Wednesday, December 30, 2009

UIS Theatre production noted as one of 2009 top performances

The UIS Theatre production of "As You Like It" was featured in a 2009 review of the top performances in the area for the year.

The State Journal-Register commented that Aasne Vigesaa, playing the leading role of Rosalind, gave the best performance by an actor the reviewer has seen in Springfield and also noted that the rest of the cast gave stellar performances as well.

Download a PDF of the article
20091224-SJR-A%26E.pdf

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Celebrating New Year's should involve safe drinking

Many people look forward to ringing in the New Year with a few rounds of beer, friends and lighthearted laughs.

Valerie Scarborough, alcohol and drug prevention coordinator at the University of Illinois Springfield, says good times can quickly become bad memories when peer pressure and a lack of restraint lead to dangerous dares at the bar counter.

Scarborough's comments were featured in a December 29, 2009, article published by Gatehouse Media.

Download a PDF of the article

20091229-Gatehouse-drinkingNewYears.pdf

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lending a hand: Holiday season volunteering

Chris Maxey, a junior double major in political science and sociology/anthropology at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he recently began volunteering at the breadline to fulfill 20 hours of community service required by his Poverty, Law and Justice course.

Maxey, 21, said he soon found volunteering is much more than just putting the hours down on a piece of paper. He said he was shocked to find the standard of living some coming for meals withstand.

“I was surprised how many elderly, homeless people there were (at the breadline),”Maxey said.

Maxey's comments were featured in a December 22, 2009 article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091222-SJR-Lending-a-hand.pdf

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Hasara on board as Illinois trustee

Former Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara is one of six new trustees named to the University of Illinois board by Gov. Pat Quinn.

"The thing that means the most is that I’m the first UIS grad to be on the board, and it’s been really exciting to people in Springfield and at UIS," said Hasara.

Do you see yourself as being an advocate for UIS on the board?

"I see my main goal as being a representative of the university system. But certainly I will be an advocate because there is no other person on the board who knows UIS the way I do," said Hasara.

Hasara's comments were featured in a December 21, 2009, edition of the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091221-SJR-Hasara-on-board.pdf

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With no incumbent, 10th Congressional district up for grabs

As Mark Kirk bows out of the 10th Congressional race to run for U.S. Senate, the political doors again are open for both democrats and republicans.

"I think it's likely to be an expensive, high-profile race that gets national attention," said Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Voter mood also has changed since the 2008 Democratic whirlwind led by President Barack Obama.

"It will be interesting to see who's playing offense and who's playing defense," Redfield said.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 20, 2009, edition of the Chicago Daily Herald

Download a PDF of the article:
20091220-Daily-Herald-10th-Congressional.pdf

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Judy Baar Topinka attempts return to state office

Republican Judy Baar Topinka is attempting to return to statewide office. At 65, she's running for Illinois comptroller, saying she can't stand to see state government engulfed by financial problems.

Though she was constantly bad-mouthed by former governor Rod Blagojevich, she still has two weapons in her arsenal: strong name recognition and a scandal-free reputation, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 17, 2009, article in the Chicago Tribune about Topinka's comeback.

Download a PDF of the article
20091217-ChiTrib-Topinka.pdf

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Students not indicted for hate crime

A Sangamon County grand jury has refused to indict three University of Illinois Springfield students on hate crime charges in connection with an Oct. 3 altercation in a campus parking lot.

However, the grand jury Thursday did indict two of the men on other charges, including a felony.
The news was reported in a December 17, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091217-SJR-studentsindicted.pdf

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

LMS competitors call truce

A three-and-a-half-year court battle between learning management system (LMS) giant Blackboard Inc. and competitor Desire2Learn ended Dec. 15 when the companies agreed to license each other's patents and drop longstanding lawsuits.

Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Center for Online Learning, Research and Service, said the settlement between Desire2Learn and Blackboard "holds far less meaning" than if the companies had come to an agreement three years ago.

Schroeder's comments were featured in a December 17, 2009, article about the agreement published on ecampusnews.com.

Download a PDF of the article
20091217-ecampusnews-onlinetruce.pdf

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Illinois divides over Thomson-Gitmo decision

The government has purchased the Thomson Correctional Center to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay in Thomson, Ill.

The purchase was the feature of a December 15, 2009, news story by WAND-TV Channel 17. UIS' Baker Siddiquee, associate professor of economics, was interviewed for the story.

See the broadcast story here.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oruche named GLVC Player of the Week

University of Illinois Springfield senior basketball guard Richard Oruche has been named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week after leading the Prairie Stars to a pair of wins, including a victory Saturday over previously unbeaten Central State.

The announcement was featured in the December 15, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article

20091215-SJR-Oruche.pdf

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Democrats try to retain power during redistricting

Every 10 years, Illinois lawmakers break out their markers and redistrict the state’s legislative districts, which produces political strife during the year to come.

Democrats currently hold all of the power and will be focusing on retaining it, according to Kent Redfield, a political science professor emeritus at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 14, 2009, article in the Chicago Current.

Download a PDF of the article
20091214-ChiCurrent-redistrict.pdf

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Budget crisis could get worse in Illinois

Though the Illinois state budget seems to be bad enough, it could get worse, experts say.

Ultimately, budget crises in some states can even lead to the closing down of state government for brief periods, according to Chris Mooney, a political science professor at UIS. State shutdowns, or the threat of one, may be one of the few things that convince lawmakers to make the more difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions, like raising taxes and cutting services, he said.

Mooney's comments were featured in a December 14, 2009, article on Stateline.org.

Download a PDF of the article
20091214-Stateline-statebudget.pdf

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Professor weighs in on power company's proposed plan

Rocky Mountain Power in Salt Lake City wants to change the way it bills customers for the electricity they use, a decision it says will help lower costs and allow Utahns to better track their electricity usage and respond to changing prices, but that is receiving criticism from experts in the field.

Karl A. McDermott, a professor of business and government at UIS, was one expert who weighed in on the situation in a December 11, 2009, article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article
20091211-SaltLakeTribune-utility.pdf

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Rate plan receives criticism from experts

Customers who buy their power from Duke Energy in South Carolina face a 9.2 percent price hike by February under a settlement agreement between the company and the Office of Regulatory Staff, the state agency charged with protecting the public interest in utility matters.

If South Carolina's Office of Regulatory Staff had employed the same average and peak method for cost allocation method as other states like Michigan, Duke's residential customers might not be facing such a steep rate hike at the same time manufacturers are set to get a decrease, according to Carl Peterson, a professor in the Center for Business and Regulation at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Comments from Peterson were featured in a December 11, 2009 article published in the (South Carolina) State.

Download a PDF of the article

20091211-State-Dukerateplan.pdf

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

UIS women's soccer team receives conference award

The University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars women’s soccer team has received a Great Lakes Valley Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Sportsmanship Award for the fall season.

The news was announced in the December 10, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091210-SJR-socceraward.pdf

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Local film premieres at UIS' Brookens Auditorium

On World Aids Day, Kimberly D. Conner’s short film "This Life Ain’t Pretty," premiered at UIS’ Brookens Auditorium. The auditorium was more than full of cast, crew, friends and supporters for her film.

The film's premiere was featured in a December 10, 2009, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article
20091210-IT-moviepremiere.pdf

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Vintage Brass Band created by employees of UIS

The Vintage Brass Band will be presenting "A Vintage Brass Christmas" at the First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, December 12. The band was created by husband and wife musician team of UIS staff members R. Todd Cranson and Rose Schweikhart Cranson in 2009.

The band was the subject of a feature in the December 10, 2009, Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article
20091210-IT-brassband.pdf

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Lawmakers suspected of favoring politically-connected with scholarships

Lawmakers have awarded at least 197 tuition-free scholarships to relatives of campaign contributors, and some lawmakers and good government groups have raised concerns that the scholarship program favors the politically connected.

Charles N. Wheeler, III, director of the public affairs program at UIS, said lawmakers can protect themselves from suspicion by using independent committees and using objective guidelines to nominate scholarship recipients.

Wheeler's comments were featured in a December 8, 2009, article in the Southwest Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article

20091208-SWnewsherald-campaigndonors.pdf

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Forum includes former and current WUIS news directors

Six of the seven Republican candidates for governor will participate in a forum Monday in Springfield.

Rich Bradley, who recently retired as WUIS-FM news director, will moderate the forum and the panel of reporters asking questions will include Sean Crawford, current WIUS news director.

The forum was announced in the December 9, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091209-SJR-repubforum.pdf

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Presidential search forum at UIS

Members of the University of Illinois’ presidential search committee hope a public forum allowed faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities they feel are needed by the university’s next president.

“We like as many comments as possible,” said U of I trustee Karen Hasara of Springfield, who chaired the forum. “We’re hoping the publicity will encourage people to e-mail.”

The forum was featured in a December 9, 2009, edition of the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091209-SJR-Presidential-search-forum.pdf

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U of I Presidential Search Forum Comes to Springfield

The search continues for a new president at the University of Illinois and the committee in charge of hiring wants to hear from you.

Several members of the presidential search committee heard feedback on qualities they want to see in the next university president.

WICS-TV 20 featured U of I trustee Karen Hasara and student committee member Charles Oliver in a December 8, 2009 report.

Watch the report online here.

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One year later: 'Blagojevich hangover' continues

Believe it or not it was one year ago today (December 9, 2008) that FBI agents knocked on Rod Blagojevich's front door and opened the final chapter in the former governor's troubled tenure in office.

Political science professor Kent Redfield said it could be a decade or more before the state is cured of its "Blagojevich hangover."

The University of Illinois at Springfield professor says voters will have to find new faith in new leaders. He said Blagojevich did so much damage that voters may have a hard time trusting any elected official.

Redfield's comments were featured in a December 8, 2009, edition of the Quad-Cities Dispatch-Argus.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091208-QuadCities-One-year-Blagojevich.pdf

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elluminate is one online tool used at UIS

Elluminate gives an instructor the ability to hold a web conference with up to 300 participants, host interactive displays, video streaming and just about every function a teacher could want in an online classroom.

UIS is one of a few higher education institutions using the very popular Elluminate. UIS was mentioned in a December 8, 2009, article in the Vator News about Elluminate.

Download a PDF of the article
20091208-VatorNews-Elluminate.pdf

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Some high schoolers opt for early graduation

In the Springfield school district alone, more than 100 high school seniors have applied for early graduation this year, with various reasons of why they want to graduate early, including getting a head-start on college.

Amanda Bly, an admissions counselor at UIS, said that early high school graduates may now start classes at UIS in the spring due to a new policy.

Bly's comments were featured in a December 8, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register about early graduation.

Download a PDF of the article
20091208-SJR-DecHSgrads.pdf

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UIS Downstate Innocence Project director comments on big case

On November 10, filing by Illinois State's Attorney Anita Alvarez raised serious questions about the methods students used to gather evidence in a case currently in Cook County Circuit Court. The actions will have a big impact on the case of Anthony McKinney, whose case is being worked on by students at Northwestern University's Center for Wrongful Convictions.

Larry Golden, co-director of the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project and a professor emeritus at UIS, teaches classes on wrongful convictions. Golden's comments were featured in a December 7, 2009, article in the Truthout about McKinney's case.

Download a PDF of the article

20091207-truthout-innocenceproject.pdf

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Monday, December 7, 2009

UIS finds success with iTunes Story

Through its new iTunes Store listing, UIS is bringing some of its archived oral history to more than 200 million users worldwide.

In the first three months UIS has been part of the iTunes Store, new downloads have increased by more than 75,000. Previously, the campus averaged only 3,000 downloads every three months.

A story about UIS and the iTunes story was published in the December 7, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091207-SJR-itunes.pdf

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UIS donates to Central Illinois Foodbank

UIS collected a record 6,209 pounds of food — 40 percent more than last year — for the Central Illinois Foodbank as part of the 2009 Holiday Stars Project.

The news was featured in the December 5, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the clip
20091205-SJR-HolidayStarscollection.pdf

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Friday, December 4, 2009

UIS wins at buzzer during first GLVC game

During UIS' inaugural game in the Great Lakes Valley Conference at TRAC, UIS senior guard Zach Lewis tipped in the game-winning basket at the buzzer for a thrilling 115-114 double-overtime victory over the Missouri S&T Miners.

The game was featured in a December 4, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091204-SJR-GLVCopener.pdf

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UIS collects food for Central Illinois Foodbank

UIS collected 6,209 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank as part of the 2009 Holiday Stars Project, which was an increase of more than 40 percent over last year.

The news was featured in a story from WICS-TV on December 3, 2009.

To watch the news clip, go online here.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quinn uses office to advantage with State of the State Address

In 2010, Gov. Pat Quinn will stand before legislators and lay out his vision for state government. His State of the State address could be a State of the Campaign address as well, some say, and criticize him for taking advantage of his office during the election.

But that's the kind of perk that comes with being governor, according to Chris Mooney, professor of political science at UIS.

Mooney's comments were featured in a December 3, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register about the topic.

Download a PDF of the article
20091203-SJR-Quinnstateaddress.pdf

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UIS presents Fall Music Showcase

The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus, Choir and Band will present the Fall Showcase Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Studio Theatre at the Public Affairs Center on campus.

Information about the fall showcase was published in the December 3, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091203-SJR-musicshowcase.pdf

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UIS staff is part of Springfield Choral Society

Janette Kirkham, employee at UIS, has been a part of the Springfield Choral Society since 1985.

This weekend, the Choral Society will present “Peace in All the Earth,” a concert of 22 songs from 12 different countries, in eight different languages. The chorus will dedicate its program to men and women serving in the military.

A December 3, 2009, article featuring the Choral Society and comments from Kirkham was published in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091203-IllTimes-JanKirkham.pdf

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"Avenue Q" comes to Sangamon Auditorium

“Avenue Q” recently embarked on its first national tour of smaller cities, which brings the grown-up puppet musical to Springfield for the first time Saturday night at Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus.

An article about Avenue Q was featured in the December 3, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article

20091203-SJR-AvenueQ.pdf

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ethnicity in politics: 1986 and beyond

The last Polish-American to seek a prominent state office was Aurelia Pucinski, daughter of prominent Polish-American politician and community leader Roman Pucinski. He served as U.S. Representative from 1959 to 1973 and alderman (41st) from 1973 to 1991.

In 1986, Aurelia Pucinski ran for secretary of state alongside George E. Sangmeister for lieutenant governor and Adlai Stevenson for governor with the Solidarity Party.

Charlie H. Wheeler, director of the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield, said that Pucinski and Sangmeister didn’t necessarily lose because of their ethnic names.

Wheeler's comments were featured in a December 1, 2009, article in Medill Reports.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091201-Medill-Ethnicity-in-politics.pdf

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WUIS launches new alternative digital radio station

WUIS/Illinois Public Radio has launched a new “alternative” digital radio station, which is part of a nearly $300,000 upgrade.

The station, called “Xponential Radio,” first arrived on the airwaves in mid-October and can be received using an HD radio or listening online at www.wuis.org.

The news was the subject of a December 1, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091201-SJR-WUISalternativestation.pdf

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Social networking sites are beneficial tools for government candidates

Those running for statewide office in Illinois see the Internet and its new social networking tools as inexpensive, invaluable gateways to reach voters. The emergence of the Internet as an everyday part of life has political candidates pushing the boundaries of “e-campaigning,” from Facebook and Twitter posts to YouTube videos and blogs, just as President Obama did in his presidential campaign.

“A lot of folks say, ‘I want to be like Barack,’” said Michael Cheney, a senior fellow at the Institute of Government and Politics at the University of Illinois, in a November 30, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20091130-SJR-ecampaigning.pdf

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State government candidates use Obama's campaign practices

State political candidates have collected donations and campaigned through the World Wide Web for years, but now social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are taking over the campaign trail.

The trend comes in part from President Obama's campaign, which took his message directly to voters, according to Michael Cheney, a senior fellow at the Institute of Government and Politics at the University of Illinois. Cheney's comments were featured in a November 30, 2009, article in the Chicago Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article
20091130-ChiTrib-campaignssocialnetworking.pdf

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