Thursday, January 27, 2011

UIS professors to discuss Emiquon at Pecha Kucha event

Associate Professor Michael Lemke and Professor Keith Miller will discuss the University of Illinois Springfield’s Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon during a Pecha Kucha Night event on Thursday, February 3, 2011.

The discussion will take place at the Capital City Bar and Grill - Theatre in Springfield located at 3149 S. Dirksen Parkway. Doors open at 6:20 p.m. with presentations beginning at 7:20 p.m. The cost to attend is $5. The event will feature several other presentations in addition to Emiquon.

Pecha Kucha literally means “chit chat” in Japanese. The presentation style was developed in Toyko in 2003. Each presenter shows and discusses 20 slides for 20 seconds each on a given topic.

The Therkildsen Field Station was dedicated on April 25, 2008 in order to study, research, and document the Emiquon Preserve located near Havana, Illinois, along the Illinois River.
The Nature Conservancy and UIS teamed up to transform 7,425 acres of land immediately adjacent to the Illinois River and owned by The Nature Conservancy back to its original state of a floodplain, which is one of the biggest transformations of its kind in the world.

The field station serves as a premier scientific facility, which offers both on-site and online learning for UIS students. Therkildsen supports student and faculty research in conjunction with the Conservancy’s staff and other collaborating scientists.

Learn more about Emiquon at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Burlingame to speak at Lincoln Inaugural Sesquicentennial

Dr. Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield and author Abraham Lincoln: A Life will take part in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Inauguration.

The Lincoln Inaugural Sesquicentennial is being held at the Union League Club of Chicago located at 65 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago on Friday, March 4, 2011. Burlingame will speak during a luncheon starting at noon. Registration is required for the event, which takes place all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln raised his hand to take the presidential oath of office. On the 150th anniversary of his Inauguration and in reorganization of his vision, wisdom, and determination to preserve the Federal union this event is being held.

Burlingame will speak on the topic of “Lincoln & Secession: The Evolution of His Strategy”. When southern states seceded from the Union during the winter of 1860-61, Lincoln intended to take a hard line by reclaiming forts, court houses, mints, arsenals, and other federal facilities commandeered by secessionists. Persuaded to take a softer line, Lincoln refused to compromise on two essential matters: he would not sanction the expansion of slavery into the territories, nor acknowledge the legitimacy of secession. Dr. Burlingame seeks to explain why Lincoln changed his mind and why he rejected the one compromise likely to prevent war.

Burlingame’s two-volume biography Abraham Lincoln: A Life was the recipient of the 2010 Lincoln Prize. The prize is sponsored by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Burlingame received his Ph.D. in 1968 from Johns Hopkins University and joined the history department at Connecticut College in New London, where he taught until retiring in 2001 as the Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield in 2009.

The Sesquicentennial celebration will be recorded for broadcast by C-SPAN and the Illinois Channel and will feature five of the nation’s foremost Lincoln scholars.

This event is presented in partnership with Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Library, Civil War Round Table of Chicago, Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Newberry Library, Pritzker Military Library and the Union League Club of Chicago.

For more information, or to register for the event, visit or call 312-435-5946.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

UIS Computer Science majors place 4th in Cisco International Networking Competition

University of Illinois Springfield students Albert Kennis and Ryan Stalets won fourth place in the Theater Finale of Cisco’s NetRiders Networking Competition on Wednesday, December 8, 2010. Nearly 50 teams from the United States and Canada competed in this final round, with almost 500 teams competing overall.

The competition, which is only open to students of Cisco’s Networking Academy program, took place in an online environment and consisted of a 100 question, 60 minute, theoretical exam and a 20 question, 90 minute hands-on, practical exam. To earn a spot in the Theater Finale, Kennis and Stalets placed first in each of the earlier two rounds, which pitted them against other academies throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

Kennis and Stalets are both Computer Science majors with an emphasis in System Security and Information Assurance. The UIS Computer Science Department is a partner in the National Science Foundation/Advance Technology Education funded grant for the National Resource Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA).

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Angela Winand studies Second Life as an educational tool

Assistant Professor of African-American Studies Angela Winand admits the virtual world created by the computer program Second Life can be addictive, but it is also educational.

Winand started studying Second Life as an extension of her research on images of African American women in film and literature. The program allows users to create an avatar of any race or gender to represent them in a virtual world.

“One of the possibilities that comes out of that experience is recognizing how people interact with you differently based on race or gender,” said Winand.

Winand often finds people switch their race or gender to experience how they are treated differently. She hopes to use Second Life as a tool in the classroom to show her students the difference.

“It is a great example of what you can do with Second Life in terms of educating people,” said Winand.

Second Life allows users to travel to different worlds and experience the culture. One of Winand’s favorite worlds is a re-creation of Nigeria, which teaches visitors about the history of the slave trade.

“The fact that it is a virtual world means that people from all over the country are logging in and creating a second life for themselves, but it’s even broader than that because there are people from different countries that come into the world,” she said.

She believes the program is especially beneficial to UIS students, because not everyone has the ability to travel.

“I think it’s great for this campus. It has a lot of potential here, because it is a small town and we’re kind of isolated,” she said.

Winand often uses her personal avatar in class and even has a blog in the virtual world where she talks about her research into African American culture.