Monday, February 22, 2010

Student Newspaper The Journal wins several awards

The Journal brought eight awards back to Springfield this past weekend, including two first place awards, following the 2010 Illinois College Press Association’s annual conference.

Professional journalists from around Illinois awarded The Journal’s editorial board with a first-place plaque for an editorial published in fall 2009. Current editor-in-chief Luke Runyon also won first place for headline writing.

The winning editorial titled, “Got a problem? Try something besides Facebook,” tackled the issue of student apathy and the role of social media in that phenomenon. Judges commented that the piece was “a thoughtful, interesting take on the tired, old ‘student apathy’ editorial.”

Members of the winning editorial board include Andrew Mitchell, Kate Richardson, Valeree Dunn, Brittney Meyer and Runyon.

Current and former staff members also picked up several awards. Former public affairs reporter Laurel Bollinger won second place in the sports news story category.

Former editor-in-chief Amanda Dahlquist and reporter Greta Myers won third place for headline writing in BEYOND magazine. Current assistant editor for news Richardson and Runyon won third place for feature page design also in BEYOND magazine.

Conference judges also awarded honorable mentions to former reporter Chris Ray for critical film review and to Runyon for sports news story. Sports reporter Marcus Johnson, former photographer Chris Izatt and Dahlquist won an honorable mention for sports page design. Izatt also won an honorable mention for sports photo.

The Journal competes against other nondaily papers at Illinois universities with enrollment numbers over 4,000 students. Schools in this category include Bradley University, Columbia College, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, University of Chicago and roughly 10 other schools.

The Illinois College Press Association includes more than 30 four-year universities from all over the state. At each annual conference, school newspapers may submit work from the previous year in 29 categories.

Click here to view a previous video about The Journal offers students hands-on experience in journalism.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Professor speaks on democratizing higher learning

Kenneth Oldfield, emeritus professor of public administration at UIS, recently spoke to students and administrators at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the need to democratize higher learning by recruiting more students and faculty of working class origins to that campus.

The forum theme was “Class Matters: Understanding the Experiences of Low-Income and Working Class Students on Campus.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Burlingame invested as Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies

Professor Michael Burlingame lives downtown by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, goes to a coffee shop near the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices and banks at Lincoln’s bank.

Residing in Springfield is the perfect setting for a Lincoln scholar.

On Thursday evening, February 11, Burlingame became the second Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies for UIS during an investiture ceremony in the Old State Capitol downtown.

“I am deeply honored to be invited to hold the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies and hope to live up to the high standards set by my predecessor in that position, my late friend Phillip Paludan,” Burlingame said.

The Lincoln Chair was established in 2000 when the Dr. Richard E. Vaden Family donated a gift for that purpose to honor their long-time friendship with then-UIS Chancellor Naomi Lynn.

During the ceremony, Burlingame was invested with a gold medallion, the symbol of the Lincoln Chair. The medallion was presented in part from Springfield attorney Richard Hart, who is the president of the Abraham Lincoln Association and a long-time friend of Burlingame. Val Vaden, managing partner of Outfitter Ventures and representative of the Vaden Family, also spoke at the investiture.

Burlingame was a professor at Connecticut College for 30 years and taught courses on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War era, and 19th century American history. He recently released a two-volume biography of Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). The biography was named one of the top five books published in 2009 by the Atlantic Monthly.

“I am delighted to be based in Springfield, not only because I can teach courses about Lincoln at sites where he spent time and can conduct research at the splendid Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, but also because I have so many good friends in town who have been exceptionally kind and hospitable to me over the many years I have been visiting the city as I worked on Abraham Lincoln: A Life," Burlingame said.

Burlingame is well-known as a psychohistorian. His view that history is “psychology teaching by examples” informs his writings and his teaching.

The distinguished Lincoln Chair was first occupied by Phillip Shaw Paludan, who served from August 2001 until his death in August 2007. Burlingame said he intends to continue UIS’ fall Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series, which was started by Paludan.

View video of the investiture.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

UIS library professor selected for leadership conference

Christine Ross, assistant professor of Library Instructional Services at the University of Illinois Springfield and director of Collections and Research Services at UIS’ Brookens Library, is one of 30 Illinois librarians who were selected to participate in Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative, a year-long program designed to develop future leaders in the library professions in Illinois.

The group of librarians will attend three sessions and work in a unique environment with other developing leaders, experienced Illinois library leaders and nationally-recognized speakers. The goal of the program is for each individual to develop leadership skills that can be applied in local, state and global arenas.

“I am truly honored to have been nominated and chosen to participate in this year’s Synergy Initiative,” Ross said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues from across the state and bringing back to Brookens Library the experience and ideas I gain through my participation.”

The Synergy seminars will be held April 20 through 22 in Utica, August 3 through 5 in Grafton, and October 26 through 28 in Lisle. The seminars are sponsored by the Illinois State Library and the Illinois Library Association.

“Synergy participants will be exposed to new strategies and new ways of thinking about the future of the library profession,” said Illinois State Library Director Anne Craig. “We must be proactive and seek out new library leaders and keep our libraries growing and vibrant in the coming years. I am confident that our Synergy participants will help us chart a course for the future that encourages citizens to enter the library profession and become library leaders, while maintaining our libraries as cornerstones of our communities.”

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Students find home away from home with Host Family Program

During his senior year, as he was beginning to explore options after graduation, UIS student Jeremy Winters was introduced to Darryl Thomas, who works for the government in an entrepreneurship program in Springfield.

“He took me in like family, invited me over for dinner, and I met his family,” Winters said. “I told him about how I want to start my own businesses and own some businesses. He really taught me how to network.”

The positive relationship between Winters and Thomas was created through the Host Family Program, which is part of the Diversity Center at UIS.

The Host Family Program was started last fall by Herb Caldwell, admission and community partner counselor for the Diversity Center. Caldwell said the concept of the program came from both his personal experience and programs he has seen as part of international student offices on other campuses.

“In the town I grew up in, when dorms would close, there would always be students from the local college at my home,” he said. “My parents would feed them meals, they’d come to church with us, we’d celebrate holidays when they couldn’t get back home, and they stayed with us for two to three weeks at a time. And then a lot of schools have something like this with international students, so I thought to combine the two elements.”

And so the Diversity Center’s Host Family Program was created to provide a home away from home for UIS students.

“We started the program in hopes of giving our students new opportunities to engage with people here in the Springfield community. It provides a link and helps with the transition process,” Caldwell said.

Winters, who graduated in December 2009, studied Communication at UIS and played for the men’s basketball team. He has family members who own businesses, and he’d like to go into business for himself one day. Caldwell saw Thomas and his family as a perfect fit for Winters’ host family.

“It’s just been a really nice experience,” Winters said. “Helping each other is the way we’re all going to get ahead.”

To become part of the Host Family Program, both families and students fill out an application and are then matched up. The students then are able to spend time with members of the host family, such as having dinner at their home or talking with them about future goals.

Currently, seven students at UIS are participating in the program. Caldwell said he sees the program as mutually beneficial for both the students and local families.

“Some of the people in these host families are alums or people who are doing well in the business community, and some of our students are trying to get to the places where the host families have already been,” he said. “So there’s the whole networking aspect and building connections that might help them with a job after they graduate.”

“And I don’t want to understate the fact that it provides comfort outside of the classroom, which helps with the transition and ultimately retention of students,” he added. “We’re always looking for solid families to participate; it makes the experience here at UIS stronger and better.”

Monday, February 08, 2010

UIS Theatre faculty and student take part in play reading downtown

UIS Professors of Theatre Eric and Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, as well as UIS Theatre student Ben Beams, will be performing in a play reading of William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night on Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in downtown Springfield.

Kevin Purcell is the director, and other cast members include Aasne Vigesaa, Larry Smith, Tom Lawton, Troy Thomas-Pfaffe, Cassie Poe, and Nicole Sylvester. Audience members will be invited to read a few of the play’s smaller roles.

Over the Moon Productions is presenting the reading, and the performance is free and open to the public. Over the Moon Productions is a local theater group that also raises awareness and funds for causes related to its productions.

The Renaissance music group FEALTY will play for the reading. They will play pre-show music starting at 6:30 p.m. at the top of the circular stairs inside the Old State Capitol and will also play during the actual reading.

Twelfth Night; or What You Will was written by William Shakespeare in about 1600 and has many of the elements common to Elizabethan romantic comedy, including mistaken identity, separated twins, and gender-crossing disguise.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Professor publishes article in periodical

Kenneth Oldfield published “Our Cutting Edge Isn’t Cutting It: Why Public Administration Should Be The First Discipline To Implement A Social Class-Based Affirmative Action Plan For Hiring Professors” in the latest issue of Administration and Society, a referred periodical.

Oldfield proposes that his field honor its commitment to diversity and being a “cutting edge” discipline by hiring more professors who were raised in working class families.