Thursday, March 04, 2021

UIS students earn awards and leadership roles during the annual Model Illinois Government simulation

University of Illinois Springfield students earned awards and were elected to leadership roles during the virtual Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation held Feb. 26 & 27, 2021. The simulation, which normally takes place at the Illinois State Capitol, was held virtually this year due to COVID-19.

Three UIS students were elected to the 2022 MIG executive board. Connor Krater of McHenry was elected speaker of the House, Aislinn Diaz of Chicago was elected president of the Senate and Mackenzi Matthews of Springfield was elected attorney general. Kallie Matthews of Springfield served as speaker of the House on the 2021 executive board.

The delegation also took home three individual awards. Mackenzi Matthews received the Outstanding Committee Chair in the House award. Bryce Thomas of Hawthorn Woods earned the Outstanding Member of Staff award. Kallie Matthews received the Outstanding Contribution to MIG award. 

UIS alumnus Kevin Kulavic was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many years of service to the organization in the role of secretariat.

Three UIS students were elected to legislative positions. Mackenzi Matthews was elected majority leader in the House, Jacob Cacioppo of Ingleside was elected assistant minority leader in the House and Aislinn Diaz was elected majority leader in the Senate.

Mackenzi Matthews, Joseph Partain of Iuka and Aislinn Diaz were elected committee chairs. Connor Krater and Francisco Lopez Zavala of Chicago were elected committee spokespeople.

UIS students competed against students from 10 colleges and universities across the state of Illinois. MIG gives them the chance 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 actively participating in the simulation.

MIG members start preparing legislation during the fall term, polish their parliamentary skills and organize membership into a delegation for the spring conference.

For more information, contact Kenneth Owen, MIG faculty advisor and UIS associate professor of history, at 217-206-7439 or

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