Thursday, March 16, 2017

Leadership lived: Student finds passion for music and research at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield is helping Alex Skarr grow his academic and musical talents. The senior political science and sociology/anthropology major is a member of the UIS Choir and sings without accompaniment in the acapella group.

“Being a part of the choir, I consider myself to be one of the leaders in the section. I come from a very good music program in high school and being part of the choir here has really led me to develop my leadership abilities, particularly in the acapella group,” he said.

Skarr is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program, the research society (a student group on campus that promotes research) and works for the Undergraduate Research Support Program where he helps plan and run the Student Technology, Arts & Research Symposium (STARS) and the U of I Undergraduate Research Day at the Illinois State Capitol.

He has been working closely with a former UIS faculty member on a sociology research project about social movements. Later this year, he’ll present his research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at the University of Memphis and at the Midwest Sociological Society annual conference.

“I think that’s the great thing about UIS, the small campus we have where faculty really care about their students and they really want students to succeed,” he said.

Following graduation from UIS, Skarr would like to work with high school students teaching music. Ultimately, he’d like to become a college sociology professor.

“I really found sociology here at UIS,” he said. “I came in as just a political science major, but I really found sociology was something I really liked.”

Skarr is grateful for all of the opportunities he’s had at UIS and feels well prepared for his future academic career.

“(UIS) just gives you so many opportunities to be a leader, if you want to be a leader. There’s so many opportunities to get out there and do what you like, find something you’re passionate about and become a leader in that,” he said.

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