Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bryan Rives named the next director of the UIS Sangamon Auditorium

Bryan Rives, a performing arts center manager with more than 30 years of experience, has been named the next director of the University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium. Rives will hold the title of director designate during a transitional period from July 3 to September 30, 2017, and will assume the director title on October 1, 2017, following the retirement of current director Robert Vaughn.

“I am excited to be returning to the great State of Illinois,” said Rives. “The University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium is not only a beautiful venue for the campus and greater metro area, but the current director and staff have put together a fantastic season of events for the upcoming year which I expect will bring out record attendance. Continuing to schedule great seasons of diverse events and ensuring there is something for everyone at UIS’s Sangamon Auditorium is something I am very much looking forward to."

Most recently, Rives has served as tour manager/company manager at Talmi Entertainment where he was responsible for the USA/Canada Moscow Ballet Nutcracker Tour, an 8 week 43 city USA/Canada bus & truck tour with 45 traveling personnel. He also served as a production manager for Celebrity Cruises in Miami, Florida from May 2014-October 2016 where he provided overall production management for on-board alternative-performance venues.

He has worked as a company manager for VEE Corporation / Blue Star Media / VStar Entertainment from where he managed a variety of US and US/Canadian tours including “Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival” arena tour (2015), The Pro Football Hall of Fame “Honor the Heroes” tour (2015), and “Discover the Dinosaurs – Unleashed!” tour (2016). From 2012-2014, he managed his own company Applause Management Group, based out of Bloomington, Indiana, where he provided marketing consulting services to performing arts organizations.

From 2007 to 2011, Rives served as the director of event services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where, as part of the executive team of the University’s Executive Director of Administration, he oversaw the department of SIU Event Services, which included the University’s performing arts center, Shryock Auditorium, the University’s regional ticketing system, Southern Tickets Online, and the staff responsible for marketing and/or providing technical support for major non-athletic events on campus.

He has also served as chief operating officer for the Michigan Opera Theatre / Detroit Opera House; director of the James H. Whiting Auditorium in Flint, Michigan; executive director of the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri – St. Louis; and general manager at the Indiana University Auditorium.

“The search committee was impressed with Mr. Rives’ vision for the future, and his ideas for utilizing new technology resources to lead the auditorium to even higher levels of engagement with faculty, staff, students, patrons and donors,” said James Ermatinger, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Rives earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in theatre production from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in business from the Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Located on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield, Sangamon Auditorium hosts more than 120 performances annually. Home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas. The Auditorium administrative offices can be reached at 217.206.6150 or by email at

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Leadership lived: Student becomes environmental advocate at UIS

Growing up on a family farm in central Illinois, the outdoors has always been a part of Marissa Jones’ life. Her passion of nature and the environment led her to the University of Illinois Springfield where she is majoring in environmental studies.

At UIS, she is employed as the Campus Sustainability Projects Coordinator where she helps to organize suitability events on campus. She is also the co-president of the student organization Students Allied for a Greener Earth (SAGE).

Jones recently helped to organize a waste audit on campus where students collected campus trash, sorted it and calculated the amount of waste that could have been recycled.

“It is a messy job, but we can get really beneficial results,” she said. “The goal is to try and look at the data and notice that we’re not recycling as much as we could be and try to influence a change in behavior.”

Jones said she’s passionate about sustainability and the environment because she wants to help prevent climate change. She believes UIS has already taken many steps in the right direction, but she wants the campus to do even better.

“Here on campus we have the new student union that’s going up and that has a big green and energy efficient vibe,” she said. “We’re just wanting to spread that vibe all across campus.”

As a student leader, Jones has learned many lessons about leadership, however the biggest lesson she’s learned is how to be a team player.

“Being a leader sounds like an individual position, but being a leader also involves getting help from outside sources,” she said. “That’s what also makes you a leader, being able to compromise and work with other people well.”

Following graduation from UIS, Jones said she would like to continue her environmental advocacy and find a career where she can work outdoors.

She’s proud of the work she’s done at UIS.

“I chose UIS because it’s a nice local campus and it was very diverse and small,” she said. “I felt like I could personally leave an impact on UIS and come back and see my impact later on.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

UIS professor to study a historic women’s conference during a summer seminar in Texas

Hinda Seif, University of Illinois Springfield associate professor and chair of the Department of Women and Gender Studies, was recently selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar at the University of Houston.

Seif is one of two dozen NEH summer scholars from around the country who will spend a week exploring 20th century U.S. history through the lens of the National Women’s Conference, which was held in Houston in 1977.

The 1977 National Women’s Conference was the only federally funded conference of its kind in U.S. history. Approximately 130,000 elected delegates participated in the lead-up state conventions. The main conference in Houston created a National Plan of Action to present to then President Jimmy Carter.

The NEH Summer Seminar will explore overarching themes in the conference including political/party realignment, states’ rights, the Vietnam War and many other subjects.

At the 1977 Conference, participants debated key issues that faced over 50 percent of U.S. population, such as women’s role in the military, equal rights, child care and the family, reproductive rights and sexual orientation. Women who attended included Rosalyn Carter, Betty Ford and Coretta Scott King.

“In 2017, these issues are as important as ever,” said Seif. “Participating in this NEH seminar will energize my women’s studies courses. It’s a great opportunity for me to work with faculty from across the country.”

The conference will address issues that Seif is writing about from her recent sabbatical research on Diana Solís, a Chicana Mexicana artist and activist from Chicago who participated in and photographed women and their organizing efforts in her Pilsen neighborhood during the 1970s and 1980s.

The NEH Summer Seminar runs from June 12-18 at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.

Two alumni inducted into the first class of the UIS Management Information Systems Hall of Fame

The Management Information Systems (MIS) Department at the University of Illinois Springfield inducted two alumni into its inaugural Hall of Fame class on Friday, May 19, 2017. The event also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of the MIS program at UIS.

The Hall of Fame honors alumni who have made significant contributions to their fields, their communities and society as a whole. The Hall of Fame recognizes MIS alumni who serve as an inspiration for the next generation of students.

The two Hall of Fame inductees were Natasha Conley, a 1994 MIS graduate, and Eugenio “Gene” Fernández, a 2007 MIS graduate.

Conley serves as the Vice President of Professional Services & Resources, Inc. (PSRI), a family owned business which was incorporated in 1987. Conley also serves as President of PSRI Technologies, LLC (PSRI Tech), which she founded in 2001. PSRI Tech’s headquarters are located in Jefferson City, Missouri and has a branch office in Metropolitan St. Louis.

Her company is a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) graduate and holds a number of state minority and women owned business certifications. Her company’s core services include staff augmentation (information technology/administrative and clerical), help-desk operations and project management.

Over the years, her company has worked with a number of high profile firms which include, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Xerox, NTT Data, TATA Consultancy Group, CGI, Deloitte, Motorola and Unisys to name a few. She has a number of state clients including the governments of Missouri, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island. Conley’s company has worked with the United States Army and currently works with the U.S. General Service Administration.

One of her most notable projects was with the American Management Systems (now CGI). They implemented the first state-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for the State of Missouri. It was one of the largest IT projects ever outsourced by the State of Missouri and its contract value was approximately $100 million. Her company managed a team of 50 developers which provided systems integration support, business analysis and post implementation training.

Conley is currently a Ph.D. student at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to her UIS master’s degree, she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Central Missouri State University. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Fernández is chief technology officer (CTO) at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) in Memphis, Tennessee. As CTO, he is responsible for developing the information technology infrastructure strategy; operational areas of responsibility include: wired/wireless infrastructure, enterprise architecture, network management, telecommunications and data center technical services, desktop support, the project management office and information security.

He is also responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation and governance of MLH’s information systems and technology infrastructure domains.

Fernández has more than 30 years of experience as a healthcare information management bilingual executive. Prior to joining MLH, he served as chief information officer at L.A. Care Health Plan in Los Angeles where he was responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation and governance of the organization’s information systems and technology infrastructure. His career includes information technology leadership positions with the Department of Defense, as an active duty commissioned officer in the Navy Medical Services Corps. He served as CIO at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. He has also worked for Sparrow Health System, Accident Fund Insurance Company of American and for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Healthcare Consulting Practice.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a second master’s degree from Purdue University, in addition to his UIS master’s degree. He is board certified in healthcare management as a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds a Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) designation by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

The UIS Management Information Systems program has more than 1,000 alumni worldwide. In fall 2016, the program enrolled more than 450 graduate students in the on-campus and online degree programs.

UIS Visual Arts Gallery announces its summer Enos Park artist-in-residence

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery has partnered with the new Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists to award a funded summer residency and solo exhibition. After a review of a competitive applicant pool that represented national and international applicants, German-born and San Francisco-based artist Astrid Kaemmerling has been awarded the opportunity.

Kaemmerling will be in residence at the Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists from June 9 through July 28. Her exhibit at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, “Walking Enos Park: Who is your neighborhood?” will open with a reception on Wednesday, June 28 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will run from Wednesday, June 28 through Friday, July 28. The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is open for the duration of the exhibit on Saturday afternoons from 12 to 4 p.m. or throughout the week by appointment.

While in residence, Kaemmerling will develop a new project to support her exhibit: the “Enos Park Community Walking Laboratory”. She is seeking participants -- local artists, Enos Park residents and residents of Springfield -- to walk with her in Enos Park from June 11 through July 28. The “Enos Park Community Walking Laboratory” sets out to provide artist and local residents opportunities to exchange information about the neighborhood. While meandering the streets of Enos Park, artist and community members will engage in conversations about the past, present and future of the district with a specific focus on arts & culture. Meet Kaemmerling for a 1 hour walk through your neighborhood, show her around and tell her who your Enos Park is and moreover what resources you think artists may need in this district. Reach her via email at to set up a walking appointment.

Kaemmerling is a German-born artist, scholar and educator based in San Francisco, California. Her work as an interdisciplinary artist spans the genres of visual, performance and media art and strives to connect place memories of the past, such as collected travel experiences, with a critical exploration of specific neighborhoods and selected urban places.

Kaemmerling has been exhibited internationally in Germany, Italy, Korea and the United States. Her work has won several awards and fellowships, such as at the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy) and the Vermont Studio Center (Vermont). She is the founder of The International Community of Artist-Scholars, a community of artists who work at the intersection of art & research, as well as founder of The Walk Discourse, a Bay Area based laboratory for walking artists and walking enthusiasts to share walking art methodologies, practices and tools. The interest in interdisciplinary collaboration has led her to the School of Interdisciplinary Arts at Ohio University where she received her Ph.D. and completed a dissertation on walking art. Her writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals and publications.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). For more information on exhibition programming, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or email Amanda Lazzara at

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Leadership lived: Cricket team captain leads team to first national victory

Growing up in India, Saiprasad Bhosle never expected that he would play more cricket in the United States than he did at home. However, as the captain of the University of Illinois Springfield Cricket Club intramural sports team he got that chance.

“Cricket is basically my life,” he said. “It’s the way I keep myself fresh, fit and it is somehow related to my life all of the time.”

Bhosle recently graduated with a master’s degree in Management Information Systems. While he was at UIS, he led the UIS Cricket Club team to its first national victory in the American College Cricket Tournament over Florida Tech. It’s the first time any UIS intramural sports team has ever won a game during a national competition.

"The second match we got all of our acts together - all three departments, batting, fielding and balling where we scored 171 runs,” he said. “We had 8 players in the top 50, so that was the biggest achievement with respect to UIS."

As an intramural supervisor for UIS Campus Recreation, Bhosle was also responsible for planning home cricket matches with other Midwestern colleges and universities. His mission was to education everyone on campus about his favorite sport.

“My work is to make cricket a game known to everyone across UIS, not only Indians,” he said. “I just want it to be internationally recognized by all the students on the UIS campus.”

Bhosle says he decided to attend UIS because of the quality academic programs and because of the cricket team. He feels he’s giving back to UIS through his work with the cricket team.

“It’s not just that I’ve taken something from the University of Illinois Springfield, in respect to the education and facilities they’ve provided, but I’ve helped create a platform for UIS to explore themselves in the field of cricket, to put more effort into the field of cricket for students who are here, so they come up, participate, and play on different levels.”

Following graduation from UIS, Bhosle plans to continue to play cricket for clubs and seek full-time job opportunities in United States.

“You never know. Anyone can be a champ and anyone can participate in USA national teams,” he said. “You never know. Anything can happen.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

UIS staff and students honored at the Railsplitter Public Service Awards Ceremony

UIS graduate student Scott Kinsell, UIS Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Administration Betsy Goulet and UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership Associate Director Barbara Ferrara at the awards ceremony.
A University of Illinois Springfield staff member and two students were honored by the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) at the Railsplitter Public Service Awards Ceremony on May 11, 2017, at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.

Barbara Ferrara of Springfield, associate director of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, is the recipient of the 2017 Railsplitter Award for Public Service. The annual award pays tribute to public servants whose careers exhibit the highest standard of excellence, dedication and accomplishment to the ultimate benefit of the public.

“It is a great honor to receive the Railsplitter Award, a perfect cap to my career,” said Ferrara, who will retire on June 1 after a 41-year career in public affairs research and service at UIS.

Among her accomplishments is the successful Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series that she helped establish and has coordinated since 2002. She also co-directed the creation of the Illinois Channel, the state’s version of C-SPAN that was launched in 2003. Ferrara played a major role in the Illinois Civic Engagement Project conducted by Illinois Issues magazine for the United Way of Illinois in 1991. At UIS, she has planned over 40 public events, including two national conferences related to state government.

The UIS students honored with Outstanding Student Public Service Awards include Scott Kinsell of Springfield, a graduate student in the public administration program, and Amy Leman of Forsyth, a student in the doctorate of public administration program. The students were selected by UIS faculty for their academic and community service achievements.

The awards ceremony was held in celebration of National Public Service Recognition Week. For more information, visit the Central Illinois ASPA chapter website at

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Leadership lived: Student discovers passion for medical research at UIS

As an undergraduate biology major at the University of Illinois Springfield, Abigail Norville has been heavily involved in a major medical research project.

Norville has been working with UIS faculty members and other students to study Hepatitis C, a viral blood born pathogen, in the central Illinois homeless population. The students traveled to homeless shelters in five cities where they tested the population for the disease.

“We wanted to determine if there was a higher prevalence within the homeless population compared to the general population,” said Norville. “Our research has shown that there’s a 15.35% greater prevalence within the homeless population.”

Norville is the winner of the Brookens Library Undergraduate Research Award and was recently chosen to present her research at the Illinois State Capitol during University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Day. She shared her findings with lawmakers and others visiting the seat of state government.

“It feels good to let people know, legislators know, how prevalent this is and how big of a problem and burden this is on the general public,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know about Hepatitis C, even though it is more prevalent than HIV and kills more people than HIV.”

Off campus, Norville works as a chief medical scribe for HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield and HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield. She also regularly volunteers at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

She is also the secretary for the UIS chapter of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society and is a member of the UIS Biology Club. Following graduation from UIS, Norville would like to go to medical school and become a doctor.

“I like working hands on, one-on-one with people and I would definitely love to be a doctor for underrepresented communities, such as the homeless,” she said.

Norville admits that she never though her research on Hepatitis C would help shape her future.

“Once I started working with it, I realized just how important it was, but I still didn’t think it was going to be important enough to go to the state capitol and as I moved forward, I was like ‘this is really important,’” she said.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Two UIS Computer Science students finish in the top 25 in a national cyber security competition

Two University of Illinois Springfield computer science majors have finished in the top 25 out of 2,077 competitors in the National Cyber League (NCL) competition. The virtual event was held April 21-23, 2017.

Team captain Austin Bransky of Marengo, Illinois, an information systems security double major, finished 18th and Bhavyanshu Parasher of Gurgaon, Haryana, India finished 21st.

During a second competition, held April 28-30, 2017, a team of UIS students finished 6th out of 138 teams nationwide.

During the competition, students defend systems from network attacks, learning how to find the attacks in system logs, traffic captures and much more. The students use NCL-sanctioned gymnasiums, virtual learning environments located throughout the U.S. that are comprised of systems-integrated software and hardware, to practice and develop their skills.

“Overall the NCL season was extremely successful, and was a great learning experience for everyone involved, old and new,” said Bransky.

The games are performance based to measure a player’s strengths and weakness among learning objectives. The competition utilizes certified ethical hacker objectives, such as open source intelligence, traffic and log analysis and wireless security.

The National Cyber League was founded in May 2011 to provide an ongoing virtual training ground for collegiate students to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity skills.

For more information, contact Brian-Thomas Rogers, visiting instructor of computer science, at 217/206-8165 or

UIS faculty members receive awards for teaching and service; promotions and sabbaticals announced

The University of Illinois Springfield held its annual Faculty Honors Reception on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Jim Ermatinger presided over the ceremony honoring faculty members who have been recommended for tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emerita/emeritus status. Four major awards – the Pearson Faculty Award, the Spencer Faculty Service Award, the Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award and the Faculty Excellence Award - were also presented.

The Faculty Excellence Award was given to Scott Day, professor and chair of the Educational Leadership Department. The award recognizes mid- and late-career colleagues who best exemplify the ideal of the teacher-scholar and whom the faculty recognizes as role models, based on sustained accomplishments in teaching and scholarship at UIS. The award is funded through the generosity of Wilbur and Margaret Wepner.

During his eighteen years on campus, Day has consistently maintained high scores that exceed the college and university averages on the standard evaluation of teaching instrument.

“Based on the student letters in his file, it is clear that Day has a reputation for rigorous course expectations, but at the same time, develops a caring, professional relationship with his students,” said Hanfu Mi, dean of the UIS College of Education & Human Services. “Many of his students have gone on to become community leaders as school principals and superintendents in the area.”

In the area of scholarship, Professor Day has focused his research agenda on online teaching and learning issues, a school law reference book for principals, and school district reorganization. Over the course of his career at UIS he has co-authored three books, seventeen journal and book chapters, and presented forty-five peer-reviewed papers at international, national, and state conferences. His work on using peer review and analytics to improve online courses has been cited forty-two times by other researchers since publication. His co-authored work on design-based approaches to improving online courses and pedagogical approaches to massive open online courses (MOOC’s) brought the research team international recognition for their papers presented in Finland, Scotland, and Ireland.

Day came to UIS in 2000, was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2006, and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2014. In 2010, Day received the Pearson Faculty Award which recognizes excellence in teaching.

The Pearson Faculty Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Amy McEuen, associate professor of biology. The award recognizes a faculty member whose performance exemplifies UIS’ commitment to excellence in teaching and who stands among the very best teachers on campus. Such a teacher both informs and inspires students, giving them the knowledge and values with which they may become productive and enlightened citizens. The award was established by a gift from Dr. Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.

Since coming to UIS, McEuen has taught seven different courses for lower division undergraduates and upper division graduates. She has developed six different courses targeted to a range of students. Even though McEuen teaches to a wide audience of students and teaches a variety of courses, she consistently maintains strong teaching evaluations. McEuen uses multiple approaches such as simplicity, engagement, interaction and active learning to help her students master complex subjects and cultivate their passion for the material.

In his nomination letter, James Bonacum, UIS associate professor of biology, said “being in the classroom with Amy makes me feel like a student again. She reminds me of the joy and excitement I experience in the classes that I took with the very best teachers I had. I think Amy ranks among the best instructors I have ever seen.”

McEuen was recognized by her peers in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who awarded her the CLAS Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015.

The Spencer Faculty Service Award was given to Jorge Villegas, associate professor and chair of the UIS Business Administration Department. Honoring Robert Spencer, founding president of Sangamon State University, this award recognizes faculty who best exemplify the ideal of the “professor-citizen” through public service and service to the academic community.

Under Villegas’ leadership, the Business Administration Department has added three new BBA program concentrations in marketing, finance and sport management. In addition to his responsibilities as department chair, since 2015 Villegas has also served as the chair of the economics program and has served as the director of the college-wide MBA program. His college-level service includes his work as adviser of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society for business students. Villegas has been very active in campus governance, serving on campus senate as well as the University Senates Conference. He has served on a number of important campus and system search committees, including co-chairing the search committee for the vice chancellor of academic affairs & provost.

Villegas also has an admirable record of community and professional service. He has worked with students and community members in support of healthcare literacy. For example, he has been part of the SIU-UIS Camden Coalition Healthcare Hot-Spotting Project, initiated in summer 2015, to help vulnerable populations get access to medical services that they need. As service to the profession, he has been on the editorial board of the “Journal of Advertising Education” since 2011, and has been a reviewer for several journals and conferences in his field.

Cheng-Chia (Brian) Chen, assistant professor of public health, was honored with the Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award. The award was established by Burks Oakley II, who helped launch UIS’ online programs and was also in attendance at the event The Oakley Award recognizes UIS faculty members whose performance exemplifies the institution’s commitment to excellence in online teaching.

According to his nominators, Chen strives to provide a student-centered learning environment because he thinks that students can engage with learning at a much deeper level when the instructor focuses on students’ needs, capabilities, learning motivations, and interests, as well as creates learning resources that provide diversified learning tools and activities for students.

“Chen successfully demonstrates that he has integrated seamlessly the active learning, problem-based learning, and interactive learning strategies to create a comprehensive and inclusive educational experience for online students,” said Hanfu Mi, interim dean of the UIS College of Public Affairs & Administration.

Chen’s teaching evaluations and student testimonials regarding their experiences in his online courses provide telling details about the long-lasting, positive impacts on them.

“Dr. Chen’s dedication and ability to reach students by creating an online learning environment that successfully nudges students to actively engage with the courses on their own is remarkable,” said Mi.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were Mark Buxton, Accountancy; Meagan Cass, English & Modern Languages; Shane Harris, Art, Music, & Theatre; Stephen Johnson, Chemistry; Brian Kahn, Teacher Education Preparation; Holly Kent, History; Ann McCaughan, Human Development Counseling; Kay McChesney, Social Work; Gary Reinbold, Public Administration; Ann Strahle, Communication; and Benjamin Walsh, Management. Roghieh Gholami, an associate professor in Management Information Systems, was also recommended for tenure.

Recommended for promotion to full professor were Adriana Crocker, Political Science, and Xiaoqing Li, Management Information Systems. Lynn Pardie, Psychology, received the designation of professor emerita.

Sabbatical leaves were granted to Kristi Barnwell, History; Michael Burlingame, History; Michael Cheney, Communication; Heather Dell, Women & Gender Studies; Sibel Oktay Karagul, Political Science; Jorge Villegas, Business Administration; and Junfeng Wang, Public Administration.

All promotion, tenure, sabbatical leave, and emerita/emeritus status recommendations are subject to approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Leadership lived: Future nurse learns important lessons at UIS

Karen Seegers grew up in a small town and knew she wanted to attend a university where her professors would know her name. She’s glad she chose the nursing program at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“I’m really happy with the small class sizes and the really nice people around,” she said. “It’s just an amazing community.”

Seegers enjoys helping people and wants to work as an emergency flight nurse and eventually become a nurse practitioner.

“I want to become a nurse because I want to be able to give patients hope,” she said. “I want to be a support system for their families and make sure they have a comfortable stay and be an interpreter between the doctor and what they understand.”

Seegers calls her UIS Nursing Program education “extraordinary” and has already taken classes in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and organic chemistry.

“I’ve had the best professors so far,” she said. “My professor, Mr. Holland, he’s my anatomy and physiology professor, he just obviously wants us to succeed and he does everything in his power that he can for it to happen.”

Seegers admits that the classes are hard, but she says she’s learning a lot and feels well prepared for her career as a nurse.

“It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be,” she said. “A few of my family members have been through it and they said it was difficult, but it’s extremely difficult. It should be.”

At UIS, Seegers is also part of the Leadership for Life living-learning community. It is a service and leadership program for first year students located in Lincoln Residence Hall. Students are required to complete 40 hours of service each semester.

In October 2016, Seegers and a group of 25 other students traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to help flood victims clean up their homes. The students stripped homes down to the studs, so they could dry out, and removed personal belongings damaged by the flood.

“It was really hard,” she said. “We were just taking all of the stuff out of their house and we were talking to the homeowner and he was obviously devastated with everything that happened. We got to save some of his stuff, but a lot of it we didn’t get to save at all. It was really upsetting.”

Seegers plans to use the compassion she’s learned from volunteering to help better understand and treat her future patients.

“I want to be able to show them compassion and everything for what they’re going through,” she said. “I want to provide them support and help them throughout their journey.”

Monday, May 01, 2017

UIS Clinical Laboratory Science students win first place in statewide competition

The University of Illinois Springfield Clinical Laboratory Science Program took first place in the Student Bowl competition at the annual American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science - Illinois state meeting held in East Peoria the week of April 17, 2017.

The Jeopardy-like competition featured ten teams from colleges and universities around the state. Questions were based on the body of knowledge for clinical laboratory science including: clinical chemistry, hematology, coagulation, microbiology, blood banking and immunology, lab skills and urinalysis, mycology parasitology and virology.

UIS students participating on the team include Jennifer Angelo of Jacksonville, Jennifer Faulkner of Pleasant Plains, Anna Kozlov and Lindsey Stevens of Springfield and Taylor Huber of Quincy.

Aside from the Student Bowl competition, the week-long conference included the election of new state officers. UIS student Jessie Sheffield from Springfield was chosen to serve as the organization’s president for the 2017-2018 term. UIS student Jennifer Minton of Springfield was elected to serve as secretary.

William Wilson, UIS assistant professor and acting chair of the Department of Allied Health, accompanied the students to the professional conference.

The UIS bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science provides exciting opportunities for individuals with an interest in science who wish to pursue a career in a health/medical profession or other laboratory-related field.