Thursday, December 23, 2010

Professor Keith Miller studies computer ethics and robots

University of Illinois Springfield Computer Science Professor Keith Miller started his career in software testing, never expecting he’d one day be an internationally recognized authority in computer ethics.

Miller used mathematics to test the probability of computer programs crashing, but kept running into the question “How good is good enough?” He realized mathematics alone couldn’t help answer that question. He needed to apply human values to answer the question and turned to philosophy.

“We want the people who are working on (computer) artifacts to care about the human impact, the consequences of what they do. That, to me, is computer ethics,” said Miller.

Miller was named the Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2009. He serves as editor of Technology and Society, a journal of “IEEE,” the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. He also played a major role in the development of an international code of ethics for software engineering.

“I’m dealing with robots and other artificial agents and trying to decide how humans are going to live together with these intelligent beings that aren’t carbon based like us,” said Miller.

He recently attended a conference in Canada with computer manufacturers developing military technology capable of taking a human life.

“There are killer robots,” he said. “Many of them... have the ability to pull the trigger. If we have machines on their own killing people, you can just see the terminator kind of implications”.

Miller says manufacturers have so far been reluctant to let the machines take a shot on their own, but the trend is one of the areas of computer ethics that interests him the most.

“What we’re trying to do in computer ethics is to both educate the general public about how important these issues are and also educate computer professionals and our students about how they can make these decisions more wisely,” he said.

He is also working with a group of colleagues on what's known as e-trust, when humans are interacting with a computer or two computers are talking to each other. His goal is to answer the question “What does trust mean between programs or pieces of software?”

Miller has published numerous journal articles and conference papers on computer ethics.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chancellor Berman congratulates Chigozie Umeadi for being named GLVC Player of the Week

UIS Director of Athletics Rodger Jehlicka, Chancellor Harry Berman, sophomore guard Chigozie Umeadi, and Head Men's Basketball coach Ben Wierzba.

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Harry Berman congratulated Chigozie Umeadi for being named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week during a meeting on November 22, 2010.

The sophomore guard paced the Prairie Stars to a pair of wins over regional foes during the first weekend of the season.

UIS defeated Lake Superior State, 67-66, behind an 18-point, eight-rebound effort from Umeadi. In the win, he was 7-of-14 from the field and also added a pair of assists and a steal in the victory.

Umeadi lifted the Prairie Stars to an 80-79 win over visiting Northwood the following day. He knocked down the game-winning free throw with just two seconds to play and stole the ensuing inbounds pass to secure the win.

Umeadi finished with 21 points and eight rebounds. He was 6-of-13 from the field and converted 9-of-11 free throw attempts while also adding two assists, a blocked shot and steal.

On the week, Umeadi averaged 19.5 points and eight rebounds per game. He shot 48.1 percent from the field and 65 percent from the free throw line. Umeadi also tallied four assists, two steals and a blocked shot.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Six inducted into Sigma Phi Omega Gerontology National Honor Society

The Sigma Phi Omega Gerontology National Honor Society ETA chapter at the University of Illinois Springfield recently inducted six new members. Inductees included five UIS graduate students and one community member.

Sigma Phi Omega is affiliated with the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), of which UIS is a member. UIS has had a Sigma Phi Omega chapter for over 20 years, which has formed a strong connection to gerontology programs on campus.

Master’s students inducted:

Donna Cruce: Donna is enrolled in the joint degree program of HMS/MPH with a specialization in gerontology. She is the recipient of a Whitney Young Fellowship, and is currently an Ombudsman Volunteer with the I-Care Program. She has a strong interest in the Pioneer Movement and improving the environment in long term care settings.

Elizabeth Delheimer: Elizabeth works for the Illinois Department on Aging, as Bureau Chief for the Helpline. She has extensive work experience with the Department on Aging with the Helpline and the Circuit Breaker Pharmaceutical Program. Prior to her work with IDOA she was with the Illinois Department of Revenue. Elizabeth comes to the gerontology concentration with extensive experience in the field.

Marita Karrick: Marita is an Elder Abuse Investigator Caseworker with Locust Grove Resource Center in Carlinville. She has served in this capacity since 2000. She is currently writing her proposal for her master’s project that involves conducting a workshop on elder abuse and neglect.

Mary McGuire: Mary relocated from Carbondale to Springfield to become a student in the Human Services Gerontology concentration option. Since beginning her studies at UIS, she has added an additional concentration of Social Service Administration. Mary is a GPSI intern with the Illinois Bureau of Long Term Care. She holds advanced degrees, with a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Mary’s interests include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender aging issues. Her master’s project will focus on this topic.

Tiffany Whitaker: Tiffany is currently an RN, and is employed at SIU School of Medicine as a Research Nurse. She has worked in a variety of other clinical settings utilizing her skills as an RN. Following the completion of her Human Services degree, she will continue her studies in the Nurse Practitioner Program at UIC Peoria with a specialty in Adult/Gerontology.

Community member inducted:

Dorothy Lorene Osborn: Lorene Osborn completed her degree in nursing from Jacksonville in 1937. She worked as a nurse in a variety of different settings including long term care. In 1993 at the age of 83, she completed her Bachelor’s degree from Sangamon State University in Child, Family, and Community. While at Sangamon State, Lorene wrote a paper on Alzheimer Disease, her professor at the time, Dr. Roz Robbert, indicated it was as good as any master level thesis work.

On November 22, Lorene will celebrate her 100th birthday. She was inducted for her lifelong work with older adults and for exhibiting an extraordinary model of successful aging.

For more information contact Carolyn Peck, associate professor of Human Services at or 217/206-7577.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Illinois Issues and WUIS Public Radio journalists honored with statehouse reporting awards

Illinois Issues and WUIS Public Radio won six national journalism awards in the 2010 statehouse reporting contest sponsored by Capitolbeat, the association of state capitol reporters and editors.

Illinois Issues columnist Charles N. Wheeler III won first place in the Commentary/Column/Analysis category for magazines for his Ends & Means columns. He also won a third place award in the In-Depth category for magazines for his examination of the state’s pension problem that appeared in the February issue. Wheeler is director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Illinois Issues Statehouse Bureau Chief Jamey Dunn won third place in the Online Beat Reporting category for her reports on the Illinois Issues Blog and third place in the Magazine-Single Report category for her article about the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, which appeared in the March issue.

Dana Heupel, executive editor of Illinois Issues, won a second place award in the Commentary/Column/Analysis category for magazines for his Editor’s Note columns.

Amanda Vinicky, statehouse reporter for WUIS and Illinois Public Radio, won third place in the Radio-Beat Reporting category. Illinois Issues and WUIS are both units of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The awards were announced November 13 during Capitolbeat’s annual conference in Phoenix.

Avery Brundage Scholarships available for the 2011-2012 academic year

University of Illinois students who excel in both academics and athletics are encouraged to enter the 38th annual Avery Brundage Scholarship competition.

Scholarship applications can be submitted online at The deadline for submission is February 11, 2011. Paper applications will not be distributed.

Full-time University of Illinois students at the Chicago, Springfield and Urbana campuses, including incoming freshmen, graduate and transfer students, may apply. Grant-in-aid recipients may be eligible for Brundage scholarships, under specific conditions. Academic and athletic excellence will be considered over financial need.

Undergraduate and transfer student applications must rank in the top 25 percent of their college, and incoming freshmen must rank in the upper 25 percent of their incoming class. Graduate and professional students must be in good academic standing.

Students must demonstrate “special athletic ability” in an amateur sport. However, their participation must be for personal development, rather than as preparation for professional athletics. Previous Brundage scholarship winners represent a wide variety of sports from archery and tennis to swimming and wheelchair basketball. Last year, 16 winners were awarded $2,250 each.

The late Avery Brundage, a 1909 U of I graduate, competed in the 1912 Olympics and later was president of the U.S. and International Olympic committees. He established the scholarship in 1974, with a $343,000 endowment to the University of Illinois Foundation. Over the past 37 years, 809 scholarships with a total value of $1,017,200 have been awarded. Brundage maintained his interest in the University through service as a member of the University of Illinois Foundation, President's Council and Citizen's Committee.

For more information contact Gayle L. Layman, Director University-wide Student Programs at 217-333-2030.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Human Development Counseling faculty members receive awards

Two Human Development Counseling (HDC) faculty members were honored on Friday, November 12, during the Illinois Counseling Association Annual Conference in Lisle, Illinois.

Dr. Bill Abler received the Couple and Family Counselor Educator of the Year Award by the Illinois Association of Couple, Family Counseling. Dr. Abler was selected as Educator of the Year for his extensive service in training students in the area of Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (MCFC) and succeeding in getting the MCFC concentration of study accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Dr. Jim Klein received the School Counseling Advocate of the Year Award by the Illinois School Counseling Association. Dr. Klein was selected for his demonstration of extreme support and advocacy for school counseling in the state of Illinois, and his significant contributions to the school counseling profession.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

UIS announces winner of Outstanding Master's Thesis Award

The University of Illinois Springfield Research Board has awarded Environmental Studies master’s student Vera Leopold with the UIS Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for the 2009-2010 academic year. Leopold’s thesis is entitled Feasibility Study for a Small-Scale Wetland Restoration at Jubilee Farm in Central Illinois.

Eight graduate programs nominated finalists for the award. Each of the submitted thesis/projects have, thus, already received departmental recognition for excellence and will be publicly honored at a reception on January 31, 2011.

“The Research Board was impressed with the high quality of all these scholarly works. Determining which among them should be singled out for special recognition was a challenging task,” said Lynn Pardie, associate vice chancellor for Graduate Education & Research.

UIS Outstanding Master’s Theses/Projects: Academic Year 2009-2010

The following students received their departments’ Outstanding Thesis or Project Award for 2009-10 and were nominated for the UIS Outstanding Master’s Thesis/Project competition:

Heidi Nance
A Study of the Relationship between Municipal Enterprise Activities and Fiscal Sustainability
Committee Chair: Dr. Leonard Branson

Communication (UIS Special Merit Award)
James K. Anderson
Laughter is Critical: An Analysis of the Sociopolitical Satire on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report Using the Propaganda Model as a Guide
Committee Chair: Dr. Amie Kincaid

Educational Leadership
Neil Calderon
Profiles of School Board Election Voters in Urban Central Illinois
Committee Chair: Dr. Dan Matthews

Environmental Studies (UIS Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for 2009-2010)
Vera Leopold
Feasibility Study for a Small-Scale Wetland Restoration at Jubilee Farm in Central Illinois
Committee Chair: Dr. Tih-Fen Ting

John Marcos Reynolds
The Great Black Migration and Its Impact on the Neighborhoods of Chicago’s Black Old Settlers, 1914-1925
Committee Chair: Dr. Cecilia Cornell

Human Development Counseling
Sarah Chism
Coping with Fibromyalgia: A Phenomenological Inquiry
Committee Chair: Dr. Holly Thompson

Human Services
Jill Sonke
Development and Assessment of an Arts in Healthcare Program Model for Rural Communities
Committee Chair: Dr. Denise Sommers

Political Science
Michael Snyder
In Defense of Indeterminate Space: A Critique of Adorno’s Dialectics
Committee Chair: Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

UIS senior honored with Student Laureate Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois

University of Illinois Springfield senior Kimberly Bartosiak was honored with the Student Laureate Awards from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois during a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Bartosiak, a Bethalto, Ill. native, is majoring in Chemistry at UIS with a minor in Biology. She holds a 4.0 GPA at UIS and is currently applying to medical schools in hopes of becoming a neurologist or neurosurgeon. Bartosiak concentrated on Biochemistry as part of her major and has conducted research during her time at UIS.

“I feel very proud to represent UIS as the Lincoln Laureate among so many intelligent and promising students from institutions throughout Illinois,” said Bartosiak.

Each year an outstanding senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Bartosiak played volleyball at UIS for 3 years and has been involved in a variety of community service projects. She spends time volunteering at the St. John's Breadline and mentoring underprivileged girls in junior high and high school. She currently serves as a Samaritan at St. John's Hospital.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Alumna receives award for Distinguished Achievement from D.C. group

University of Illinois Springfield alumna Syma R. Mendelsohn is being honored by the Direct Marketing Association of Washington, D.C. with its Award for Distinguished Achievement. Mendelsohn graduated from SSU/UIS in 1975 with a master’s degree in History.

Mendelsohn is Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications for Riggs, Counselman, Michaels & Downes (RCM&D), a Maryland-based insurance consultant. She manages all marketing and communications activities for RCM&D, working closely with the firm’s executive leadership and sales team to facilitate the continued growth of the company.

The Award for Distinguished Achievement is the highest honor the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW) can present to a member and is granted based on lifetime achievements in direct marketing, involvement in the association and contributions to the knowledge and careers of other professionals. Mendelsohn is a longstanding member of the DMAW and has served as both a Member of the Board and President of the organization. She is currently President of the DMAW Educational Foundation.

Prior to joining RCM&D, Mendelsohn was an Executive Vice President with JZA, Inc., a broker/administrator focused on serving associations and nonprofits. Throughout her career, she has worked in senior leadership roles for a number of top national insurance firms, including Marsh Affinity and Geico.

Mendelsohn is a member of and has served in a variety of leadership capacities for several professional organizations and nonprofits including the Professional Insurance Marketing Association and Big Sisters of Washington, D.C.

In addition to her UIS degree, Mendelsohn earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband Martin.

The Award for Distinguished Achievement will be presented during DMAW’s annual “Best of Direct” event on December 2, 2010.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ITS training specialist co-authors chapter in online learning book

Kara McElwrath, training specialist for Information Technology Services at the University of Illinois Springfield has co-authored a chapter in the new online learning reference book Learning Management System Technologies and Software Solutions for Online Teaching: Tools and Applications.

The chapter, entitled Leading Toward Improved Collaboration, was co-authored with Dr. Vickie Cook, dean of the School of Education/director of online learning at Greenville College and a former UIS professor. The book was published by IGI Global and is available in hardcover or as an e-book.

The chapter focuses on UIS’ online document management system “eDocs”, developed by Xythos and how and why it was selected. The system gives faculty and students the ability to collaborate through instant file sharing in a secure environment. McElwrath and Cook describe how the technology was implemented and integrated, its impact on the campus, and challenges and successes.

“The experience was unique for me - I typically focus on technical writing (developing how-to's and tip sheets). It was a wonderful opportunity, not only to collaborate with a well-respected colleague, but also to share our story with others who are passionate about online learning,” said McElwrath.

The book is a collaboration of chapters, each by different authors, showcasing solutions for the challenges facing online learning - taking into consideration budgets, resources, pedagogy, and curriculum.

“It was exciting for me to play a role in this endeavor,” said McElwrath.

Learn more about the book on the publisher’s website

Monday, October 25, 2010

UIS at 40: Lynne Price

Campus Health Services Director Lynne Price has been part of the SSU/UIS campus since its beginning. She’s the longest serving employee, who is still working for the university today.

When Price interviewed for the position of staff nurse, campus leaders wanted her to agree to stay at SSU for at least 2 years. Price soon discovered she had found her “niche job” and 2 years turned into 40. She says every time she thinks about retirement a new challenge comes along, which keeps her on campus.

Price remembers students questioning why they even needed a nurse back in the early days of SSU. The need became obvious as the campus grew adding more undergraduate and graduate students, international students and athletic programs.

While they’re many reasons Price loves UIS, she says it’s the students she enjoys the most.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Business Administration assistant professor studies emotion in advertising

Do the emotions you experience while watching an advertisement make you more likely to buy a product? That’s just one of the questions UIS Assistant Professor of Business Administration Jorge Villegas is trying to answer.

Villegas researches the emotions people experience while watching advertisements using a variety of methods. He uses everything from pencil and paper surveys to MRI scans of the brain to determine a person’s reaction.

“We’re not really trying to think too much when we see advertising. We just want to feel good or feel scared or feel something. We don’t go to advertising because we want to learn,” said Villegas.

His MRI research inside the brain has shown measurable effects as people view an advertisement. Surprisingly, the results are almost identical to the reactions people are having when writing down details using the pencil and paper method. Villegas discovered there are definable differences as to whether a person likes an ad or not.

“In a couple of ads compared to the other two ads there were differences and they were real. They’re inside the consumer’s brain, which is absolutely astounding,” he said.

He also uses a method called content analysis to study ads. This method is used by Villegas to analyze how characters in television advertisements portray their emotions such as pleasure or arousal.

So if you enjoy watching an ad, does that make you more likely to buy a product?

“We like that ad more, we like the brand more and the next time we go to the super market we might end up buying that brand more than others just because we like the ad,” he said.

Villegas says it’s important to study advertising because companies spend billions of dollars on it every year.

“We want to know if it’s effective or not and how it works,” he said.

Three join UIS Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame; Pulitzer Prize Winning editor to speak

The Bill Miller Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame will honor three graduates from the University of Illinois Springfield’s (UIS) Public Affairs Reporting program who have distinguished themselves in the field of journalism. Susan Cornwell, John O’Connor and Barbara Hipsman will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield on Monday, November 15, 2010.

The Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) Hall of Fame was named in honor of Bill Miller, an award-winning journalist who served as the program’s director for 19 years. After a semester of classroom study, students work six months in the Capitol covering state politics under the supervision of professional journalists. More than 580 students have completed the program since the first class graduated in 1973. Illinois Issues, the state’s leading public affairs magazine, and WUIS-91.9 – the capital city’s National Public Radio station – established the bi-annual event in 2006. Both are units of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS.

Susan Cornwell, 55, has been a working journalist for more than three decades and in several countries around the world. She interviewed pivotal world leaders, such as former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and wrote the first draft of history in Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika-era Soviet Union. Cornwell has reported on U.S. policies and politics from Washington, where she has followed events on Capitol Hill, at the White House and the State Department. In 1996, Cornwell won the Merriman Smith award for presidential reporting on a deadline, given to one journalist a year by the White House Correspondents’ Association. She is currently a Capitol Hill correspondent for Reuters, focusing mainly on foreign policy. Raised in Metropolis and Edwardsville, Cornwell received her professional start in Illinois, working briefly as a copy clerk for the Alton Telegraph followed by her first full-time reporting job at the Springfield State Journal-Register. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her master’s degree from UIS (then Sangamon State University) in 1979.

John O’Connor, 47, has been an Illinois state Capitol reporter for The Associated Press since 1998, focusing on a variety of enterprising and investigative pieces. He is the 2010 winner of the $10,000 Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Achievement Award from the AP for a year-long body of work that included reports on a secret early prison-release program that nearly cost Gov. Pat Quinn the primary election and forced changes in state laws requiring minimum sentences. Other articles included a report on the gaping racial disparity in school discipline that inspired a state legislative task force and an article on salary increases given to Quinn’s top staff—some topping 20 percent —during a budget crisis, that had prompted the governor to announce extra furlough days for all state workers. He was given the specialist byline ―AP Political Writer‖ in 2005 for consistently breaking stories. Prior to working with the AP, O’Connor was a journalist at several Illinois newspapers, most recently the State Journal-Register (Springfield), the Bloomington Pantagraph and the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights). A native of Freeport, Illinois, O’Connor received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, before receiving his master’s at UIS (then Sangamon State University) in 1986.

Barbara Hipsman, 59, has been an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio since 1987, where she received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996. Previously, Hipsman was an assistant professor at Bradley University in Peoria for three years and worked as Statehouse bureau chief for the Belleville News Democrat for six years. She is active with Capitolbeat, the national association of Capitol reporters and editors, as a judge, facilitator and presenter at national meetings. Hipsman remains current on journalistic trends, using sabbaticals spent at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, Arizona Daily Republic and Columbus Dispatch to study the effects of convergence, varying ownership and unionization. This spring, Hipsman will study cell phone usage in news gathering. She received a B.S. in journalism from Northern Illinois University in 1972 and her master’s from UIS (then Sangamon State University) in 1978.

Kathy Best, managing editor, digital news and innovation for The Seattle Times will be the keynote speaker. In 2010 the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for the speed and accuracy in its initial breaking news coverage (print, online and combined) of the shooting deaths of four police officers and the ensuing 40-hour manhunt for the suspect. Best works with a staff of 25 producers, designers and engineers at and is the bridge between the newsroom and its online operations. Before joining the Times in 2007, she was the assistant managing editor for Sunday, national and foreign news at the Baltimore Sun; assistant managing editor/metro at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and assistant managing editor/metro at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Prior to her move into editing, she was a reporter for 15 years in Illinois and Washington, D.C. A member of the PAR program’s Class of 1979-80, Best was named to the program’s Hall of Fame in 2006. She is a native of Sullivan, Illinois.

The Hall of Fame event will be held on November 15 at The Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. 6th St., Springfield, beginning with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by the program and induction at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and may be purchased by contacting the Hoogland Center for the Arts at 217/523-2787 or at

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thom Serafin honored with William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership

Dr. Sidney Micek, President, University of Illinois Foundation; Thom Serafin (’73 Communication, ’93 Public Affairs Reporting), Founder and CEO, Serafin & Associates; George Kottemann, Chairman, The Presidents Council, University of Illinois Foundation.

The University of Illinois Springfield has named alumnus Thom Serafin, founder and CEO of Serafin & Associates, as well as a noted political analyst, as the recipient of the 2010 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership at UIS.

The award is given to a volunteer who has shown extraordinary leadership in supporting the development of the goals of the University of Illinois. It is named for William Winter, a 1942 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, retired chairman of the 7-Up Company, member of the U of I Board of Directors and Ambassador for the University of Illinois.

As an expert in public affairs, public relations, reputation management, media advising and strategic planning, Serafin has advised the UIS Office of Development, UIS Office of Alumni Relations and campus leadership whenever asked. He has served since 2006 on the UIS Campus Alumni Advisory Board and now chairs this advisory board for 2010-2011.

Serafin came up with the idea for a UIS Alumni Leadership Roundtable, which has helped the university reconnect with distinguished alumni. The group, which meets bi-annually, brings leaders in business and public service from around the nation to campus to discuss the realities and challenges UIS and higher education face. The group also meets with students and speaks in classes.

Most recently Serafin created a popular “speed advising” evening where students rotate locations, meeting one on one with multiple Roundtable members. He’s also reached out to alumni to encourage them to provide student scholarships.

Serafin has shown leadership by example, establishing the Thom Serafin Public Affairs Reporting Endowed Scholarship fund. Along with building the endowment toward multiple scholarship awards, he has provided annual support so that students receive assistance now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Looking back at the past decade: Chancellor Richard. D. Ringeisen

When University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen arrived on campus in 2001 it was a much different landscape.

“We didn’t have University Hall, we didn’t have the quad and we didn’t have the colonnade. Lincoln Hall was under construction,” said Ringeisen.

The campus would grow with the later additions of Founders Residence Hall and The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC). While Ringeisen is proud of the physical growth of campus it’s another plan he considers the most important.

“If you ask me flat out what do you think is the greatest thing to happen during your decade I would say the strategic plan. The strategic plan has set goals and said what we were. We have to keep our eye on that plan,” he said.

Under Ringeisen’s leadership the campus grew to over 5,000 students for the first time in its 40-year history. UIS has been the recipient of numerous national awards of excellence in education. Ringeisen says he’s excited about the future of the university he has lead for the past decade.

“I see UIS being one of the first places students think about when they get ready to go to college, not just local people,” he said. “I want to come back when I’m really old, instead of just kind of old, and say wow look at it go. That’s my hope.”

Ringeisen’s retirement is effective October 31, 2010. UIS Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Harry Berman will take over as Interim Chancellor starting November 1, 2010.

UIS archaeologist researches Stone Age farm villages in Germany

University of Illinois Springfield Associate Professor of Sociology/Anthropology Lynn Fisher has a passion for archeology.

Fisher has spent nearly every summer since 2001 in the Southwestern region of Germany unearthing early farm settlements. Fisher’s research focuses on European Stone Age societies and culture change.

“We research the Stone Age landscapes out of a curiosity, which moves a lot of people. We want to know the history of that landscape and how people have lived and adapted there,” said Fisher.

Fisher has been working with a group of German archeologists from the University of Tübingen as well as local amateur archeologists to explore the history of early farm villages. College students from UIS and other universities in the United States have also been part of the research team.

One area where the group has concentrated their research is the Swabian plateau of southwestern Germany. The plateau was previously considered to be settled only later in time.

“The surprise was we in fact have a early farmer village, which is up on top of this plateau. It’s the highest elevation early farming site in this region and it really raises some new questions about how farmers occupied this area,” she said.

Researchers discovered nearly a dozen long houses, which they believe date back to between 5400 and 5000 B.C. Before the discovery it was thought the early farmers only inhabited nearby valley areas.

“We’re working in an area where people haven’t previously done a lot of research,” said Fisher.

New mapping technologies allowed the team to investigate the area, without too much disruption. They used remote sensing equipment to locate the exact site of houses in the village. They then dug small trenches based on that information.

“Right now, we’ve closed up our field work at the moment and are in the lab studying some of the 10’s of thousands of artifacts weighing over a ton that we’ve recovered from our three excavations over the years,” added Fisher.

Fisher plans to continue her summer trips to Germany as data is analyzed, which could lead to new discoveries.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fourth annual Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr. Symposium Lecture held at Jackson State University

University of Illinois Springfield Professor of Political Science Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr. will be honored during the annual symposium and lecture that bears his name. The event will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dr. Holden is the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS and is a nationally recognized expert on public administration, politics and law, urban politics and racial and ethnic relations.

The Symposium Lecture will be given by Dianne Pinderhughes, University of Notre Dame President’s Distinguished Professor. The title of the lecture is “Being President Barack Hussein Obama Black Politics After the Civil Rights Revolution”.

Pinderhughes earned her B.A. degree from Albertus Magnus College and the Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. Her research examines the impact of racial, ethnic and gender politics on public policy and civil society institutions. Her seminal work is Race and Ethnicity in Chicago Politics: A Reexamination of Pluralist Theory. She served as president of the American Political Science Association as well as a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow and Brookings Institution Guest Scholar.

In 2004, Dr. Holden and his wife Dorothy donated their personal library of more than 4,000 volumes to the Jackson State University Center for University Scholars. The Center facilitates faculty research productivity and encourages academic discourse. It hosts an annual symposium for recipients of summer research grants. In recognition of Professor Holden’s accomplishments and his generous donation to JSU, the Center has named a reading room and this lecture in his honor.

Active in policy and praxis, Holden authored The Divisible Republic, Resources and Decisions and What Government Does and served as president of the American Political Science Association, president of the Policy Studies Organization and commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Criminal Justice Honor Society inducts four at UIS

Four new members were recently inducted into the Epsilon Chi Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Alpha Phi Sigma, the only national honor society for criminal justice majors, recognizes the academic excellence of undergraduate and graduate students. To be eligible, students must have completed at least one-third of the total hours required for graduation and must maintain specified grade-point averages overall and in the major.

Inductees include Jenna Edwards of Belvidere, IL; Nicole Holland of Peoria, IL; Zachary Miller of Mattoon, IL; and Alex Womack of Springfield, IL.

These new members join the following continuing members: Ryan Hudson of Litchfield, IL; Bret Merna of Peoria, IL; Lindzee Edwards, Trevor Edwards, and Julianna Richards of Springfield, IL; Jeffrey Jacobs of Jacksonville, IL; Lauren Ladage of Auburn, IL; and Alex Power of Petersburg, IL. Julianna Richards is serving as President of the chapter, with Trevor Edwards as Vice-President and Lindzee Edwards as Secretary and Treasurer.

For more information on the honor society contact Juanita Ortiz, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at 217/206-8481 or email

Friday, October 08, 2010

Three UIS online educators honored as Sloan-C Fellows

Three University of Illinois Springfield online educators are among a nationwide group of leaders in the field being honored by the Sloan Consortium.

Burks Oakley II, Ray Schroeder and Karen Swan are among the inaugural class of sixteen Sloan-C Fellows. UIS stands out on the list with more recipients than any other university.

The honor is given to educators who have outstanding and extraordinary qualifications in the field of online learning, significant experience in online learning or an allied field, a record of distinguished service to Sloan-C or the field, and extraordinary contributions or leadership in the field of online learning.

Burks Oakley II is a scholar in residence at UIS and professor emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Oakley is being honored for innovative and inspirational work in the conceptualization, implementation and advocacy of online learning in higher education on a national scale.

Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service (COLRS) at UIS and professor emeritus of Communication is also being honored. His award is for increasing access to higher education by cultivating a breadth of online degree programs and for chronicling the progress of the theory and practice of online education through new media.

Professor Karen Swan is the Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Human Services at UIS. Her honor is for rigorous research that has advanced the understanding of learning effectiveness in online and blended education.

The fellows will be recognized during a banquet on Nov. 3 at the 16th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando, Florida.

Burlingame to be featured at dedication of Lincoln, Davis and Fell statue

Noted Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life, will be the keynote speaker for the dedication of a sculpture commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s connections to Bloomington-Normal. The life-sized statuary group features Lincoln and his close friends and advisors, Jesse Fell and Judge David Davis, and was commissioned by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of McLean County. Professor Burlingame is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at University of Illinois - Springfield, and will be part of the special event Saturday, October 23, at 10 a.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington.

Bloomington sculptor Andrew Jumonville’s work is titled, “Convergence of Purpose,” and will be placed in the recently renamed Lincoln Park at the front of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, located just north of Downtown Bloomington. Jumonville has captured the vibrant personalities of the three men, who are depicted as they appeared in the mid-1800s. More than $200,000 was raised for the project through private and corporate donations, as well as grant funds from the Illinois Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and other sources.

The public is invited to the event, which will include readings of selected Lincoln works by Illinois State University President Al Bowman and Illinois Wesleyan University President Richard Wilson. The IWU Collegiate Choir, under the direction of Dr. J. Scott Ferguson, will perform 19th century songs made popular by America’s first group of protest singers, the Hutchinson Family. The sculptor and those who have contributed to the project will be recognized during the event, which is hosted with support from Milner Library at Illinois State University. Bloomington Mayor Stephen Stockton will host a reception preceding the dedication at 9 a.m.

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of McLean County was established as a joint effort between the City of Bloomington, the Town of Normal, and the County of McLean for the purpose of spearheading the local observance of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, and to celebrate the 16th president’s many connections to McLean County. Since late 2008, the Commission has facilitated and hosted numerous speakers, and special programs, and collaborated with the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site and the McLean County Museum of History to help area residents understand the role our community played in Lincoln’s life and career.

Information provided by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of McLean County.

Graduate student named AEHAP Student of the Month

Anthony Nevicosi, a master’s of Public Health (MPH) student at the University of Illinois Springfield has been named the October 2010 Student of the Month by the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP). The association highlights a student from an accredited program each month.

Nevicosi is studying Environmental Health at UIS. He says he chose the career after growing up hearing and reading about the global warming phenomenon. He was born and raised in North-Central Illinois and served 4 years with the U.S. Air Force. Nevicosi studied nutrition and dietetics at Illinois State University where he earned his undergraduate degree.

In his profile posted on the AEHAP website, Nevicosi praises the MPH program.

“It is a very flexible program according to my schedule. The online curriculum has its positives and negatives, but having the flexibility to study on my own time is a definite plus,” he said.

After graduation he plans to use his MPH degree to benefit his career with the federal government.

“By graduating with an MPA and MPH I hope to be a marketable job seeker, but also look forward to serving in the public sector again,” he said.

Read Nevicosi’s full profile on the AEHAP website

Monday, October 04, 2010

Center for Teaching and Learning web site honored with excellence award

The University of Illinois Springfield Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) web site is being honored by the National College Learning Center Association and the Learning Support Centers in Higher Education web portal. The center is the recipient of the second place 2010 Web Site Excellence Award.

The award was presented to CTL Mathematics Specialist Nicole Meismer during the 25th annual NCLCA Conference in Charlotte, NC on September 30, 2010. The center was presented with a wall plaque and certificate as part of the award. In addition, the center will also receive the 2010 NCLCA/LSCHE Web Site Excellence Award icon for display on their homepage.

The website was judged on factors such as general appearance, having a mission statement and showing evidence of supporting online students.

“We were all very impressed by the web site for the Center for Teaching and Learning,” said Alan Craig, president of the National College Learning Center Association.

Web sites were judged by leaders of NCLCA and LSCHE along with past first-place award winners.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Human Services research benefits local agency

A Springfield agency is benefiting from the research work of a Human Services faculty member at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Assistant Professor Neil Headman developed expertise in family development, family resilience, family service engagement and has been working to help M.E.R.C.Y. Communities improve their model of service provision. He has been studying the effects of the new model on both staff and residents over the past year. The agency provides housing, employment assistance and other services to homeless women and their children.

“It makes what I’m doing here really feel meaningful if I can connect that to the community. That agency also helps to serve as a place for internships for our students,” said Headman.

Headman, who has both studied and worked directly with families in need, volunteered to help M.E.R.C.Y. Communities write a Service Model Handbook, and conducted a training session with staff members. He has surveyed clients and staff to see if the model is proving successful.

He says, based on initial review of the data, the model appears to be working, by changing the way clients and employees interact. Residents at the M.E.R.C.Y. home feel like they have a more positive relationship with staff, since the model has been in place.

Headman says he enjoys doing research in the community because it gives him a chance to take findings from literature and put them to the test.

“For one it keeps you connected to what’s actually going on around you and what the people really need, rather than just kind of an interesting research topic,” he said.

Headman plans to continue his work with M.E.R.C.Y. Communities in the future.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

UIS at 40: Cullom Davis

As a founding faculty member of Sangamon State University, Cullom Davis has seen the campus grow over the last 40 years. He helped recruit the original faculty and even played a role in designing the buildings on campus.

Davis is known for his work as a historian, having founded an oral history project at the University of Illinois Springfield. He also served as an administrator and dean of Brookens Library during its early days.

Davis is an Emeritus Professor of History at UIS spending time working on the oral history project and traveling.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New staffers bring decades of experience

From left: DeShana Forney, Katherine Laing and Lisa Troyer.

Three new staff members who report to University of Illinois President Michael J. Hogan bring decades of experience in government, business and higher education.

Katherine “Kappy” Laing, executive director of governmental relations, has 27 years of experience working with local, state and federal governments. Before joining the university, she was the Chicago Public Schools’ chief government affairs liaison.

DeShana Forney, associate director of governmental relations, is former executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. She served on the staff of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Lisa Troyer, chief of staff and Hogan’s executive assistant, was his chief of staff at the University of Connecticut, where he was president before coming to the U of I July 1. She is a former interim associate provost at the University of Iowa.

All three fill vacant existing positions.

Despite differences in their new roles, Troyer, Forney and Laing said a priority will be learning more about the effects of the university’s financial challenges on instruction and research.

“Everything that we do at the university on all of the campuses is affected by the budget,” Laing said.

“That’s definitely been clear as we introduce ourselves to employees in Urbana, Chicago and Springfield.”

Laing earned a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law.

She has spent most of her career in Springfield and Washington, D.C., monitoring legislation related to local governments and businesses.

She was a lobbyist for AT&T, directed intergovernmental affairs for the Chicago Transit Authority and worked as a legislative liaison for Chicago in the administration of the late Mayor Harold Washington.

Outside work, she enjoys canoeing and bird watching in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Laing succeeds Richard Schoell, longtime governmental liaison to Springfield and Washington.

As executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Forney worked to gain the support of Illinois legislators and the state’s congressional delegation on affordable housing issues.

“Because I attended college and worked in Washington and Springfield, I’ve seen the inner workings of government and can bring that experience to my role at the university,” said Forney, who earned a bachelor’s in political science from Howard University and master’s in political studies at UIS.

Forney enjoys boot camp-style exercise and reading political novels in her spare time.

Troyer, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut and University of Iowa, spent more than a decade researching innovative problem-solving in groups and organizations.

A classically trained pianist and jazz keyboardist, she earned a master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from Stanford University.

One of her primary responsibilities is to coordinate with the president’s senior team, including vice presidents and university officers, to implement various initiatives. She also ensures follow-through as Hogan meets with faculty, alumni and business leaders.

“Being a part of such a community is exciting,” Troyer said.

“We face daunting challenges because the entire landscape of public higher education is changing.

“Those challenges, however, are opportunities to re-shape public higher education, become even better at what we do, and ensure that the University of Illinois continues to be one of the world’s best universities.”

Article by Patrice Relerford, University of Illinois Office for University Relations

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adjunct faculty member receives award for "best scholarly article"

Dr. Boria Sax, an adjunct assistant professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois Springfield, is the recipient of the 2010 Eisenstein-DeLacy Award for "best scholarly article" from the National Congress of Independent Scholars (NCIS).

The award was given for his work on the article "The Tower Ravens as Mascots of Britain in World War II”, which was published in the German book Animals in War: From Antiquity to the Present (2009), edited by Rainer Poepenhege. The book explores how animals have been important participants in war.

The Eisenstein-DeLacy award is given biannually in recognition of the best published article submitted by an NCIS member.

Sax’s other recent publications include the book The Raven and the Sun: Poems and Stories (2010). The book is a “collection of poems and tales, centered on the mysterious world of crows and ravens that exists around us almost unnoticed,” according to the publisher. Sax explores the “universality of the narratives in which animal wisdom plays, as he retells Eastern European and Native American crow/raven tales.”

Sax has been teaching in the Philosophy Department at UIS since spring 2006. He teaches online courses such as “Philosophy and Animals” and “Animals and Human Civilization”. His "Animals in Human Society" course won a national award from the Humane Society for the "best new course" in 2007.

Sax is a critically acclaimed author and scholar, as well as an authority on online learning.

Monday, September 20, 2010

UIS at 40: Judy Everson

Judy Everson’s father gave her a strange look when she and her husband packed up and left Southern Illinois University Carbondale for a new startup campus called Sangamon State University in 1970.

When Everson arrived, the campus was still under construction and you had to take a hardhat tour of the buildings. As a charter faculty member she taught courses in public speaking, history and literature.

Everson retired in 2001 after 31 years at SSU/UIS and currently serves as a Professor Emerita of English.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UIS at 40: Charles Schweighauser

When Charles Schweighauser started teaching at Sangamon State University in the early 1970s the campus wasn’t more than a hand full of temporary buildings.

Nearly 40 years later, Schweighauser reflects on his efforts to open an observatory on the roof of Brookens Library and a facility away from the city lights, which still helps students better observe the stars today.

Schweighauser is an Emeritus Professor of Astronomy-Physics, English, and Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Criminal Justice assistant professor researches prison recidivism among women

Why do some women return to a life of crime after leaving prison and why is there so little research on female offenders? Those are just some of the questions University of Illinois Springfield Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Juanita Ortiz is trying to answer.

Ortiz has been researching female recidivism rates in Oklahoma, which has the highest per-capita incarceration rate for women in the United States. Now she plans to explore the trend in Illinois to see if women are ending up in prison for the same reasons.

“Illinois is a different picture demographically. I want to see if the needs are the same, if the factors behind recidivism are the same for women in a region that is pretty different,” said Ortiz.

The Criminal Justice researcher began her study by interviewing 22 female repeat offenders at a maximum-security prison in Oklahoma. She was surprised to find out women have historically not been the focus of Criminal Justice research.

“I had never considered the situation that women don’t get a focus in the research. Focus as to why they’re committing crime, what brings them into crime, even some of the contexts like abuse and poverty,” she said.

Ortiz uses her research in the classroom at UIS when teaching her Women and Criminal Justice course. She says students enjoy when she goes beyond the textbook and shares her personal research findings.

“As undergraduates they haven’t had the opportunity to go out and interact with these populations,” she added.

That’s why she’s working with Illinois Department of Corrections to take her students on prison tours. She’s hoping the relationship she’s building with wardens will allow her access to female offenders.

“I have spoken to them about getting into work with their women and they seem really open to that,” said Ortiz.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

40 Years of History feature video

The University of Illinois Springfield is proud of its 40 years of history! The UIS Newsroom recently interviewed a group of former faculty, staff, alumni and community members who have watched the campus grow.

In the video above, you’ll hear some of their fond memories about Sangamon State University and UIS from the past. Campus leaders will also reflect on their vision for UIS’ next 40 years.

Friday, July 23, 2010

UIS assistant professor of English awarded AAUW fellowship

AAUW Awards American Fellowship
has awarded a 2010–11 American Fellowship to University of Illinois Springfield Assistant Professor of English Donna Bussell. She was the Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant candidate in English.

Bussell was surprised and delighted to receive the AAUW grant, which places her among the 2010–11 American Fellows. This award will further her study of Barking Abbey, a women’s religious community in medieval England. This work includes articles and a book of essays (which she is co-editing with Jennifer N. Brown, Marymount Manhattan College) that will be the first volume devoted to the poetry and literary life of this important Benedictine nunnery. Bussell earned her doctorate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

The oldest and largest of AAUW’s fellowship and grant programs, the American Fellowships program dates from 1888, when Vassar graduate Ida Street, a pioneer in the field of early American Indian history, received $350 to pursue a graduate degree in education at the University of Michigan. The fellowships are given to women scholars completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research, or finishing research for publication.

Over the years, AAUW has become one of the largest sources of funding for graduate education for women. Since 1888, AAUW has provided more than $80 million to 11,000 fellows and grantees.

To view a directory of fellowship and grant recipients, visit

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Management Department announces award winners

Three students majoring in Management at the University of Illinois Springfield have received awards for excellence.

Douglas S. Hartman, of Omaha, Nebraska has been awarded the 2010 James C. Worthy Award for writing the best senior paper in the program. This honor, which includes a monetary award, pays tribute to the late James C. Worthy, a charter member of the management faculty. Each year's winner is selected by the faculty who teach the course Strategic Management: The Capstone. Hartman is an A.M. Supervisor for Embassy Suites.

Kerstin E. McGowan, of Peoria, Illinois, is the 2010 recipient of The Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award, presented annually to a student who best exemplifies managerial competence, both in the classroom and professionally. She received a year's subscription to The Wall Street Journal. McGowan is a Sales Operation Manager at CEFCU in Bloomington, Illinois.

Richard L. Smith, of Peoria, Illinois, is the recipient of the Management department's 2010 Highest Academic Achievement Award. This honor, which includes a monetary award, recognizes Smith for his academic excellence. Smith graduated Summa Cum Laude from UIS and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society for AACSB accredited Business Colleges. He is a Product Manager—Mechanical Drive Marketing Equipment for Komatsu America Corp. in Peoria, Illinois.

Housed within UIS' College of Business and Management, the baccalaureate Management program prepares students to become leaders in all types of organizations through a curriculum designed to develop critical conceptual and interpersonal skills.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Karen Kirkendall appointed Director of the Capital Scholars Honors Program

Karen Kirkendall has been appointed Director of the Capital Scholars Honors Program, pending Board of Trustees approval at its July meeting.

For the past three years, Karen has served admirably as interim director of the program, stepping in when Dr. Karen Moranski became Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education.

“Karen’s tenure as interim director has been marked by her high level of dedication to the students and increasing the reputation of the program throughout the state,” said Harry Berman, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Kirkendall is an Associate Professor of Liberal & Integrative Studies. Her teaching and scholarly focus is in development psychology. She is an expert on autism and related disorders. Her prior administrative experience includes serving as Chair of the Psychology Program and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Assessment. She has provided strong leadership over the years for the Faculty Personnel Policies Committee and the UIS Chapter of AAUP.

The Capital Scholars Honors Program, open to a small number of highly qualified college students, is a four-year baccalaureate experience combining an integrated core of honors-level, lower-and upper-division courses, UIS general education requirements, and any of the 23 undergraduate majors offered by UIS.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Avery Brundage Scholarships awarded to four UIS student-athletes

Four students from the University of Illinois Springfield have been awarded Avery Brundage Scholarships for excellence in academics and athletics. Each winner will receive a $2,250 award for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The recipients include: Mallory Beck of Springfield, Illinois, an undeclared major on the Prairie Stars basketball and softball team; Megan Bergerud of Virginia, Illinois, an undeclared major who plays basketball; Tina Buck of Imperial, Missouri, a communication major that plays softball; and Brittnee Wojciechowski of Peru, Illinois, a biology major that plays volleyball.

The Avery Brundage Scholarship Fund Committee, composed of nine representatives from the faculties and student bodies of the Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign campuses, selects students from each U of I campus who engage in athletics for personal development, not as preparation for professional sports. In addition, the students must be working toward bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at the University of Illinois and must be in the upper 25 percent of their undergraduate class or in good academic standing in their graduate program.

The scholarship program was established in 1974 by an endowment from Avery Brundage, University of Illinois alumnus and former president of the International and U.S. Olympic committees.

For more information contact Gayle Layman, director of University-wide Student Programs at 217/333-1171.

Monday, June 21, 2010

David Racine named interim executive director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership

David Racine has been named the Interim Executive Director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership (CSPL) at the University of Illinois Springfield. He succeeds Tony Halter who retired on June 15, 2010.

Racine came to UIS in the fall of 2007 to lead the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies (ILLAPS). Under his leadership, grant funding for ILLAPS activities has increased from $2.4 million to $4.1 million, a 70% increase.

The Center for State Policy and Leadership is the policy center of the University of Illinois Springfield. The Center researches, evaluates, and helps form effective public policy; educates citizens on public affairs issues; and provides leadership and professional development programs. The Center provides a national stage for scholars, students, policymakers, and citizens to exchange ideas, engage in research, and expand our understanding of public policy issues. The Center's media units, WUIS public radio, Illinois Issues magazine, and the Office of Electronic Media, are key resources in fulfilling its mission.

Racine will continue to serve as Director of ILLAPS while carrying out the duties of Interim Executive Director, CSPL. As Director of ILLAPS, Racine oversees research and evaluation projects that focus on improving the linkage between the mental health and criminal justice systems, testing instruments for improved detection of high risk DUI offenders, strengthening the design of services for adults with autism, and disseminating mobile crash reporting technology among police departments. He also oversees state training systems for probation officers and DUI management, customized management and leadership training services for public and nonprofit employees, and the Illinois legislative internship program.

Prior to his appointment at UIS, he served in a variety of consulting and project management roles, including staff appointments with Governor Tom Kean of New Jersey and Senator John Danforth of Missouri. He is an expert in the area of program replication and has numerous publications addressing that subject as well as the topics of program evaluation, voluntary organizations, and intergenerational communities.

Racine holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Center for Public Administration and Policy.

Research awards presented to UIS senior and graduate

Two researchers with ties to the University of Illinois Springfield are being recognized with research awards from the Department of Pharmacology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

UIS senior chemistry major Kimberly Bartosiak was presented with the Hemal Vakharia Memorial Award for her work in pharmacology. Bartosiak is the daughter of Richard and Cheryl Bartosiak of Bethalto. The award is presented to a student who has provided outstanding contributions to research. Bartosiak received the award for her work in the laboratory of Victor Uteshev, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology. It was established in memory of Hemal Vakharia, a summer help student who died in an automobile accident in 1992.

The Barbara L. Armour Memorial Award was presented to Patricia Jett, who graduated from UIS in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Jett is a researcher in SIU’s pharmacology department, who has been on the staff since 2007. The award is presented to recognize excellence, dedication and contributions to science research. She is the daughter of Joe Biesiada and Muriel Hickson of Springfield and is married to Donald Jett of Springfield. Armour award was established in memory of Barbara Lawhorn Armour, a pharmacology researcher, who died in 1995.