Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Associate Professor of Political Science Richard Gilman-Opalsky named the University Scholar

Richard Gilman-Opalsky, associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been named University Scholar for 2018. The award, considered the university system’s highest faculty honor, recognizes outstanding teaching and scholarship. Only one faculty member receives the annual award at UIS.

Professor Gilman-Opalsky is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of political philosophy and social theory. He specializes in the history of political philosophy, continental and contemporary social theory, Marxism, capitalism, autonomist politics, postmodern philosophy, critical theory, global uprisings and social movements.

He has published a prolific record of scholarship with major university and commercial presses, and his work has been widely reviewed in professional journals and activist circles around the world.

Since coming to UIS, he has authored four books: “Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory;” “Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy;” “Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned;” and “Specters of Revolt: On the Intellect of Insurrection and Philosophy from Below.”

Additional publications include his co-edited volume, “Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century: A Reader of Radical Undercurrents,” published earlier this year, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. His work has been translated and published in Spanish and Greek editions. External reviews of Gilman-Opalsky’s scholarship attest to its impact and importance, as do the many invitations he receives to lecture throughout the U.S., Europe and most recently China.

“Professor Gilman-Opalsky inspires his students by exploring contentious dialogues about the power of everyday people, a theme that also runs through all of his research. His outstanding teaching is evidenced in remarkable student evaluations and in letters from his colleagues and students. In his integrative teaching and writing, Gilman-Opalsky exemplifies the ideal of the teacher-scholar,” said his nominators.

At UIS, Gilman-Opalsky has designed and taught courses including Introduction to Political Philosophy, Political Ideas and Ideologies, Democratization and the Public Sphere, Globalization and the Future of Democracy, Marxist Philosophy and Postmodern Theory: Politics and Possibility.

Gilman-Opalsky earned his doctorate in political science from The New School for Social Research in Manhattan, New York in 2006. He also earned his master’s degree from The New School for Social Research and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hofstra University in Long Island, New York.

As University Scholar, Gilman-Opalsky will receive $15,000 a year for three years to support research and other scholarly activities. Faculty do not apply for this award; they are nominated by their peers. A committee of senior faculty makes the final selection.

Leadership lived: Political science major advocates for students on and off campus

As the elected external vice president of the Student Government Association at the University of Illinois Springfield, Daniel Rude is a voice for students both on and off campus. He’s responsible for reaching out to the Springfield community on behalf of UIS students.

“I think it’s absolutely critical for the student government to be the student’s voice because here on campus the whole reason that our university exists is student-based,” he said. “We’re all here to get an education and be well-rounded and engaged members of society.”

On campus, Rude also serves at the traditions coordinator for the Student Activities Committee (SAC) where he plans two of the biggest events on campus – homecoming and Springfest. He also serves as a representative on the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Student Advocacy Committee and is a member of UIS Student Advocacy Coalition.

“By advocating for my peers, I can create connections and make sure administrators are hearing the needs of our students here on campus,” he said.

Rude also gives back by serving as a Gender and Sexuality Student Services Office mentor on campus. He works as a UIS Admissions student ambassador where he gives tours to prospective students and helps coordinate events and meetings in UIS Student Union.

“I decided to come to UIS because I really wanted a small school feel, but I really wanted to be part of the U of I System,” he said. “I think that UIS offers a unique ability to be in the U of I, but also get those close relationships on campus with professors and other members of the community.”

Following graduation from UIS, the senior political science major from Round Lake, Illinois says he would like to work at the Illinois State Capitol or in Washington, D.C. doing political advocacy.

“I’ve always been very interested in politics,” he said. “Throughout my entire life starting in elementary school and up until now, I’ve served on student government in some capacity.”

Rude says he’s learned many lessons about leadership at UIS and attending the university has opened his mind to realities he never thought were possible.

“I really love UIS,” he said. “I’m very passionate about a lot of things that we have going on here. I think it’s very important for people to get invested in activates and groups because it broadens their horizons and I think that’s one of the great opportunities here at UIS.”

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Leadership lived: Graduate student finds confidence as a leader thanks to UIS

When Tommie Redmond came to the University of Illinois Springfield, as a freshmen, he thought the campus was “too small” and there wouldn’t be anything to do. He soon discovered the abundance of leadership opportunities awaiting him at UIS.

“Actually being able to put myself out there has made me realize anybody can be a leader and you shouldn’t just have one mindset,” said the Chicago native.

Redmond earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from UIS in May 2018 and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public administration. As part of that degree, he’s interning in the programming unit at the Illinois Department of Transportation through the UIS Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI).

On campus, Redmond is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Black Male Initiative. He is also a Necessary Steps Program mentor and an orientation leader.

“I chose to be a part of Alpha Phi Alpha because of the networking opportunities and the brotherhood,” he said. “Also, I feel as if Alpha Phil Alpha has a strong presence. I know a lot of strong black men who came out of Alpha.”

Redmond says he’s most passionate about his work as a social work intern and case evaluator at the Illinois Innocence Project. At the project, he reviews requests from people who say they were wrongfully convicted of a crime and presents that evidence to attorneys.

“I think this work is important because there are a lot of people who get convicted of crimes they didn’t do and I feel everybody needs a voice and I want to serve as that advocate for people,” he said.

Following graduation from UIS, Redmond would like to work for the FBI as a victim support specialist or in Student Affairs on a college campus.

“I think I’ve grown in being confident in what I do here at UIS,” he said. “Being able to advocate for myself and my peers, I feel that shows great leadership.”