Tuesday, May 19, 2015

UIS Alum Pamela McClelland honored for Outstanding Advocate Leadership by the U of I Foundation

The University of Illinois Foundation today announces Pamela McClelland, partner (retired) at Kerber, Eck and Braeckel and graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield, as the winner of the 2015 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership.

The award will be presented at the UIS Celebration of Philanthropy on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at UIS. The U of I Foundation is the fundraising arm of the University of Illinois and its three campuses.

McClelland, who earned her bachelor’s degree in 1990 and master’s degree in 1995, came to UIS as a single mother in her forties. At the time, not intending to earn a degree, she enrolled at the university merely to refresh her bookkeeping skills. With encouragement from accountancy professors, like Don Stanhope, Pam soared and before long, graduated with highest honors.

She not only passed the certified public accountant exam, but won the Elijah Watts Sells Award, bestowed on students who score in the top five percent nationally on the CPA exam. The year she received the award 70,000 individuals took the exam.

“It’s one of the highest award the CPA exam taker can achieve,” said Leonard Branson, chair of the Accountancy Department at UIS. “This was a working mother who had a full-time job and a part-time job, a teenaged daughter and was going to school, so the Sells Award was a significant achievement.”

Pam joined Kerber, Eck & Braekel (KEB), one of Springfield’s top accounting firms, where her work with not-for-profits organizations was highly valued. On the way to becoming a partner, she added a master’s degree from UIS.

Since her graduation, she has had a role in bringing the following scholarships to UIS: the Donald F. Stanhope Alumni Scholarship, the Leona Vollintine Accounting Scholarship in Honor of Donald Stanhope, the Leona Stanford Vollintine Scholarship, the KEB Accountancy Scholarship, and her own scholarship, the Pam McClelland Accountancy Scholarship.

In addition to her advocacy for scholarships, Pam has been an active volunteer on campus, especially through the UIS Accountancy Alumni Advisory Committee and the College of Business and Management Advisory Committee. In 1999, she received the University of Illinois Alumni Association (UIAA) Loyalty Award, and in 2004, she became the first to receive the UIAA Distinguished Service Award. She is currently vice-chairman of the UIS Campus Alumni Advisory Board.

The William E. Winter Award, named for the CEO Emeritus of the 7-Up Company and a longtime member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors, celebrates individuals who play active roles in securing private support for the University of Illinois.

“Pamela McClelland is a champion of fundraising,” said Jeff Lorber, Vice Chancellor for Development at UIS. "She has tirelessly raised money for scholarships and has been a strong and effective leader of others on behalf of UIS.”

Past recipients of the William E. Winter Award include Cullom Davis, Bob Clary, Leonard Branson, Thom Serafin, Tom Marantz, Julie Kellner, Guerry L. Suggs and Michelle M. Suggs (deceased); Howard C. Humphrey (deceased), James Lundquist (deceased), and Clifford L. Greenwalt.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UIS Public Health Professor Sharron LaFollette appointed to CDC Board

Sharron LaFollette, professor of public health at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been appointed to a 3-year term on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) board tasked with protecting America’s health.

The Board of Scientific Counselors for National Center of Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry provides advice and guidance regarding program goals, objectives, strategies, and priorities in fulfillment of the agencies’ mission to protect and promote people’s health.

“I am honored to be appointed to the BSC and appreciate the confidence placed in me to provide unbiased review of scientific information and public policy important to protecting public and environmental health,” said LaFollette.

LaFollette earned her Ph.D. in toxicology from Oregon State University 1989 and a master’s degree in biology from Sangamon State University (now UIS) in 1980.

Prior to joining academia, she spent eight years in Illinois government conducting multi-media risk assessments and providing risk communication and educational programs for physicians, public health professionals, and the general public.

She taught and was director of the Environmental Health Program at Illinois State University for eight years before coming to UIS where she is in her fourteen year.

During her time at UIS, she has served as Chair the Department of Environmental Studies and most recently as Chair of the Public Health Department. In addition, she served for a number of years as chair of Graduate Council.

She is currently the Graduate Chair of the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council where she also served for a six years as General Chair. LaFollette is past-president of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs, and past-president of the Illinois Environmental Health Association.

Her research and consulting are in risk evaluation, risk communication, workforce development, indoor air quality impact on health, and radon levels related to building dynamics.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UIS alumnus Jeff Lightfoot named Horace Mann’s Educator of the Year

University of Illinois Springfield alumnus Jeff Lightfoot has been named the Springfield School District 186 Horace Mann 2015 Educator of the Year.

Lightfoot is currently a history teacher at Springfield High School and chair of the social studies department.

He’s been teaching at Springfield High since 1999.

Lightfoot also serves in an after-school program designed to put students back on track toward credit recovery and graduation, as well as being a student council chaperone and an organizer for the 100th anniversary of the current building.

He earned a master’s degree in political studies from UIS in 2005.

UIS Chemistry Professor Layne Morsch selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator

Layne Morsch, associate professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADEs) for 2015.

Morsch joins an elite group of more than 2,000 ADEs worldwide recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom.

Morsch teaches Organic Chemistry to second and fourth year college students at UIS. He began using an iPad in 2012 to more effectively engage students during lectures. He also encouraged iPads to become required course material for all students in his courses, which has given him the chance to write new laboratory experiments using the iSpartan app.

More recently Morsch was one of two pilot testers for ChemDraw for iPad, the next step forward to an active classroom. His “flipped” classroom also utilizes technology, by posting lectures on iTunesU, and using classroom time for individual and group problem solving.

“This freed up class time for 100% active learning,” said Morsch. “Students are given problems to work on individually or in small groups and are asked to explain their answers to each other within small groups.”

Morsch worked with another Apple Distinguished Educator to author a multi-touch iBook on organic chemistry, complete with quizzes, video, text and images.

As an Apple Distinguished Educator, Morsch will advise Apple on integrating technology into learning environments and share his expertise with other educators and policy makers. He will author original content about his work and advocate the use of Apple products that help engage students in new ways.

“My students are becoming more comfortable with using technology in their solutions to common problems,” said Morsch. “I believe this to be a vital 21st century skill for professional careers.”

Each year, Apple Distinguished Educators gather at ADE Institutes and education events around the world as well as online in the ADE community to collaborate on solutions to the global education challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Apple Distinguished Educator program began in 1994, when Apple recognized K-12 and higher education pioneers using Apple products to transform teaching and learning.

For more information contact Derek Schnapp, UIS director of public relations, at 217/206-6716 or dschn3@uis.edu.

UIS Director of Athletics Kim Pate named a Woman of Influence

University of Illinois Springfield Director of Athletics Kim Pate has been named one of the five Security Bank and Springfield Business Journal Women of Influence as announced by the SBJ. She will be honored during a reception on Tuesday, May 12, 2015.

The 12th annual program honors local women for their contributions to the Springfield area community. Winners are selected by their peers through submitted nominations.

“These women are significant for their valuable contributions in making Springfield an outstanding community,” said the Springfield Business Journal. “All have made important contributions to the community at large.”

Pate became Director of Athletics at UIS in 2011. Now in her fourth year, she oversees eleven varsity sports at UIS, a member of NCAA Division II and the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Prior to her current position, she served three and a half years as Director of Athletics overseeing eighteen varsity sports at Brevard College, a member of NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference.

Under her leadership, UIS athletics and has seen the program grow both athletically and academically. She helped boost the STARS Club to record numbers in the second and third year of its existence. UIS student-athletes have posted their highest grade-point average under her watch and recorded the most community service hours since joining the Stars.

Pate began her life in intercollegiate athletics at Brevard as a four-year starter on the softball team. She was a two-time NAIA Academic All-American. Pate graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brevard, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business & Organizational Leadership. She earned her master’s Degree in Business Administration from Western Carolina University.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Star of TV commercial reflects on four years at UIS

Four years ago, Taylor Moore of Springfield was featured in a television commercial for the University of Illinois Springfield. In the final scene, she was shown in a cap and gown. Now, in May, she’ll be graduating for real with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

“When I first came here I was unsure about where I wanted to go for school,” said Moore. “I started here because I had no idea what I wanted to do next, but after my freshmen year I really liked the teachers.”

As a UIS Chemistry major, Moore has been able to work one-on-one with faculty members and participate in their research efforts.

In October 2015, Moore plans to move to California and start Chiropractic School.

Reflecting on her four years at UIS, she says “It went by really fast.”

Monday, May 04, 2015

UIS College of Business and Management honor society inducts 53 new members

The University of Illinois Springfield Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society chapter inducted 53 College of Business and Management students during a ceremony on May 2, 2015 in Brookens Auditorium.

Tom Gihl, vice president and COO of Illinois National Bank, was inducted as an honorary member. Faculty members David Larson, associate professor of Management Information Systems, and Shipra Gupta, assistant professor of Business Administration were also inducted.

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 the graduate students.

Students inducted at this year’s ceremony include:


Armington: Jena Marlatt

Bloomington: Eric Petersen

Champaign: Jeremy Scharlow

Countryside: Elma Dzaferbegovic

Crystal Lake: Shannon Manfre

Decatur: Michael Lipowsky

Fox Lake: Rebecca Nimsgern

Hillsboro: Michael Fuller

Jacksonville: Ross Barker

Mansfield: Vittorio Cascio

Peoria: Eric Seling

Petersburg: Robert Spath

Rockford: Ma Celeste Mores

Roseville: Richard Handzo

Saint Charles: Elizabeth Janeteas

Schaumburg: Hristina Minchev

Springfield: Monica Ala, Abdulmohsen Mohammad Albarqi, Zachary Berillo, Pratyusha Borancha, Aditya Chavan, Danielle Cherry, Preetham Kumar Dammalapati, Erin Egolf, Kasey Fernandez, Priyal Gandhi, Satvir Kaur Gill, Sathishkumar Gopu, Praneetha Harindranath, Aaron Holmes, Matthew Hull, Alyson Knapik, Mounika Lakkadi, Meenal Lanke, Sangeeta Mathi, Mukta Misal, Kalyana Srujana Mulpuri, Maureen Musuku, Nhung Nguyen, Ahsan Owais, Miranda Scott, Shaista Shaikh, Jun Sun, Siwen Tang, Amena Tayyab, Zhijin Wang

Taylorville: Greg Kilduff

Quincy: Joan Mast

Washington: Michael Stephens

Williamsville: Kristen Shaffer


Minnesota: Jacob Wherley (Richville)

Texas: Natalie Nowak (Montgomery)


Jamaica: Althea Webster (Westmoreland)

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.

For more information about the honor society and recipients, contact Jorge Villegas at 217/206-7972 or jvill2@uis.edu.

Leadership lived: International student becomes leader on campus

When Lakshmi Prathusha Puppala traveled from India to the University of Illinois Springfield she didn’t know much about the campus. However, in her first two semesters on campus, she’s become heavily involved.

The graduate Computer Science major is president of the Indian Student Organization – Cultural, vice president of Global Sisterhood and Casera, an arts and crafts organization.

Puppala also works as a student worker at the UIS Women’s Center and recently took part in the Take Back the Night march and rally to end violence against women.

“Working in the Women’s Center really has been a great experience for me,” she said. “There are many events, every Friday we have TGIF, and now we are having Take Back the Night.”

She says UIS has taught her many leadership skills, such as how to plan a successful event.

“After coming to UIS, I really feel like UIS has given me a great platform to show who I am and show leadership skills,” said Puppala.

She’s also made many friends on campus both from the United States and elsewhere. “I have many international friends here,” she said. “It helps me to know more about different cultures and things that are happening in different countries.”

Overall, she would recommend UIS to fellow international students.

“I love UIS. It’s given me many memories and experiences,” she said.