Thursday, April 19, 2018

UIS faculty members publish “Living Out Loud”, a new textbook in LGBTQ+ studies

University of Illinois Springfield faculty members Michael Murphy, associate professor of gender and sexuality, and Brytton Bjorngaard, assistant professor of digital media, have published a new textbook entitled “Living Out Loud: An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture”.

Murphy severed as the overall editor for the book, authoring two chapters, while Brytton produced all original figures and illustrations, and oversaw the image permissions process.

According to the book’s publisher, “Living Out Loud” is the first narrative textbook designed to support college-level “Introduction to LGBTQ Studies” (and similar) courses. Students enrolled in such courses are typically sophomores and juniors, with a range of motivations, interest levels, educational preparation, and academic majors. They may identify (or be on the way to identifying) as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex or other types of gender and sexual minorities (LGBTQ+). Or they may have LGBTQ+ friends or family members who they wish to better support through learning more about their lives, experiences, issues, and accomplishments.

“The goal of ‘Living Out Loud’ is to introduce students to the exciting field of LGBTQ Studies and provide a broad, multidisciplinary foundation for subsequent, more-advanced academic work,” said Murphy.

Unlike many text readers or collections of conference papers in this subject area, which can employ advanced concepts and vocabularies, “Living Out Loud” offers an accessible, student-friendly text with content, tone, language, and design that is appropriate for lower- and mid-level college and university students. It introduces students to foundational topics, concepts, terms, and debates in the rapidly expanding field of interdisciplinary LGBTQ+ Studies.

The book is divided into nine chapters, each focused on a discrete disciplinary or interdisciplinary area of academic study. Care has been taken to include entire chapters or chapter sections from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The book is unique in its inclusion of chapters on LGBTQ+ Sexual Behavior & Sexual Health; Literature & Visual Arts; Education; Relationships; and, Globalization. Chapter authors have been mindful to address LGBTQ+ racial and ethnic diversity, and better integrate bisexual and transgender people, topics, experiences, and themes.

Murphy has been a faculty member at UIS since 2009. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in art history and archaeology (with a graduate certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies) from Washington University in St. Louis.

Bjorngaard has been a faculty member at UIS since 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a master of fine arts degree in graphic design from Iowa State University.

The textbook was published by Routledge and is available for purchase on the publisher’s website at www.routledge.com and from other popular stores and websites including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Reviewer copies may also be ordered on the publisher’s website.

For more information about the book, contact Murphy at 217/206-8510 or mmurp4@uis.edu or Bjorngaard at 217/206-7547 or bbjor2@uis.edu.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Leadership lived: UIS senior helps raise thousands of dollars for children fighting illnesses at a local hospital


Hannah Warden has a passion for helping children who are fighting illnesses at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. The senior University of Illinois Springfield business administration major recently helped to organize a Dance Marathon fundraiser on campus that raised more than $9,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

“I’ve met a lot of the kids. I personally know them and they’ve had an impact on my life,” she said. “There are some kids who have spent days, weeks, and years in the hospital, so anything I can do to give back to them is amazing and it brings a lot of joy to my life.”

Before the Dance Marathon, students spent a year raising funds and awareness for the children’s hospital. The Dance Marathon event was the culmination of that efforts where students got a chance to meet patients and families treated at St. John’s.

“I actually interned with the Children’s Miracle Network this summer, so I kind of started (planning the Dance Marathon) this summer,” said Warden. “I went to a conference in Maryland and we’ve have meetings once a week this school year.”

Outside her role as director of the UIS Dance Marathon, Warden is also involved on campus as a summer orientation leader for the UIS Office of New Student Orientation and Parent Relations. For the past two summers she’s helped to welcome incoming students to campus.

Warden is also a facilitator for the UIS Campus Recreation Challenge Course where she brings teams of students in and teaches them leadership skills through different physical activities.

“I’ve gotten involved,” she said. “If you don’t get involved it’s hard to enjoy college, honestly, but for me I came here, I got involved right away, held quite a few jobs here on campus, been a part of quite a few organizations, so I love that.”

Warden transferred to UIS from a private university at the beginning of her sophomore year. She feels that she made the right decision in coming to UIS.

“My brother came here and he really loved it here. He had tons of friends and enjoyed his four years, so I thought it would be an awesome school. Once I came here, I absolutely loved it,” she said.

Following graduation from UIS, Warden plans to start a career the healthcare field. She leaves UIS knowing she’s grown as a leader and a person.

“You’re not just coming here for school, but you can really come here to figure out who you want to be and get involved in tons of different things,” she said. “For me, I think UIS has really changed me.”

Friday, April 13, 2018

Leadership lived: Transfer student finds her voice through leadership roles at UIS

Before transferring to the University of Illinois Springfield, Molly Looby says she felt “lost” and “very small”. However, she’s now found her voice as a student worker for the UIS Women’s Center and president of the UIS College Democrats.

Looby, a communication and political science double major, recently helped to plan Chancellor’s Women’s Leadership Luncheon, which featured five accomplished women from the Springfield community who spoke about their success.

“Even today, it’s really hard to be a woman and a leader,” she said. “There’s a lot of obstacles in the way, so I think it’s very important to ask questions and learn about what we can do.”

As the president of UIS College Democrats, she often helps bring candidates to campus who are running for political office, so they have an opportunity to speak with students.

“I think it’s really important because they need to hear from students, they need to realize that students have a voice and we have things to say and we have something that we want from them and they need to listen,” she said.

Looby says she feels she made the right decision in choosing UIS and feels fortunate for all of the opportunities she’s had on campus.

“I have no idea how it happened, I was given so many opportunities,” she said. “I never thought that any of this would happen.”

Looby, who grew up in Springfield, says she “loves it here” at UIS. She enjoys the community, the diverse people and the diverse opinions on campus.

“I think that there’s a lot of passion for such a small place,” she said. “If you want the small class size, but you want to have a loud voice on campus, I think that this place is absolutely for you.”

Following graduation from UIS, Looby plans to work as an organizer for a labor union.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

James Koeppe wins the 2018 Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award

James Koeppe, director of campus recreation at the University of Illinois Springfield, is the winner of the 15th annual Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) Award. The award was presented by Chancellor Susan J. Koch on April 12, 2018.

Koeppe was instrumental in starting the new UIS Rising Stars Program for new university employees. Thanks to his leadership, the inaugural group of 15 new employees, from 11 different campus departments, had the opportunity to learn more about the history of UIS, tour campus housing, engage in professional development and community service, attend UIS sporting events and visit with leaders from the City of Springfield.

“His vision and efforts to create a new employee orientation program that went beyond the existing new hire onboarding practices, was a work project that went outside of his role as Director of Campus Recreation,” said a nominator. “The goal of this new program is to build a stronger sense of campus community, improve employee retention, encourage a collaborative environment, and exemplify Leadership lived among our newest campus employees.”

Koeppe was instrumental in all aspects of staring the program, including coming up with the vision, seeking support from university administrators and finding funding.

“Personally knowing the efforts it took James to get this initiative off the ground, reflects James’ contribution, not only to his unit and his own development, but his great contribution to UIS as a whole,” said a nominator.

Koeppe has also been responsible for significant innovation within the Department of Campus Recreation. He created Rec-a-Palooza, a day-long event that showcased Campus Recreation. The day ended with a street party featuring food trucks, a band and recreation events, which attracted 650 students, making it the largest single student event in recent UIS history.

He has also led renovations to Rec Park, which include the addition of new field lighting, an improved sand volleyball court and a new miniature golf course, in addition to working to improve professional development for student employees. He is involved in the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association and the Illinois Campus Recreation Conference.

On campus, Koeppe also serves as the advisor for the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, the largest fraternity on campus with importance placed on community service. He served as acting UIS dean of students from August 2015-February 2016.

Off campus, he has volunteered with the American Lung Association Fight for Air Climb, served as the chair for the Cubs Scouts Pinewood Derby and is a founding board member for 100+ Who Care in Springfield, which raised $7,000 for Compass for Kids in one evening.

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.

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 2018 CAPE Award include Raymond Barnett, Sean Crawford, Valerie Gebhardt, Karen Guthrie, Kathryn Kleeman, Kara McElwrath, Lisa McGuire, Mae Noll, Joy Thibadeau, Melanie Trimm and Tom Wood.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

UIS professor to study “Art & Public Culture in Chicago” during National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar

UIS Associate Professor Hinda Seif with students presenting at the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium on April 5, 2018.
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 on “Art & Public Culture in Chicago”.

The session will be held June 11-29, 2018, at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Seif was selected from more than 100 applicants and will spend three weeks learning about the arts, their reception, and their civic importance in Chicago from the 1893 World’s Fair through the present moment.

"This institute is related to my current research on women artists, spaces and self-expression in Mexican Chicago,” said Seif. “Given that we have many students at UIS who are from or are interested in Chicago, I plan to bring what I learn back to UIS and central Illinois to enhance my teaching and research."

According to the seminar description, the course will be particularly focused on artistic communities, small-scale venues, and vernacular expressions that developed against or alongside Chicago’s mainstream cultural institutions—especially those that took shape in the city’s African American neighborhoods.

The summer seminar will be led by Liesl Olson, director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry Library; Rebecca Zorach, professor of art history at Northwestern University; and Chad Heap, associate professor of American studies at George Washington University.

Last summer, Seif was selected to participate in an NEH Summer Seminar exploring 20th century U.S. history through the lens of the National Women’s Conference, which was held in Houston in 1977.

Seif holds a master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Davis.

UIS students finish in first place at a national Society for Advancement of Management competition

A group of four University of Illinois Springfield students, who are members of the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) student chapter at UIS, finished in first place at the Thomas Greensmith Open Division Collegiate Management Case Competition held on March 23, 2018, in Arlington, Virginia.

During the national competition, UIS students competed against 22 other colleges and universities. UIS students presented solutions related to a business case involving Ryder, a fortune 500 company. Students analyzed some specific problems Ryder is currently facing (more specifically “low wages” and “demand for more drivers”) and presented short and long-term recommendations to solve these problems for the company.

“This award is special in so many ways, it's the first time UIS participated, and with our presentation and hard work, we were confident of winning something at the competition,” said Prashant Bidhuri, a UIS student on the team. “Our team had never worked together before and as much fun winning the competition was, getting to know the other members of the team and becoming great friends with them was an unforgettable experience.”

UIS students Prashant Bidhuri, a graduate Management Information Systems (MIS) major from New Delhi, India; Apoorva Kanthwal a graduate MIS major from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India; Michael Kirchgesner, an undergraduate business administration major from Springfield, Illinois; and Adella Nguyen, a graduate MBA student from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam made up the team. The team was advised by Sundeep Sharma, Ph.D., UIS assistant professor of management.

“Winning this award shows that teamwork and working together pays off,” said student Michael Kirchgesner. “Each group member contributed in their own way to make this one of the best presentation experiences available for college students. This award has motivated me to work at my best level until my good becomes my better, and my better becomes my best.”

For more information on the Society for Advancement of Management student competitions, contact Assistant Professor Sudeep Sharma at 217/206-8275 or sshar5@uis.edu.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Leadership lived: Student sees the impact of volunteering during Alternative Spring Break trip to Texas

University of Illinois Springfield junior liberal studies major Madison Reuss has a passion for volunteering. She recently went on a week-long Alternative Spring Break trip to Texas where she and 20 other students helped clean up the damage left by Hurricane Harvey.

The group helped homeowners pack up their houses, spread sand, tore down a shed and sorted supplies at the Salvation Army. Reuss says her favorite part of the trip was hearing from homeowners and knowing they were making a difference.

“One homeowner was getting ready to finish gutting his house and redo it and the one thing he said was just seeing headlights in the driveway coming to help always gave him hope and especially a time like Hurricane Harvey, they lose hope, and seeing the headlights just gave him that hope again.”

The group traveled to Beaumont, Texas where they partnered with Community Collaborations International (CCI). Reuss and the other students on the trip stayed at a church in Beaumont while they volunteer.

“Because of the trip, I’ve been able to make connections and friendships with people that I never thought I’d make friendships with,” she said.

At UIS, Reuss is the volunteer chair and a member of the Legion of Ladies and works at the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center where she helps to coordinate a weekly volunteer effort with Lee Elementary School in Springfield. She also works as a music assistant for the UIS Music Department.

Off campus, Reuss is the president of the Springfield Celts Women’s Rugby team. She discovered the community team at the UIS Involvement Expo and decided to give it a try. She’d never played rugby before joining, but has come to love the sport.

“We’re not just a college team, we’re a local team, so you do make the connections in the community, which helps make the bonds from the community even greater,” she said. Especially for me, it’s really empowering as a woman.”

Following graduation from UIS, the Nashville, Illinois native, would like to become a secondary education teacher teaching 9 through 12 grade students.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that I came to UIS,” she said. “It was a really good step for me. Getting here and going to school here I’ve had opportunities that I never imagined that I would have.”

UIS Education Honor Society inducts eight new members

The Alpha Alpha Gamma chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, at the University of Illinois Springfield inducted eight new members during a ceremony on March 25, 2018.

Dustin Day, superintendent and high school principal of Waverly Community Unit School District #6, was the guest speaker at the event.

The Society inducts individuals who have exhibited the ideals of scholarship, integrity in service, and commitment to excellence in teaching and its allied professions. Selection as a member of Kappa Delta Pi is based on high academic achievement, a commitment to education as a career, and a professional attitude that assures steady growth in the profession.

Students inducted at this year’s ceremony include: Joshua Atwood, Taylor Bauer, Lauren Capranica, Brianna Graham, Naylin Ronchetto, Jennifer Ruggless, Ashley Trader and Cassidy Yates.

Kappa Delta Pi was established in 1911 to recognize and promote excellence in education. Through its programs, services, and strategic partnerships, the honor society supports the professional growth and teaching practices of educators throughout all phases and levels of their careers. The organization currently has more than 600 chapters and an active membership of nearly 40,000 worldwide.

For more information, contact Ronda Mitchell, chapter advisor and UIS assistant professor of Teacher Education, at 217/206-7008 or rmitche@uis.edu.