Friday, August 26, 2016

'UIS Day' aims to acquaint students with downtown Springfield

Traditional start-of-school activities at the University of Illinois Springfield include a downtown offer this weekend.

A first-ever "UIS Day" scheduled for Saturday in downtown Springfield highlights the opportunities -- and challenges -- of closer ties between the historic-commercial district and the campus of more than 5,000 students at the south edge of the city.

Approximately 1,000 students live on campus. It's a discussion that dates to the early years of then-Sangamon State University in the 1970s. "We're trying to get students to embrace the community beyond the boundaries of campus," said Lisa McGuire, director of new student orientation and parent relations at UIS. Transportation remains the biggest challenge, said McGuire, as many on-campus students do not have their own vehicles.

As part of UIS Day, two 40-passenger shuttles will run every half-hour from 1 to 10 p.m. between campus and downtown.

Downtown Springfield Inc. executive director Lisa Clemmons Stott said UIS Day is a way to introduce students to downtown in hopes they will return on their own.

 "We want them to get comfortable with it and what they might be interested in doing downtown," said Clemmons Stott. She added that the goal is to make UIS Day an annual event.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on August 25, 2016.

Read the entire article online.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Prairie Stars soccer out to score more goals in 2016

With 15 goals in 18 games, the University of Illinois Springfield men's soccer squad was the second-lowest scoring team in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 2015. That was last year.

“Once we can possess the ball in the final third and be able to be creative with it, we’ll be able to have more shots on goal and more opportunities to score,” UIS senior midfielder Mac Leverenz. “With the quality of players that (UIS coach Adam Hall) has brought in hopefully we can capitalize.”

In the offseason, UIS hired Hall as head coach. The Scotland native previously coached in the GLVC at Saint Joseph’s. He brings a fresh attitude and new style. He has assembled a large roster with lots of new players, including several from the United Kingdom and South America.

“There’s a good buzz around the team,” said UIS junior defender Jack Coombes. “We have healthy competition. The last few years you sort of could pick the starting 11, then not know what you’re going to get from the rest.”

Hall is excited about the depth.

“We have some problems in determining who would be the starting back four,” he said. “There’s at least seven guys who have held their own and shown something we’re excited about. And there are four positions up for grabs.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on August 25, 2016.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

UIS holds welcome activities for first day

Monday, August 22 marked the first day of classes at the University of Illinois Springfield.

All week long, the school is holding events as part of "Welcome Week," encouraging new and returning students to get involved in student organizations and athletics.

A number of departments are holding open houses for students still trying to pick a major.

More than 5,000 students are enrolled at UIS this fall.

This story was reported by WISC Newschannel 20 on August 22, 2016.

Watch the report online.