Tuesday, January 27, 2015

UIS Spreads Social Media Safety To Local Students

Cyber-bulling and social media awareness. That's what professors from the University of Illinois Springfield were teaching those at a school in the capital city on Monday.

Kids at the Little Flower School on Stevenson learned tips on how to be smart and safe when using social media.

A new study shows teenagers spend up to 30 hours a week on the web. A U of I professor says that's why the university felt it should talk to kids about problems they could face.

"So many of the youngsters thing that they can say anything on the network and it really doesn't hurt. It's really not true, but it does and we've seen with the incidents of suicide as a result of cyber-bullying, that it has a tremendous impact on these youngsters," said Mary Sheila Tracy, UIS computer science instructor.

UIS says it plans on talking to students at other local schools about cyber-bullying.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20, January 26, 2015.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Studying abroad increasingly popular with college students

This past fall, Kaitie Devlin learned what it was like to live and study in a foreign country.

Devlin spent the semester in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the Global Experience Program offered at the University of Illinois Springfield, where Devlin is a junior communications major.

The university allows students to select where they would like to go.

"I chose Belgium because I am focused on being a journalist, and the International Programs at UIS recommended Belgium," Devlin said. "Belgium, especially Brussels, is really a gold mine for anyone trying to become a journalist because the city is filled with them."

It's interesting politically and it's worldly, she said, and as a reporter, there are "colorful pieces to cover all the time."

In recent years and with a more global society, studying abroad has become increasingly popular with college students across the United States. In the first issue of its White Paper series, which examined trends in American study abroad programs, the Institute of International Education found that in the 2004-05 academic year, 205,983 students took classes in another country.

That trend is evident at local colleges as well.

UIS began offering study abroad opportunities to its students 15 years ago. At the time, few students were interested. Now, the university is at "a plateau of about 50 to 60 students," said Jonathan GoldbergBelle, director of international programs.

Study abroad was spotlighted by The State Journal-Register on January 26, 2015.

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'Resumania' at UIS helps students get noticed in competitive job market

The low-tech paper resume survives.

But in a fast-moving, highly competitive job market, the traditional one- to two-page summary is just a basic start toward getting noticed by employers, say career counseling experts. Social media, of course, is a must-use part of the mix. But just as with ink on paper, the wrong word or emphasis can doom an applicant's prospects at the start.

And in the world of Facebook, blogs and Twitter, the "delete" key doesn't.

"There's no such thing as erasing information once it's out there," said Tammy Craig, director of the Career Development Center at the University of Illinois Springfield. "I always tell students I work with, 'Ask yourself this question: I'm going to post this. Twenty years down the road, do I want the whole world to know this?' "

Social media is crucial in job marketing, Craig said. LinkedIn is considered a basic requirement, she said, but personal websites, online portfolios, Twitter and blogs are increasingly used by employers to data mine for talent. The key is to make sure information is professionally presented and up-to-date.

Resume writing should begin well before students go out into the world, Craig said, and it's an ongoing process of updating and reorganizing. Separate one-on-one counseling sessions for graduate and undergraduate students at UIS — dubbed "Resumania" — go through the basics.

The article was published by The State Journal-Register on January 25, 2015.

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