Monday, May 10, 2010

Ceremony honors faculty for outstanding service and achievement

The University of Illinois Springfield held its annual Faculty Honors and Recognition Reception on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Provost Harry Berman presided over the ceremony honoring faculty members who have received tenure and/or promotion, been awarded sabbaticals, or granted emeritus status. Four major awards -- the Pearson Faculty Award, the Spencer Faculty Service Award, Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award and the Faculty Excellence Award -- were also presented.

The Pearson Award for outstanding teaching was presented to Scott Day, associate professor of Educational Leadership. The award recognizes a faculty member who has established a record of teaching excellence and supports his or her continuing development as a teacher and a scholar. The award was established by a gift from Dr. Emmet and Mary Pearson, longtime benefactors of the campus.

“Dr. Day exemplifies the commitment to excellence in teaching,” said Ringeisen in presenting the award. “During his tenure, he has taught and developed numerous courses in the field of Educational Leadership. The Department has greatly enlarged its faculty during his tenure as program chair. The Masters degree in Teacher Leadership online program, administered by the Department of Educational Leadership, has become one of the premier online programs of its type in the United States.”

The Spencer Award was given to Ted Mims, professor of Computer Science. 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.

“Professor Mims exemplifies the high expectations of the public service field and service to the academic community envisioned by Robert Spencer,” said Ringeisen. “He has been the chair of the Computer Science Department for 18 years. The department has flourished under his leadership from 70 to 500 students in 2007. He has remained a mentor for his faculty and an inspiration to the students as the program enjoyed tremendous student growth and faculty expansion.”

Laurel Newman, associate professor of Business Administration was honored with the Oakley Distinguished Online Teaching Award. The award was established by Burks Oakley II, who helped launch UIS’ online programs. For the past four years, Newman has served as the Director of Online Programs and has taught numerous different courses in the Business Administration Department.

“Her contributions have helped UIS attain an excellent national reputation for excellence in the field of online instruction and learning,” said Ringeisen. “In particular, she is the driving force behind the group known as Community of Practice in E-Learning – COPE-L – an ongoing faculty development seminar. In addition, her teaching evaluations remain at an exceptionally high level.”

The Faculty Excellence Award was given to Carolyn Peck, associate professor of Human Services. This award is given to a senior faculty member who is honored not only for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, but also for serving as a role model and mentor to other faculty.

Peck began her career in 2002 at UIS, teaching courses in the field of Gerontology. She has received numerous letters of appreciation from various state and federal agencies that deal with the aging population for her contributions in this field. Her evaluations are consistently, exceptionally strong, and she uses a host of different teaching techniques for her students including field trips, guest speakers, and other experiential activities.

“Above all, what led to her receiving this award is her thoughtful demeanor, her calming presence in sometimes difficult committee deliberations, and her role as a mentor to new faculty,” said Ringeisen.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to associate professor were John Barker, Keith Burton, Adriana Crocker, David Larson, Amy McEuen, Donald Morris and Ali Nizamuddin. Will Miller was promoted to the rank of full professor.

Receiving the designation of emeritus faculty were Gary Butler, Deborah McGregor, David O’Gorman, and Annette Van Dyke. Mary Addison-Lamb, Anthony Halter and Greg Reynolds were also recognized for their retirement.

Sabbatical leaves were granted to Leanne Brecklin, Sharon Graf, Xiaoqing Li, Christopher Mooney, Baker Siddiquee and Ryan Williams.

All promotions, tenure, sabbatical leaves, and emeritus status are approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

UIS professors publish book on same-sex marriage

Two faculty members from the University of Illinois Springfield have published a new book entitled Same-Sex Marriage in the Americas: Policy Innovation for Same-Sex Relationships.

Jason Pierceson, Associate Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and Adriana Piatti-Crocker, Assistant Professor of Political Science, are co-editors, along with Shawn Schulenberg of the University of California, Riverside. The book was published by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

In addition to editing the book, Pierceson and Crocker authored individual chapters, as well as co-authoring the introduction. Crocker chapter is entitled, “Constructing Policy Innovation in Argentina: From Gender Quotas to Same-Sex Marriage”, and Pierceson’s chapters are entitled, “Deconstructing the Backlash: Same-Sex Marriage Litigation and Social Change in the United States and Canada” and “Juristocracy in the Americas?”

Reviewers have called the book “a valuable addition to existing studies” and “a timely and important volume that represents a pioneering expansion of LGBT-oriented work.” Beyond multiple chapters on Argentina, Canada, and the United States, the book includes chapters on Brazil and Mexico, in addition to chronicling and analyzing developments in Uruguay, Colombia and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Additional information on the book can be found here or contact Jason Pierceson at 217/206-7842 or email

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

College of Business and Management honor society inducts new members

The University of Illinois Springfield Beta Gamma Sigma honor society chapter inducted 39 College of Business and Management students and three faculty members during a ceremony on Sunday, May 2, 2010 in Brookens Auditorium.

Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in a business program accredited by AACSB International. The society grants admission to the top 10 percent of the baccalaureate class and the top 20 percent of graduate students.

Students inducted at this year’s ceremony are Aaron W. Banks, Bernard A. Barth, Jeffery Becker, Gary L. Conway, Sheri Nicole Denning, Lori L. Dinquel, Paul D. Donahoe, B. Andrew Fiddes, Greg Filla, Jacob Paul Flori, Sam Ganci, Laura Christine Besaw-Gasparas, Adam S. Havrilka, Daniel S. Hunt, Azizunisa Husain, Genelle Iocca, Ryan Dean Johnson, Heather L. Jones, Justin M. Kiefer, Ai Kindlon, Tyler Ray Krofchick, Nojud A. Malouf, Katharine May Morris, Samantha Rachel Moultry, Hisham Mudathir, Alicia A. Murphy, Rhonda Neubauer, Todd Michael Newton, Kate Perkins, Thomas E. Rodden, Scott Anthony Sacco, Sam Saladino, Sarah L. Schierer, Kelly Shaughnessy, James E. Stephens, Niccol Stout, Kiley Underwood, Richard Walker and Marybeth Young.

Faculty members inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma are James Hall, Ph.D., Donald Morris, Ph.D. and Sangeeta Parameshwar, Ph.D.

The mission of the society is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business, to foster personal and professional excellence, to advance the values of the Society, and to serve its lifelong members.

American Sign Language classes offered at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield has been offering American Sign Language courses in the Department of Teacher Education since the spring semester of 2008.

“I have a feeling that a lot of people have no idea that sign language is even here,” said Randy Knuppel, a junior accounting and business major.

Dene Lynn Scott, who is deaf, teaches the sign language courses. At UIS she teaches three sections of ASL along with a course on finger spelling and numbers.

“They’ve been learning for two and a half years. They’ve been studying and learning and getting a lot of knowledge,” said Scott about her advanced students.

Learning sign language isn’t only important in the teaching field, but also when it comes to business. Some students have already put what they’ve learned to use.

“I actually work at JC Penny’s and I’ve actually had to use it. People come in and I can help them because I can communicate with them and see what they need,” said Kasey Figgins, a sophomore business and management major.

The ASL program at UIS was made possible by a $30,000 gift from Springfield attorney Joe Gibbs and his wife, Lynn for first-year development and several years after.

The UIS Office of Development is currently working to raise funds to support the program. For more information visit the development website at