Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Seven UIS students to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research

For the first time, the University of Illinois Springfield is sending a contingent of seven students to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research April 3-5, 2014 at the University of Kentucky.

Students were selected to submit abstracts from UIS in a competitive process by the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee. All seven students were accepted by the national conference committee.

Jesse Britz, a chemistry major from Divernon, studied the use of iron nanoparticles for removing nitrate pollutants with professor Keenan Dungey. Nathan Hoyle of Jacksonville used geographic information systems to map tree diversity on campus with Environmental Studies professor Dennis Ruez.

Wesley Hill, a psychology major from Decatur, worked with professor Carrie Switzer to study the spread of urban legends. Sophia Pham, a chemistry major from Chicago, working with biology professor Hua Chen, studied the greenhouse gases at Emiquon.

Two students will present from the research group of professor Frances Shen in psychology. Brittany Sievers of South Jacksonville studied the role of religious commitment in college student stress. Brianna Werner of Carrollton studied the perceptions of the college experience by veterans. Nicholas Decker, a biology major from Peru, Ill. explored enzyme inhibitors with chemistry professor Layne Morsch.

The 28th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research is a program of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Around 4,000 students from around the country will present their research and creative activities. UIS is an institutional member of CUR.

The students will be accompanied by Keenan Dungey, director of the Undergraduate Research Support Program, which co-sponsored the students’ travel. Rachel Tohme, a graduate student in the Human Development Counseling program, will also participate in the trip. Further support was provided by a Student Life Conference Travel award.

For more information, contact Keenan Dungey at 217/206-7345 or kdung1@uis.edu.

Friday, March 14, 2014

UIS librarian Sarah Sagmoen named a "Mover and Shaker" by the Library Journal

Sarah Sagmoen, director of learning commons and user services at Brookens Library at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been selected as one of 50 “Movers and Shakers” in the annual award sponsored by Library Journal, the most prestigious trade journal in the library profession.

More than 225 librarians from all types of libraries throughout the United States were nominated for the award which recognizes early career librarians who are seen as emerging leaders in the field. The 50 individuals chosen for the award this year will be profiled in the March 15 issue of Library Journal.

In making the announcement, the Library Journal said “the 50 individuals recognized here are passionate about what all types of libraries can do to enhance lives—for adults, teens, school children, infants, and toddlers. If there’s a common theme among their profiles, it’s that as much as the library is a place to go, it is also a place on the go—to wherever patrons or potential patrons are.”

That description certainly fits Sagmoen. Early on in her now four year career at Brookens Library, she began to think of new ways to reach out directly to students. Research performed by the library had shown that students were more likely to ask for assistance from librarians if they knew librarians as people. Sagmoen set out to make that happen. She began volunteering at student activities on campus, such as Springfest, where she judged the “monumentally muddy” tug-of-war. She was a key member of the library committee that planned and implemented gaming days and poetry slams, and together with colleagues in the library and Student Life, conceived of and worked with students to produce the successful “Haunted Library” event held each year. The first Haunted Library was voted “Student Event of the Year.” Sagmoen’s impact has not gone unnoticed on campus—she was chosen as an Employee of the Month in 2013.

Sagmoen also took on more responsibility within the library, performing a variety of functions before being chosen in a national search for the newly created position of Director of Learning Commons and User Services. In this role, Sagmoen manages the Information Desk, Circulation, and Reserves as well as the installed base of over 100 public-use computers. She has created a successful training program for library student assistants that empowers them and prepares them to take on leadership roles. In addition to serving as the liaison to Student Life, Sagmoen, who is an assistant clinical professor, also is the library liaison to the College of Education and Human Services, offering information literacy instruction and doing collection development for the disciplines represented by EHS.

In her second year at UIS, Sagmoen was chosen as an instructor for ILEAD U (Illinois Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover), an Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant sponsored by the Illinois State Library. She was chosen for her social-networking skills, but her high-energy style of teaching and her ability to work with a wide array of people have meant that she has been asked to return in subsequent years.

“Sarah’s accomplishments point to her creativity, her energy and enthusiasm, her ability to connect with people and inspire a team and her sheer capacity for hard work. She believes that libraries can be both educational and fun,” said Jane Treadwell, university librarian and dean of Library Instructional Services.

Sagmoen, along with the rest of this year’s Movers & Shakers, will be honored at the American Library Association conference’s luncheon in Las Vegas on Friday, June 27, 2014.

Friday, March 07, 2014

WUIS journalists win four awards from the Associated Press

Journalists at WUIS, the public radio station of the University of Illinois Springfield, recently received four awards from the Illinois Associated Press.

Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky won the second place award for best investigative report for her story “Judges’ Pensions”.

Vinicky also won best sports report for her story “Rivals Help Tornado-Shattered Team.” WUIS Harvest Desk Editor Peter Gray won the second place sports award for his story on “Kids and Concussions”.

WUIS Executive Editor Bill Wheelhouse won the first place award for best hard news feature for his story “Crop Insurance”.

For more information about WUIS, visit their website at www.wuis.org.

Monday, March 03, 2014

UIS students win several awards at annual Model Illinois Government simulation

Several University of Illinois Springfield students were honored during the annual Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation at the state capitol this weekend. The UIS delegation was also honored with the Outstanding Large Delegation award.

Six students won individual awards for their involvement in MIG. Zachary Sullivan of East Moline was honored with the George Perry Award for Outstanding Contribution to MIG, Nate Marroquin of Chicago was named Outstanding Freshman Delegate, Jason Jenkins of Springfield was named Outstanding Lobbyist, Anna Mulch of Springfield was named Outstanding Member of the Senate, Garrie Allen of Peoria was named Outstanding House Committee Chair, and Nathan Piper of Springfield was named Outstanding House Committee Person.

Additionally, several UIS students were elected to statewide office within the Model Illinois Government organization. Garrett McAlister of Matteson was elected governor, Nathan Piper of Springfield was elected president of the senate, Marc Reiter of Minonk was elected speaker of the house, Nathan Tarr of Springfield was elected attorney general, Ben Shafer of Springfield was elected treasurer, and Michelle Tuma of Elgin was elected chief justice.

Each year, students from about 30 colleges and universities around the state gather at the Illinois State Capitol to serve as legislators, staffers, lobbyists, journalists, and officials of the executive branch. Through committee actions, a regular legislative session and a veto session, participants learn the legislative process by doing it.

MIG members get started in the fall term preparing legislation, polishing up parliamentary skills, and organizing the membership into a delegation for the spring conference.

For more information, contact Michael Miller, UIS assistant professor of political science at 217/206-7220 or mmill24@uis.edu.