a professional interest in public administration, nonprofit management and public policy. Away from campus, she enjoys gardening and taking day trips to the beach.

Adam Williams, assistant professor of public administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in public administration from Florida Atlantic University. Williams’ professional interests include public procurement, budget and finance and public management. Outside of campus, he serves as a soccer referee and enjoys traveling the world.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

UIS Student Affairs recognizes exceptional work in the division

The University of Illinois Springfield Division of Student Affairs recognizes outstanding work within the division each year. Six awards are given out during the Division Retreat Summer 2016.

This year, the entire staff of Cox Children's Center received the Student Affairs for Excellence Award. The center and its staff have been recognized numerous times over the years for achieving the highest performance level of accreditation.

The Mentor of the Year Award, chosen by students, was given to Sophia Gelhausen Anderson, coordinator of programs and outreach for Hispanic and Latino students, for making a difference in the lives of students. One student's nomination stated, "She cares about the well-being of students on campus and has a positive attitude."

Alexandria Cosner received the New Student Affairs Member Award. Cosner has served in Campus Recreation for the past 15 months. Cosner was chosen for her commitment to improving the department and offering more programs for faculty, students and staff.

The Quality Service Award was given to Margaret Carlen, a supervisor in Admissions and Records. Carlen was recognized for the professional and caring way she interacts with students on a daily basis and for her dedication to seeing the university grow and thrive.

Johnell Greer, in Financial Assistance, received the Student First Award. Greer's positive attitude and willingness to anything for students, stood out as exemplary. Greer was credited with making the student experience at UIS much more simple and stress-free.

The Vice Chancellor's Award was given to Howard Seidel, UIS Food Service executive chef. Seidel was recognized for his overall commitment to excellence.

The UIS Division of Student Affairs is made up of 20 centers and offices on campus.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

UIS online leader Ray Schroeder honored as an Outstanding Practitioner in Distance Education

Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois Springfield, was honored with the 2016 Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Practitioner in Distance Education by the Univeristy of Wisconsin on August 10, 2016, in Madison, Wisconsin.

The bi-annual award honors leadership that has provided a model of practice benefitting present and future distance education programs, instructors, students, researchers, and practitioners.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award recognizing our work in distance learning,” said Schroeder. “Charles Wedemeyer is the founder of modern distance learning - his values are ones we carry forward at UIS. This recognition puts us in a small, elite group of leaders and innovators in online and distance learning nationally.”

Schroeder is a nationally recognized leader in the field of online learning and is the current director of the Center for Online Leadership at the University Continuing and Professional Education Association (UPCEA). He regularly presents his research at national conferences and has written numerous publications about online and technology-enhanced learning. He is also the author of the popular blogs “Online Learning Update” and “Educational Technology”.

He was recently honored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with their Hall of Fame Award in May 2016. He was a Sloan Consortium Distinguished Scholar in Online Learning 2002-2003, recipient of the 2002 Sloan-C award for the “Most Outstanding Achievement in ALN by an Individual,” University of Southern Maine “Visiting Scholar in Online Learning” 2006-2009, and co-founder of the New Century Learning Consortium.

Schroeder was named the inaugural 2010 recipient of the Sloan Consortium's highest Individual award - the A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award. He received the 2011 University of Illinois Distinguished Service Award. Schroeder was an inaugural Sloan Consortium Fellow and was named the 2012 Innovation Fellow for Digital Learning by the UPCEA.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Leadership lived: Graduate student gains professional and creative inspiration at UIS

Courtney Cox loves to express her creativity through the written word. The graduate English major is focusing on digital publishing at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Cox is the managing editor of “The Alchemist Review”, the literary journal on campus, and “Uproot”, a national online magazine she started with two other UIS students.

As part of the Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI), she works off campus for the non-profit Energy Education Council. In that role, she puts her writing skills to use as a communication specialist writing press releases and marketing material.

“The GPSI program is really great because it funded my way through my master’s program and also provides a stipend,” said Cox, who is vice president of the GPSI Student Association. “It’s a really great experience for me to get professional work alongside my graduate degree.”

Faculty members in the UIS English Department have fueled Cox’s passion for writing and have helped her to hone her creative abilities.

“UIS has taught me that leadership is about pursing all of my passions,” said Cox. “I’ve been able to balance my professional career, alongside my creative and critical endeavors. I think that ultimately being true to myself has really pushed me forward at UIS.”

The English Department recently funded a trip to Los Angeles where Cox and five other UIS students attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. There she met professional writers from around the world.

“It was really interesting to see those communities beyond the Midwest and beyond anything I have experienced up to this point,” she said.

Following graduation from UIS, Cox plans to pursue a Ph.D. in English and hopes to eventually inspire others as a college professor.

“I absolutely love school and I’ve had so many great experiences at UIS,” she said. “I want to have the kind of influence on others that my professors have had on me and really inspire students to read, write, learn and think about the world critically.”

Friday, August 05, 2016

UIS Library Dean Pattie Piotrowski named the Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year

Pattie Piotrowski, university librarian and dean of library instructional services at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Brookens Library, has been named the Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year by the Illinois Library Association (ILA).

The award, presented by the ILA Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries Forum, recognizes an Illinois librarian who is making an outstanding statewide contribution to academic or research librarianship and to library development. The award is sponsored by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.

“It is an honor to be recognized by my colleagues in Illinois academic libraries,” said Piotrowski. “To have fellow librarians and library staff support me is truly humbling. As I glance over the list of past recipients of this prestigious award, I am quite honored to join them. Any success I’ve had is due to many colleagues, friends, and family members who have shown support, given mentoring and shared humor, and I thank them all.”

Currently the President of ILA, Piotrowski has been an active ILA member since 2003 and has distinguished herself through her service to the Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries (IACRL), ILA and the Illinois library community in general. As an active member of IACRL, Piotrowski participated in conference planning duties for three IACRL conferences, including serving as chair of the 2014 conference planning committee. She also served on the IACRL executive board from 2012-2015, as Vice President/President-Elect (2012-2013), President (2013-2014) and Past President (2014-2015).

During her tenure with IACRL, Piotrowski worked to create a more engaged and tangible environment for its members, including bringing the ILA lobbyist to speak at the IACRL Luncheon at the annual ILA conference, coordinating the IACRL booth at ILA conferences, and coordinating new-member recruitment efforts.

In presenting the award, the ILA stated “Piotrowski strives to create environments in which everyone—from students to administrators—not only feels welcome but also understands that they are part of a community that is dedicated to the enrichment of students’ lives. Piotrowski emphasizes that at higher education institutions, faculty, staff and administrators should be constant in their connection to their communities by remembering the significance of their roles.”

The Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year Award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon held on Tuesday, October 18, during the 2016 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Rosemont.