Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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

Allyson Packer (Photo: Lincoln Draper)
The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery has once again partnered with the Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists to award a funded summer residency and solo exhibition. After a successful inaugural partnership last summer, which yielded active community engagement through contemporary art, the organizations are working together again to offer this opportunity. After the review of a competitive applicant pool that represented national and international applicants, Albuquerque-based artist Allyson Packer has been awarded the opportunity.

Allyson Packer, who has recently shown work at Nahmad Projects in London and the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, will be in residence at the Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists from July 1 through July 21. Her exhibit at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, “Interior Space,” will open with a reception on Thursday, July 19, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will run from Thursday, July 19 through Saturday, August 11. 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.

Community engagement is a core consideration for the summer resident. Allyson, who holds a master of fine arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor of fine arts from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, will work with Springfield residents directly to realize her project.

In her proposal, Packer wrote, “My exhibition, called ‘Interior Space,’ will draw on my interest in brining visibility to the unseen. I will ask people in Springfield to participate in the exhibition by loaning me one item from their attic (or garage or closet)—something that they find valuable enough to hold on to, but also do not keep on public display. These objects will then form the basis for a gallery installation.”

In addition to welcoming Allyson Packer, the Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists will welcome two additional summer residents. Artist Nick Wylie will use his time in Springfield to research Elmer Ellsworth, a close and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln who was the first Union officer killed in the Civil War while he was removing a Confederate flag. Wylie is an accomplished artist who holds a master of fine arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a founder of the ACRE (Artist Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions). Enos Park will also welcome Zack Buckley, an artist, composer and student at Illinois State University. While in residence, he plans to record various types of audio from Enos Park to create a multi-channel installation. The UIS Visual Arts Gallery plans to support these projects and look for ways to present this work to the public.

For more information on becoming involved with these summer projects, or to learn about exhibition programming at UIS, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at www.uis.edu/visualarts/gallery, or email alach3@uis.edu.

Leadership lived: UIS student Navie Fields wants to be a role model for the next generation of young men


Growing up in the Chicago-area Navie Fields says he didn’t have many male role models. Now, he’s trying to change that for the next generation of young men by volunteering and serving as president of the Black Male Collegiate Society at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Every other Friday, Fields spends an hour mentoring with his “little brother” at Springfield’s Matheny-Withrow Elementary School through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. They talk about school work and he teaches important life lessons, like how to tie a tie.

“It’s very big for me to be able to go and reach another young man and make sure that he knows there’s somebody out there who wants him to succeed,” he said.

Fields, a business administration major, also volunteers as a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Upsilon Xi Chapter where he serves as secretary. He works as a student orientation coordinator and is a member of the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program, which is designed to help first-generation college students adapt to the university environment.

“When I first came to college, I wasn’t really seeking out any leadership opportunities,” he said. “After I witnessed so much leadership, have been mentored by so many great people, I felt like it was my time to step up and do the same thing.”

Fields, who attended Evanston Township High School, plans to obtain his master’s degree following graduation from UIS and work in the human resources field.

“UIS has taught me that activity leads to success,” he said. “If you’re as active as possible on a college campus, you can navigate yourself anywhere in the world. I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned here at UIS and that’s what’s pushing me to become a leader.”

Fields says he’ll take with him the lessons he’s learned at UIS, as he plans to continue to be a role model for the next generation of young men.

“I want to continue to be great, so they can be great as well,” he said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Leadership lived: Recent business administration graduate comes up with “Good News Now” app to spread positivity


Miranda Mogle was already a successful small business owner when she decided, at age 30, that she wanted to complete her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“I decided since I owned a business that I should know something about it, which eventually brought me to UIS,” she said. “I’ve been attending UIS, while running a business full-time and working part-time per diem traveling, so I’ve been able to schedule my classes around my life and work on getting my degree without putting my life on hold.”

While attending UIS, she came up with the concept for a new computer application called “Good News Now”, a news content aggregator that screens out unpleasant news stories providing consumers with only positive news.

“I’m an optimistic person, a very positive person and it is hard when you’re scrolling through your feeds or you’re on the internet or whatever you’re doing you’re bombarded with negativity, so I thought why not having something that brings positivity to me on a daily basis,” she said.

Mogle is now looking for an application developer that can help make her idea a reality.

“I’ve made a lot of connections and I feel like the professors are great resources themselves and they’ve also introduced me to people in the business work who can help me further my goals,” she said.

Mogle recently presented her business model at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Day at the Illinois State Capitol. She was also honored in April 2018 with an “Innovator of the Year” award during the Illinois Capital Innovation Competition Awards.

“I had to really fully think out the idea, figure out how much it would cost, if it’s even viable,” she said. “Based on that, I ended up winning, so somebody liked my idea.”

Mogle officially graduated from UIS with her bachelor’s degree in business administration on May 12, 2018. She now plans to pursue her master’s degree in nursing. She previously worked in healthcare field and would like to become a healthcare administrator.

“What made UIS special to me is that it has helped me perpetuate the path that I was already going toward,” she said. “It has made me a better business person, a better manager, a better leader and probably a better person in general.”

Friday, May 11, 2018

UIS Clinical Laboratory Science students and faculty honored with statewide awards

Several University of Illinois Springfield students and faculty were honored with statewide awards during the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science – Illinois (ASCLS-IL) meeting held in Naperville April 18-20, 2018.

Jessica Sheffield, a senior clinical laboratory science major from Maroa, was named the ASCLS-IL Student of the Year. Sheffield recently completed her term as student forum chair and was also admitted to the state level of the Clinical Laboratory Science professional honor society, Omicron Sigma.

UIS junior Jessica Sullens, a clinical laboratory science major from Vandalia, was elected student forum chair for the 2018-2019 academic year.

UIS Assistant Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science Bill Wilson was honored for his service to the southern region. Former UIS Clinical Laboratory Science program director Paula Garrott was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the profession and ASCLS-IL.

UIS students also competed in the Student Bowl, which tested their knowledge of clinical laboratory science topics. Team members included captain Holly Chaffee of Springfield, Taylor Cooperider of Springfield, Dayana Valero of Springfield, Sam Vogel of Illiopolis and Nisha Faizal of Springfield.

ASCLS-IL is an affiliate society of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). According to their website, “ASCLS is preeminent voice of all clinical laboratory professionals, creating a vision for the advancement of the clinical laboratory practice field, and advocating the value and the role of the profession ensuring safe, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered health care.”

For more information, contact Linda McCown, UIS Clinical Laboratory Science program director, at 217/206-7550 or lmcco2@uis.edu.

UIS students finish in top 10 percent during National Cyber League regular season competitions

Three University of Illinois Springfield students finished in the top ten percent of individuals nationwide during the National Cyber League (NCL) spring 2018 regular season competitions.

UIS students competed against 3,123 individuals from colleges and universities across the United States. Team captain Austin Bransky of Marengo, Illinois finished 76th overall, Steve Berryman of Louisville, Kentucky finished 100th overall and David Tighe of Austin, Texas finished 199th overall.

Bransky, a senior information systems security major, ranked nationally in 18th place for log analysis, 7th place for scanning and reconnaissance and 21st for wireless exploitation. Berryman, a graduate computer science major, ranked nationally in 13th place for scanning and reconnaissance and 19th for wireless exploitation.

During the postseason NCL competition, held in April 2018, a team of UIS students finished in the top 25 percent of teams nationwide. The UIS team, made up of five students placed 63 out of 264 teams nationwide.

The UIS team finished in 5th place nationally in log analysis, 26th in wireless access exploitation and 45th in scanning/reconnaissance.

Students who participated in the postseason competition include Austin Bransky; Steve Berryman; David Tighe; JR Gomoll of Richmond, Illinois; and Dishant Malik of Delhi, India.

The NCL was founded in May 2011 to provide an ongoing virtual training ground for participants to develop, practice and validate their cybersecurity knowledge and skills using next-generation high-fidelity simulation environments.

The competition utilizes certified ethical hacker objectives, such as open source intelligence, traffic and log analysis and wireless security.

The NCL 2018 Spring Season was designed to develop and validate player knowledge and skills in preparation for further learning, career readiness, industry certifications and other cybersecurity competitions.

For more information, contact Brian-Thomas Rogers, UIS computer science instructor, at 217/206-8165 or broge2@uis.edu.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Leadership lived: International student lands full-time job thanks to UIS Graduate Public Service Internship Program


International computer science graduate student Vincent Joseph from Mumbai, India, calls his educational experience at the University of Illinois Springfield “fantabulous”.

Joseph has spent the past four semesters interning at the Office of the Illinois Auditor General where he’s been helping with state audits and learning about state and federal laws. The internship was made possible by the Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) Program at UIS.

“The GPSI Program is a very unique program that most universities don’t have,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal program, which enables graduate students to continue gaining their professional experience, while they complete their master’s degree.”

Supervisors at the Auditor General’s Office were so impressed by Joseph that they decided to hire him on as a full-time employee after he graduates from UIS on May 12, 2018.

As UIS, Joseph has been very involved on campus as a Student Government Association graduate student senator, vice president of the GPSI Student Association and president of University Bible Fellowship. He is the former president of the International Student Association, a STARS mentor, an executive member of the Student Organization Funding Association (SOFA) and acted in the UIS Theatre production of “Macbeth”.

“I have gotten immense opportunities, which I did not get at my undergraduate school back in India,” he said. “The best part about UIS is not only that it provides you technical opportunities to learn and grow, but it also provides platforms for you to practice your soft (life) skills.”

Joseph recommends the University of Illinois Springfield to both international and domestic students looking for a right-sized campus with an abundance of opportunities.

“I love being at UIS,” he said. “I’m both excited and a bit sad that I’ll be leaving UIS, but I’m sure I’ll stay in touch with UIS.”

Joseph, who previously worked for Accenture, a global consulting company, in India before coming to UIS plans to continue to pursue his education while working.

“My ultimate goal is to pursue my doctorate,” he said. “In the meantime, I plan to complete my full-time experience.”

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

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

The University of Illinois Springfield held its annual Faculty Honors Reception on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Dennis Papini 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 Lan Dong, associate professor of English & modern languages. 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.

In her 11 years at UIS, Dong has published two monographs, three edited books, sixteen book chapters, ten journal articles, and multiple essays in refereed encyclopedias and online resources. She also has a work published in Chinese. Her reputation in Asian American scholarship is well known. She exemplifies the teacher-scholar model.

“She is an excellent and demanding teacher who maintains high academic standards and has received praise from her students,” said members of the faculty review committee. “She is an attentive teacher and always provides her students with precise and prompt feedbacks. She particularly excels at mentoring student scholarship.”

Two of her recent students have journal publications, and many others have presented their work at conferences and symposiums. Dong’s students have also been very active in the annual UIS Student Technology, Art, & Research Symposium.

In 2012, she was invited to Hong-Kong to conduct a seminar on Asian American culture. She is an active public servant in her field. She has been serving on editorial boards, reviewing essays, assessing proposals for major awards, and organizing conferences.

The Pearson Faculty Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Holly Kent, associate professor of history. 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 Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.

Kent’s teaching areas are women’s studies, history and more specifically fashion history. The review committee noted Kent’s excellence in teaching, as evidenced by student evaluations, the enthusiastic support of her peers, and her cross-disciplinary approach.

“She serves as a generous mentor to both colleagues and students,” said members of the faculty review committee. “Dr. Kent’s courses are rigorous and engaging, a result of her innovative pedagogical strategies.”

In recognition of Kent’s unique scholarship and teaching excellence she was chosen as a COPLAC representative to collaborate and develop a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary course entitled “Fashion as an Agent of Social Change Since 1900”. The review committee characterized Kent’s cumulative record of teaching excellence as embodying qualities of Leadership lived.

The Spencer Faculty Service Award was given to Ranjan Karri, associate professor of management. 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.

Karri came to UIS in 2006 and has made significant service contributions to the university, his profession, and the wider community. At the university system level, he is currently a member of the University Senates Conference and Discovery Partners Institute Academic Executive Committee.

At UIS, Karri has been a member of and active leader on numerous campus committees. He has chaired eight UIS committees such as the campus Senate, Graduate Council, the Promotions Committee, and Sabbatical and Awards Committee.

Karri is a member of the board of directors for the International Family Enterprise Research Academy and the Midwest Academy of Management in addition to membership on the editorial boards for the Journal of Cooperative Management and the Family Business Review.

Further service to his profession includes reviewing articles for numerous journals and chairing academic conference sessions. Karri’s community service is also impressive with two highlights being the development of a reorganization plan for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and advising the strategic planning of the Lincoln Public Library.

Layne Morsch, associate professor of chemistry, 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.

Morsch came to UIS in 2008 and is a cutting edge innovator in his online and blended chemistry courses. His philosophy of creating an active and engaging learning environment for students is complimented by his commitment to utilizing new technology. For example, to increase his students’ digital literacy, Morsch has them create infographics to present their arguments in a visual way and public service announcement videos.

He was one of two professors asked to pilot test the newly developed ChemDraw app, a chemical structure drawing software, and he also pilot tested two chemistry learning games that allow students to physically interact with three dimensional chemical structures. Morsch utilized iPads to incorporate electronic lab notebooks that allow students to add pictures and videos from their experiments to their lab reports. He is currently using a flipped teaching style in his organic chemistry classes where students watch 140 video lectures that he created over the course of the academic year at home, and then class time is spent actively solving problems and engaging in discussions.

Morsch has disseminated what he has learned from these teaching innovations in publications and he has given numerous presentations at national conferences. In 2015, Morsch was named an Apple Distinguished Educator. In this capacity he advises Apple’s education team about the use of technology in higher education and works with colleagues across the U.S. and in Canada to implement new teaching techniques using technology. Morsch also created a public iTunes U course for the two organic chemistry classes that he teaches that currently has over 19,000 subscribers. He exemplifies UIS’ commitment to excellence in online teaching and learning.

The inaugural Harry and Deborah Berman Sabbatical Award was presented to Yona Stamatis, UIS associate professor of ethnomusicology. Stamatis will research and compile data on rebetiko music in Greece, providing a meaningful contribution to the ethnomusicology disciplines; and write the proposal and sample chapter on a book tentatively titled "Rebetiko Nation: Making Music in Crisis" for submission to an academic press. The sabbatical award will be used toward expenses in Athens, Greece.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were Travis Bland, Public Administration; Dorine Brand, Public Health; Richard Funderburg, Public Administration; Kenneth Owen, History; Dathan Powell, Art, Music, & Theatre; Yona Stamatis, Art, Music, & Theatre; and Lucas Vespa, Computer Science.

Carol Jessup, Accountancy, was recommended for promotion to full professor. Leonard Branson, Accountancy; Ronald McNeil, Business Administration; and Ted Mims, Computer Science, were awarded emeritus status.

Sabbatical leaves have been recommended for Heather Bailey, History; Meagan Cass, English & Modern Languages; Shane Harris, Art, Music, & Theatre; Holly Kent, History; Jason Pierceson, Political Science; Dathan Powell, Art, Music, & Theatre; Yona Stamatis, Art, Music, & Theatre; and Benjamin Walsh, Management.

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

UIS Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Clarice Ford named a Woman of Influence in Springfield

Clarice Ford, Ed.D., University of Illinois Springfield vice chancellor for student affairs, has been named one of five Security Bank Women of Influence for 2018.

Women of Influence honors local women for their contributions to the Springfield area community.

Ford has been a member of the UIS community since 2008. She has served as the executive director of the UIS Diversity Center, associate dean of students and associate vice chancellor of student services.

One of her nominator’s described her as “a passionate advocate for all students but especially for students who are first in their family to attend college, low-income students and students from underrepresented groups such as African American and Hispanic students. She has implemented many innovative initiatives at UIS to enhance retention and degree completion for at-risk students, including a successful Living-Learning program for first-generation college students called “Necessary Steps.”

Ford earned her doctorate in educational leadership and change from the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, California. She holds a master’s degree in religious education and theology from Lincoln Christian Seminary and a master’s degree in adult education/multi-cultural education from Antioch University. She also received her bachelor’s degree in human services from Antioch University. She is also a United States Military Veteran.

The 15th annual program is sponsored by Security Bank and the Springfield Business Journal and will be held on May 22, 2018.

Winners are selected by their peers through submitted nominations.