Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Two UIS students win awards at the National Mock Trial Invitational

University of Illinois Springfield students Joseph Partain and Cedric Birgans earned awards at the 32nd annual National Mock Trial Invitational at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa during the Jan 25-26, 2020 competition.

Partain, a junior political science and legal studies major from Iuka, Illinois, received an individual outstanding attorney award.

Birgans, a freshman political science major from Beecher, Illinois, won an individual outstanding witness award.

The UIS Mock Trial team heads to its regional tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana on Feb. 8-9 having earned the most single-season individual awards in UIS Mock Trial team history.

Mock Trial is an academic competition that provides students with the opportunity to hone valuable skills, including critical thinking, active listening, public speaking and teamwork through trial simulations. Competitors are also judged on their knowledge of legal practices and procedures.

For more information on the UIS Mock Trial team, visit uis.edu/prelawcenter/uismocktrialclub/. Questions may be directed to coach Rex Gradeless at rgrad3@uis.edu.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Two UIS faculty to present their work at the “Night of Ideas Chicago 2020”

Two University of Illinois Springfield faculty will present their work at the “Night of Ideas Chicago 2020” event on Jan. 30, 2020 at the Chicago Field Museum. The event is being sponsored by the Consulate General of France in Chicago and is one of many being held around the world.

UIS Assistant Professor of Management Carolee Rigsbee will be discussing benefit corporations and UIS Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Anne-Marie Hanson will present on plastic pollution and environmental justice.

According to the invitation, the event is free and open to the public and will include bright minds from academic, artistic, scientific and civic communities for a six-hour marathon of ideas on this year’s theme “Alive!”

The two UIS faculty members will present along with professors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois at Chicago. They’ll be joined by presenters from Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Purdue University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Black Thread Agency, Science Riot, WBEZ, ADA25 Advancing Leadership, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Core Power Yoga, Poems While You Wait and more.

According to the Consulate General, the “Night of Ideas Chicago 2020” is part of La Nuit des Idées, a global series of intellectual marathons coordinated worldwide by the Institut Français, which will take place this year (Jan. 25-Feb. 2) at more than 120 locations around the world, including seven major cities in the United States.

Tickets for the free public event may be obtained online at eventbrite.com/e/night-of-ideas-alive-tickets-85271554515.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

UIS professor honored with a national dissertation award from the Association of Teacher Educators

Meghan Kessler, assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been honored with the 2020 award for Distinguished Dissertation in Teacher Education from the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).

Her dissertation, “Teaching for the Test: Social Studies Student Teacher Perceptions and Enactments of High-Stakes Performance Assessments,” examined secondary social studies teacher candidates’ perceptions and enactments of teacher evaluation during one student teaching semester. The qualitative, multi-case dissertation study provides a new perspective on the complex and dynamic negotiation of preservice teacher learning and evaluation during the student teaching semester.

“I’m extremely honored to have my dissertation recognized by the Association of Teacher Educators,” said Kessler. “This organization plays an important role in teacher education research and practice in the U.S., and has been instrumental in establishing high quality teacher preparation. Winning the Distinguished Dissertation Award from ATE truly inspires me to keep pursuing new lines of inquiry in teacher education practice and policy in Illinois.”

Kessler earned a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from Augustana College, a master’s degree in teaching and leadership from St. Xavier University in Chicago and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to working in higher education, she taught high school social studies and speech.

Kessler will present her dissertation and receive the award at the Association of Teacher Educators annual meeting Feb. 15-19, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

UIS professor pens book about the environmental and human rights impacts of Kenyan rose farming

Springfield native Megan Styles, an assistant professor of environmental studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, has written a new book investigating how the floriculture industry shapes Kenyan livelihoods, landscapes and politics.

“This book tells the story of one of many global commodities that we purchase and use daily without thinking about who made or grew them, how far they have traveled, and how they connect us to the world,” said Styles.

“Roses from Kenya: Labor, Environment, and the Global Trade in Cut Flowers,” explores the experiences and perspectives of the many people who work in the fresh cut roses industry; low-wage farm workers, farm managers and owners, Kenyan officials and the human rights and environmental activists advocating for reform. The lucrative and controversial industry employs approximately 90,000 workers, mostly women.

“Roses from Kenya isn’t just about cut flowers, it is also about Kenyan aspirations for development and the particular place, Lake Naivasha, where most of these roses are grown,” said Styles. “I wanted to tell this story from the viewpoint of people living and working in Naivasha, through their eyes and words. My hope is that once readers understand the deeper history of the Kenyan rose, they will want to know more about the people and places that provide us with chocolate, coffee, tea and all of the other everyday luxuries that enrich our lives.”

Styles is a Springfield native, who graduated from Southeast High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington. Styles is also the co-editor for Culture, Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CAFÉ), a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Anthropological Association and helped to start the Community Garden at UIS.

“Roses From Kenya” is available for purchase online from the University of Washington Press at https://uwapress.uw.edu/book/9780295746500/roses-from-kenya/ and locally at Barnes & Noble in Springfield.