Monday, August 21, 2017

Decatur native and UIS alumni A.D. Carson experiences Charlottesville turmoil

A Decatur native and University of Illinois Springfield alumni who witnessed last weekend’s deadly clash in Charlottesville said the scene played out with much more chaos than depicted on television. 

"The smell, the sounds, things flying through the air, and the bull horns and angst, in a so-called quiet American city," said A.D. Carson, a 1997 Stephen Decatur High School graduate who has gained national prominence for his study of hip-hop.

Carson, who has a doctorate degree from Clemson University and began writing rhymes as a child, is starting as an associate professor of Hip-Hop and the Global South at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville this fall.

Last Saturday, he joined counter-protesters assembled in response to Neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members arriving after the city decided to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and 19 others were injured when the driver rammed a car into a crowd of demonstrators.

On the eve of the rally, hundreds marched through the University of Virginia campus holding torches and chanting racist slogans. The next morning, many looked like they were dressed for war as they made their way to Emancipation Park, said Carson, who also taught English at MacArthur High School.

Carson joins the UVA faculty as somewhat of a rising star in the academic world — he gained headlines last year for completing a dissertation in the form of a hip-hop album that explores rhetoric, American social history, and art.

Carson has a bachelor's degree from Millikin University and a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

This story appeared in the Herald & Review on August 18, 2017.

Read the entire article online.

UIS Student, Flota earns top intern award

Trevor Flota, business administration major at the University of Illinois Springfield and 2017 graduate has been awarded the Northwestern Mutual Top Financial Representative Intern Award. 

Flota finished as the first place intern in the country to receive the award, which honors his achievements as an outstanding performer for helping clients achieve financial security.

"Trevor is helping individuals and families in St. Louis and the surrounding communities build financial security plans to reach their financial goals," said Michael Van Grinsven, Northwestern Mutual internship program director.

"With the experience the internship program provides, Trevor developed a deeper understanding of the industry and is able to implement new skills that help make a difference in his clients' lives." 

Northwestern Mutual celebrates the 50th anniversary of its industry-leading financial representative internship program this year and to date, 50,000 students nationwide have participated in the program.

This story appeared in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on August 21, 2017.
Read the entire article online.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Abe’s Amble 10K: UIS' Pence repeats as men’s winner

The hills and humidity did their best Sunday morning to put a damper on the 40th Abe’s Amble 10K at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. But former Southern Indiana University teammates Tyler Pence and Julia Kohnen were able to scale those hills and rip through the heavy air better than everybody else. 

The 24-year-old Pence won his second straight Abe’s title in a tick over 32 minutes.

Pence, a two-time NCAA Division II track champion and seven-time All-American while at Southern Indiana, beat runner-up and 10-time champion Bryan Glass by 2:37, almost a half-mile.

Pence, assistant cross country coach at the University of Illinois Springfield, is training for two half-marathons in St. Louis in October and then the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon in November. He’s got his sights set on qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

A sub-1:04 in the half-marathon will do the trick as will a time of 2:19 in the marathon. “Today I came out to do the 10K at half-marathon pace,” said Pence, who is sponsored by First to the Finish and Rino Works gym. “So the pace I ran today is what my goal pace will be. “Actually I hoped to run faster than this. It’s good to kind of get used to running that pace.”

This article appeared online for The State Journal-Register on August 20, 2017.

Read the entire story online.