Thursday, May 24, 2018

Enos Park artists-in-residence

Albuquerque-based artist Allyson Packer, Nick Wylie of Seattle and Illinois State University student Zack Buckley have been chosen as this summer’s artists-in-residence by the Enos Park Residency program, a partnership between the Springfield Art Association, the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association and the City of Springfield.

The program offers four-week to 12-month residency awards to visual artists. Wylie will use his time in Springfield to research Elmer Ellsworth, a close and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and the first Union officer killed in the Civil War while he was removing a Confederate flag.

Buckley, an artist and composer, plans to record various types of audio from Enos Park to create a multi-channel installation.

Packer, who has recently shown work at Nahmad Projects in London and the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, will present a solo exhibit entitled “Interior Space,” at the University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery.

This story appeared in The Illinois Times on May 24, 2018.

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Local educators work to end teacher shortage

The national teacher shortage continues to hit Illinois hard.

Right now there are 1,000 open positions statewide and 20 of those vacancies are in Sangamon County.

“I've seen more vacancies for teaching positions than I have in the 23 years I’ve been in education," said Regional Superintendent Jeff Vose, with the regional Office of Education for Sangamon and Menard Counties.

Vose had enough, so he called Dr. Scott Doerr, the superintendent in Nokomis, who offers a dual-credit class for his students and asked him to help bring an education dual-credit program to the University of Illinois in Springfield.

"My goal here was to take our local students and bring them back to our communities,” said Dr. Scott Doerr, the superintendent in Nokomis.

For the first time, this fall, UIS is offering a dual-credit course for the teaching program. Students will get credit on the high school level, as well as college credit in education.

The goal is to get more people interested in becoming an educator. "They also can get experience with teachers to see what good teachers do and to see how excited teachers still are about teaching kids," explained Dr. Cindy Wilson, the Chair of the Teacher Education Program for UIS.

Right now, 20 students are enrolled. The course starts at the end of August and goes until December. If more students show interest, they'll offer another course in the spring.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on May 21, 2018.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

UIS’ Ali Haesele gets All-Midwest Region honor

University of Illinois Springfield senior pitcher Ali Haesele received All-Midwest Region honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association.

She had a 2.13 earned run average, 217 strikeouts and a 25-11 record for the Prairie Stars.

She ranks first in the all-time UIS record books in ERA, strikeouts (359), wins (42), opponent batting average (.225) and strikeouts per innings (6.78).

Haesele also hit .337 and had 33 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and 19 doubles for UIS, which reached the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 22, 2018.

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