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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

UIS graduate student wins award for his work with social media

Greg Bishop, a University of Illinois Springfield graduate student and teaching assistant in the Department of Communication has been honored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association with a Silver Dome Award for the second year in a row.

Bishop received the award for Best Use of New Media in the category of Medium Market Radio for creating and maintaining WQLZ-FM’s Facebook site, which he touts as a “social experiment on social networking”. The award was handed out during a ceremony in Normal, Illinois on June 16, 2010.

Bishop is an employee of Mid-West Family Broadcasting, where he serves as on-air talent. He won the same award last year for a video produced on WMAY-AM's Rally for Common Sense. Bishop was one of several members of the Mid-West Family staff who received awards.

“Two years in a row seems surreal, but that only means next year's submission will have to be above and beyond,” said Bishop.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

UIS case study on online service-learning published in international journal

Two researchers from the University of Illinois Springfield are being recognized for having their findings on online service-learning published in the journal The Internet and Higher Education.

Kathy Guthrie, adjunct faculty for Service-Learning and Holly McCracken, director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences online programs conducted the research and wrote the article “Making a difference online: Facilitating service-learning through distance education”. It was published in a June 2010, edition of the journal, which is available online.

The article explores how UIS is successfully using the Internet to provide service-learning courses in an online format. Through the online courses offered by UIS students are allowed to study from a distance, while performing service in their local communities.

“The majority of students originate well beyond the central region of Illinois, including most of the United States and several foreign countries. These variables contribute to a diverse context in which to explore service,” Guthrie and McCracken noted in the article.

UIS offers two distinct online service-learning courses, which focus on community engagement and responsible citizenship through different lenses. The first course, titled Learning and Serving in the Community, focuses on community engagement broadly. The second offered course, titled Social Change and Leadership, examines community engagement from a positive social action framework, exploring the means by which different leadership styles enact positive, sustainable change within organizations, neighborhoods, and larger communities. Students identify and develop community service projects that result in specific outcomes planned in collaboration with their on-site supervisors.

“While service learning pedagogy has been actively explored in the United States since the 1970s, facilitating this type of learning using the Internet is relatively new,” noted the researchers.

Overall, the research team found online service-learning courses provide new opportunities for civic education. Guthrie and McCracken hope the results of the case study from the past three years will help provide information for other practitioners to develop and deliver such courses successfully.

The Internet and Higher Education, a is quarterly journal devoted to addressing contemporary issues and future developments related to online learning, teaching, and administration on the Internet in post-secondary settings. The journal is peer-reviewed, with members of the editorial board from around the world.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Chris Mooney honored by peers at SPPC and named University Scholar

Christopher Z. Mooney
, professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois Springfield was named University Scholar 2010 during a surprise announcement at the 10th annual State Politics and Policy Conference (SPPC) on June 4.

Mooney helped organize the first SPPC conference and has played a major role in its development. This is the first time the conference has been held in Illinois, bringing hundreds of national experts in state politics to UIS.

“It’s hard to fathom the degree to which Chris Mooney is recognized nationally in the field of political science and also the esteem at which he’s held,” said Harry Berman, UIS provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Materials nominating Mooney for the University Scholar award hailed him as a “model teacher-scholar” who is a “committed teacher” and a “leading scholar of state politics”. Mooney has been nationally recognized as a leader in the field of state politics, most recently by the American Political Science Association (APSA), who named a dissertation award in his honor.

“Many of us know from observing local and national media, Professor Mooney teaches beyond the classrooms and hallways of UIS. His knowledge and insights have enriched the public discourse, particularly in a state in such need of civic and political enrichment,” said Jason Pierceson, chair and professor of Political Science.

Mooney is the founding editor of State Politics and Policy Quarterly, the premier national academic journal in its field. Under his editorship, this journal rose to prominence and has now been adopted as a journal of the APSA. Mooney has authored/co-authored five books, edited three books and published twenty-five refereed journal articles and book chapters during his career. His work is cited frequently among academics in the field and his work has brought fellow scholars to UIS.

“In the field of state politics, few are more respected than Professor Mooney,” said Pierceson.

Mooney is also an excellent and committed teacher. He receives strong student evaluations of his teaching, despite being a very demanding teacher. Professor Mooney’s students work hard and learn deeply.

Mooney joined UIS in 1999 and holds a joint appointment in the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and the Institute for Legislative Studies. Prior to coming to UIS, he taught at West Virginia University and the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

He is the only UIS faculty member to receive the award this year, which honors outstanding teachers and scholars at the three U of I campuses. University Scholars receive $10,000 a year for three years to support research and other scholarly activities.