Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pence, Zimmerman take Abe’s Amble victories

Springfield’s Tyler Pence won his fourth straight overall men’s title in record fashion, while Petersburg’s Emily Zimmerman won her first women’s championship in the 42nd annual Abe’s Amble 10-kilometer road race on Sunday morning at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Pence, preparing for his first year as head track and cross country coach at the University of Illinois Springfield, took the men’s race in a course-record 31 minutes 25.7 seconds on Sunday.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on August 18, 2019.

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UIS students met with rainy welcome back to school

Incoming freshmen at the University of Illinois Springfield had a very rainy welcome to campus on Tuesday.

Tuesday was move-in day for the University of Illinois Springfield but it wasn't the move-in day they were expecting.

Torrential rain and weather conditions made this a difficult time, but students say that it was the hard work of the volunteer that got them through.

"They came out, helped me get all my stuff out of the car, got it in a cart, pushed it out for me in the rain while getting drenched," UIS student Jalen Walsh said.

Around 125 volunteers helped over 300 incoming freshmen get all moved into their dorms.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on August 20, 2019.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

University offers training for frontline workers

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has come under intense scrutiny this year, after several children who had cases with them died.

WCIA went to the Child Protection Training Academy at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) where they train case workers and investigators to better spot and report kids who might be in danger.

The training model called Project Forecast walks the workers through real-life scenarios, showing them how to keep children in Illinois safe.

“Other industries use simulation as a way to get a sense of what to expect when you do this job. But child welfare really didn’t have that kind of realism or those kinds of environments,” said Betsy Goulet, Child Advocacy Studies coordinator at UIS.

The program features encounters with at-risk children different environments to show the frontline workers the proper way to respond.

More than 700 caseworkers have been trained by the academy since 2015.

We watched trainees walk through an experience with a traumatized toddler at a hospital. Organizers said adding scenarios in an actual medical setting makes a big difference.

“Understanding the dialogue you have to have between the medical provider when you are getting information in an ER setting, you can imagine what kind of chaos and constant distractions in an ER, you have to find the right way to communicate,” Goulet said.

The training is made possible through a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) federal grant. All three U of I campuses collaborated to teach workers in their first statewide project.

This story aired on WCIA Channel 3 on August 9, 2019.

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