Friday, April 30, 2010

Madigan shuffles fundraiser to accommodate Obama

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan rearranged her campaign schedule at the last minute on Tuesday at the request of the leader of the free world. The request was that she travel to downstate Quincy, where the president was speaking Wednesday at a rally on financial reform.

Political experts said the White House likely wanted Madigan at the rally because of her status as perhaps the most popular major Democrat in the state.

“Lisa Madigan is very popular and not viewed in a highly partisan kind of way,” said Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Redfield explained that Obama’s advisers would not want anything to distract from the president’s message.

“If you’ve only got one Illinois constitutional officer there, then all the focus is on that,” he said. “If you’ve got a couple, then that diversifies the story, and it doesn’t look like [they’re] there just to help out Giannoulias.”

Redfield's comments were featured in a April 28, 2010, edition of Medill Reports: Chicago.

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UIS hits a few bumps on road to Division II

Scott Reed admits the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars athletics program has had growing pains this academic year during its transition to NCAA Division II and the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Not only did several of the Stars’ 10 sports teams struggle to get wins, but the non-renewal of six scholarships prompted multiple members of the women’s basketball team to speak out against coach Marne Fauser.

“We knew this wouldn’t be an easy transition,” said Reed, the assistant director of athletics for operations and communications. “There’s going to be bumps in the road. What we’re doing we believe is in the best interest of everyone involved, the student-athletes, coaches, program and university."

Reed's comments were featured in a April 30, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Area Colleges: UIS splits to end season

Brittany Morgan and Aubrey Watson each hit home runs Wednesday afternoon to help the University of Illinois Springfield gain a split of its season-ending Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader with Missouri Baptist.

Missouri Baptist won the first game 3-2 before the Prairie Stars came back to win the nightcap 9-1. The Prairie Stars finished 14-32 after winning just four games last season.

Morgan was 3-for-4 with six runs batted in, while Watson was 2-for-3 and also earned the pitching win as she gave up five hits and one run with four strikeouts.

In Game One, Morgan had a double and scored a run while Jessica Yocum and Emmarie Snyder each collected an RBI.

The game was featured in a April 30, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roomies hold opposing political views

Like any good friends, Matt Van Vossen and Ryan Melchin have a lot in common.

But there's one area where these University of Illinois at Springfield roommates agree to disagree: Politics.

Van Vossen, of Oak Lawn, is president of the College Democrats at UIS while Melchin, of Hoffman Estates, is chairman of the College Republicans.

"We don't really argue," said Van Vossen, 20. "We know where we stand on issues -- but we don't have any hard-core debates where we try to change each other's minds."

The roommates were featured in a April 29, 2010, article in The Southtown Star (Sun-Times Media Group).

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A&E notebook: What is art? Find out at UIS

Fourteen senior visual art majors at the University of Illinois Springfield will showcase their representation of what “Art Is” during an exhibition that opens today and continues through May 13.

The exhibit is at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, Room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building at UIS.

Students showing work are Kaitlyn Bitner, Rachel Book, Kimberly Bretz, Willa Campbell, Lauren Cooper, Michael Curry, Adrian Hebert, Aby Lee Hood, Shannon Lubben, Ashley Moore, Valencia Robinson, Veronica Sparks, Emily Welch and Jennifer Yakes.

The exhibit opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. today, beginning in the Visual Arts Gallery and concluding in the Access Gallery.

The senior exhibition was featured in a April 29, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

UIS students want student union

Charles Olivier is vice president of the student government at UIS. He’s part of a group of students pushing to have a central meeting place for students.

Most major universities have a student union and many students here feel it's about time UIS built one as well.

But, if students want a place of their own they'll have to pay for it.

"We would definitely have to fund it by a student fee as the administration has told us we can not use state funds to fund the building," said Olivier.

Watch the full story on News Channel 20's website:

Schock to host 'leadership summit' for high schoolers

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, is hosting a four-hour “leadership summit” for high school juniors and seniors Friday in Springfield, with speakers to include the founder of the Jimmy John’s sandwich franchise and Katie Stam, who was the 2009 Miss America.

“This will be a unique opportunity for high school students to learn from some exceptional speakers who will share their life stories – from businessmen to beauty queens,” Schock said in a news release.

The program will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Dave Natonski, spokesman for Schock, said schools across the 18th Congressional District have been notified, and several hundred students are expected to participate in the free summit.

The summit was featured in a April 28, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Fit for the love of baseball

For Naperville's Matt Cmiel, being active and being an athlete is something that he has never questioned. As part of the Naperville Central High School baseball 2009 Naperville Sun All-City Team, Matt is not only passionate about baseball, but motivated by being part of a winning team.

Many colleges asked that he bring his talent and passion to their school. Matt finally made the decision to head to the University of Illinois at Springfield.

"We are proud of his decision to go to University of Illinois at Springfield," his mom Ann Cmiel said." Matt picked UIS (Division 2) because of the new start up baseball program, visits with the head coach, and playing time.

"The Great Lakes Conference is known as one of the most competitive D2 conferences in the country. Matt will have the opportunity to play four years of college ball and get a solid education."

Cmiel was profiled in a April 28, 2010, article in the Naperville Sun.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

State budget crisis hitting local businesses' bottom line

More than two-thirds of local businesses say state budget problems and late payments have hurt their bottom line.

A spring economic survey by the University of Illinois Springfield also found that business owners believe chronic financial problems at the state will remain a major challenge in the coming year.

Nonetheless, the survey also found that local business owners are in a somewhat better mood than last fall, though they expect the economic recovery to be slow.

More than a quarter expect at least some business growth this year, up 4 percentage points from a September survey. Nearly three-fourths expect the economy to stay about the same or to continue its decline.

“Things are looking better, but they are not real confident yet,” said Patty Byrnes with the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS.

The survey was featured in a April 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Edgar says he'll vote for Brady

Despite recent criticism of Bill Brady's budget plans, former Gov. Jim Edgar says he will vote for the Republican nominee for governor come November.

Edgar previously called Brady's across-the-board budget cutting ideas "naive" and had recommended he rethink his fiscal policies regarding bridging a $13 billion budget deficit.

But in speaking to students at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus Monday night, Edgar said he'll be voting Republican, arguing that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has not made the most of opportunities to get spending under control.

Edgar's comments at UIS were featured in a April 27, 2010, article in the Chicago Daily Herald.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

UIS alternative prom provides option for gay students

Springfield-area high school students uncomfortable with bringing dates of the same gender to their own schools’ proms have another option — an “Alternative Prom” at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The event, which runs from 8:30 p.m. to midnight on April 24 in the student center at the UIS Student Life Building, will be the sixth annual alternative prom sponsored by the UIS Queer-Straight Alliance, according to Jessica Enock, 22, a UIS junior from Buffalo Grove and chair of the event’s planning committee.

Enock said the UIS event, which has no admission charge, is open to any area high school or college-age students — gay or straight — and is geared toward young people who want to attend a dance where they will not be judged based on their sexual orientation.

Alternative prom was featured in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Review: Faith, ideals, humanity themes of 'The Runner Stumbles'

Although the UIS Theatre's production of "The Runner Stumbles" is set a full century ago, when Catholic Church rituals and practices were much more structured and Catholics were struggling to gain acceptance in America's predominantly Protestant culture, its themes and plot elements remain timely.

On one level, "Runner", which plays today, Sunday, and April 29-May 1 at the University of Illinois Springfield Studio Theatre, appears to present familiar, almost stereotyped, images of a tradition-bound, repressive Catholic Church and backward, suspicious small-town residents, blended with a traditional murder mystery. But on a deeper level it is about the eternal struggle to reconcile faith, reason, and emotion and aspire to high ideals without losing touch with one's humanity.

Directed by Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, the two-act drama by Milan Stitt -- based on an actual court case -- takes place in a Michigan logging town in 1911, where the former Catholic parish pastor, Father Rivard (Dug Hall) is on trial for the murder of a young nun, Sister Rita (Ellyn Thorson) four years earlier.

The review was published in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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A la carte: Mary Jane's Cafe

MARY JANE’S CAFE, on the main floor of Brookens Library at the University of Illinois Springfield, has reopened.

The coffee shop had been run by an independent vendor who left in December. Now it’s managed by the university’s food-service system.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Besides hot and cold coffee drinks, there are teas, sodas and fruit smoothies. Foods include soups, salads and pastries, such as muffins, bagels, cinnamon rolls and cheesecake.

Mary Jane’s is named after Mary Jane MacDonald, the first librarian hired at the school then called Sangamon State University.

The cafe was featured in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Police donate bicycles to youth foundation, UIS

The Springfield Police Department donated 14 unclaimed bicycles to the Rutledge Youth Foundation and the University of Illinois Springfield’s Diversity Center bike checkout program on Thursday.

The UIS program loans bikes, free of charge, to members of the university community. A user can borrow a bike for five days.

“Many of our students are international students, so they come to UIS and they’re not able to bring their own bikes,” said Jeannie Capranica, Diversity Center program manager.

The donation was featured in a April 23, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Social media's impact on consumers and businesses

University of Illinois Springfield Web Services Director Sherry Hutson was interviewed on the WTAX-AM Morning Newswatch on April 23, 2010. She spoke about social media trends when it comes to consumer habits and businesses.

Hutson says social media can serve both a positive and negative purpose for businesses. She also spotlights some of the companies that are using social media effectively.

Listen to the WTAX podcast of the interview online:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Colleges moving to paperless systems

The University of Illinois Springfield, as well as the U of I’s other campuses in Urbana and Chicago, has been “100 percent online for registration since fall of 2004,” said Brian Clevenger, director of records and registration at UIS.

The U of I also uses the database system for grades, class rosters, syllabi, etc.

“We held out and did our course schedules on paper until summer-fall 2010,” he said. “Some still wanted to hold that paper in their hands. If you’re not great with change, it takes a while.

“It has saved us several thousand dollars,” Clevenger said. “We no longer mail grades or bills to students.”

Clevenger's comments were featured in a April 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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UIS play looks at questions of duty, faith

On its surface, “The Runner Stumbles” is a murder mystery about whether a priest killed a nun.

Milan Stitt’s play, which opens Friday in a production by UIS Theatre, digs much deeper than that, looking at questions of faith and duty, to oneself and God.

Director Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, an assistant professor of theater at the University of Illinois Springfield, said the story has a timeless quality.

Based on a true story from rural Michigan in 1911, the story unfolds in flashbacks. It opens with Father Rivard (Dug Hall) in jail, accused of murdering Sister Rita (Ellyn Thorson).

The play was featured in a April 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Future teacher Moeller learns how to build a softball program

Like most college seniors, Brianne Moeller is concocting a plan that will land her a job.

The University of Illinois Springfield softball player, who will earn her degree after completing a student teaching requirement in the fall, hopes her sports background and knowledge increases her marketability. She figures a school could kill two birds with one stone by hiring someone who can teach and coach.

Moeller has been a valuable piece in the puzzle for UIS for several seasons. She also was a standout in softball, volleyball and basketball at Nashville High School.

“I think that’ll help me get a teaching job,” she said. “Also, I don’t know how my life would be without sports. I think that will be a good transition. I’ll still be a part of it in some kind of way.”

Moeller was featured in a April 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Assistant A.D. at UIS takes job in Florida

The excitement of big-city life beckoned and Alison Fitzgerald is heeding the call.

Fitzgerald, 26, is leaving her post as the assistant director of athletics for compliance at the University of Illinois Springfield and has accepted a similar position at NCAA Division II Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla.

Fitzgerald has helped UIS make the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II with the school set to attain full membership for the 2010-11 academic year. She became UIS’ first compliance director in June 2008 after graduating from Marquette University’s law school.

Fitzgerald was featured in a April 21, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Professor starts fund to benefit UIS athletes

Barbara Hayler didn’t attend many University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball games prior to the 2009-10 season, but following the team this season has compelled her to help student-athletes who have lost their athletic scholarships for the 2010-11 academic year.

Hayler, a Professor Emerita of Criminal Justice at UIS, has established the Help Honor Our Promises for Education Fund. Hayler is seeking donations to the Help HOPE fund, which would provide financial assistance to junior athletes who have had their scholarships terminated, regardless of sport, and help with academic costs.

The fund was featured in a April 21, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sangamon Auditorium, PCCC to offer rival Broadway series

Springfield’s two biggest indoor performance venues Sangamon Auditorium and the Prairie Capital Convention Center will offer competing slates of Broadway shows next season.

The change is a result of Sangamon Auditorium’s decision to end its relationship with Theatre Council Productions, which has produced and marketed the Broadway series at the University of Illinois Springfield since 2005. Beginning with the upcoming season, the auditorium will book such shows on its own.

Theatre Council, however, did not want to lose its foothold in the market, so it made a deal with the PCCC to present shows there.

Sangamon Auditorium executive director Bob Vaughn said the agreement with Theatre Council — which was already in place when Vaughn took over in 2006 — was “pretty favorable for the contractor.”

The change was featured in a April 20, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

These students who pray together stay together

On a recent Friday evening, in a room in the Student Life Center at the University of Illinois Springfield, Todd Magruder reflects on the early days of the Christian Student Fellowship on campus.

Before UIS became a four-year university, the fellowship catered to upperclassmen and graduate students at what was then known as Sangamon State University.

Christian Student Fellowship has its share of followers. Its Friday night services, which include praise and worship and a sermon, typically draw 50 to 60 students from the UIS campus and neighboring Lincoln Land Community College, from a variety of faith backgrounds.

The CSF group was featured in a April 18, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Scholarships honor state police Trooper Brian McMillen

The Criminal Justice Student Organization at the University of Illinois Springfield will sponsor a free throw-a-thon to benefit a scholarship named for an Illinois State Trooper who died in October 2007.

The first annual Brian McMillen Free Throw-a-Thon to benefit a scholarship honoring McMillen will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Student Life Gym on the UIS campus.

A 2005 graduate of UIS with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, McMillen was an Illinois State Trooper who died when his patrol car was involved in an accident with two other vehicles outside Illiopolis while he was en route to a bar disturbance

He had served with the Illinois State Police for eight months.

The event was featured in a April 17, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

UIS students being asked to pay for construction of student center

University of Illinois Springfield students will vote later this month on whether to increase student fees to build a student union on the UIS campus.

“The student union is the primary intersection and the living room of a campus,” said Derek Felix, the UIS student representative on the U of I board of trustees and co-chairman of the project.

The student-driven proposal would be funded by an increase in fees of up to $200 per semester for full-time students and $100 per semester for part-time ones. A referendum on the proposal will be held in conjunction with the UIS Student Government Association elections April 28-29.

Voting takes place online through the UIS homepage at

The student center proposal was feature in a April 16, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Donner family subject of program Tuesday

“Springfield’s Donner Family: Trials of the Pioneer Trail, 1846” will be the topic of the Sangamon County Historical Society’s program scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at University of Illinois Springfield Brookens Library.

Don Springer will be the speaker. His great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Donner, led the wagon train in which nearly half the party perished after becoming trapped in a blizzard in the Sierra Nevadas.

Audience members will get an opportunity to see some of the Donner materials housed in the library’s archives and special collections department.

The event was featured in a April 15, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

U.N. Club at UIS receives global award

The University of Illinois Springfield Model United Nations Club received one of the Model U.N.'s highest global awards recently in New York City.

The UIS delegation was one of 17 to win an Outstanding Delegation Award at the 2010 conference, which ended April 3. More than 400 international colleges and universities competed at the event.

Model United Nationals is a conference that simulates a U.N. meeting.

"We've been participating for over 25 years in the National Model U.N. Conference, and this is the top award we've got so far," said Driss Elakrich, head delegate.

The award was featured in a April 15, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

UIS students overcome obstacles to take top honors

Life is finally returning to normal for Alfred Komolafe, a Nigerian-American UIS student forced to miss the opportunity of a lifetime, representing his school at the National Model U.N. in New York. He was not allowed to board the plane at the airport after being informed his name was on the federal no fly list.

Komolafe worried his absence would impact the team's performance, so before they left him at the airport he handed over a binder filled with all the research he'd prepared.

Despite a lot of long days and sleepless nights trying to learn the new material, the team won top honors. The team was awarded the Outstanding Delegation Award for their efforts.

The Model U.N. team was featured in a April 13, 2010, report by WICS-TV.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

Area Colleges: UIS splits at Truman State

The University of Illinois at Springfield softball team rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh inning and posted a 3-2 victory over Truman State in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader. Truman State came back to win the nightcap 9-0.

In the first game, the Prairie Stars jumped to a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Brooke Carroll walked with the bases loaded. After Truman State responded with two in its half of the fifth, setting up the last-inning dramatics.

Ashley Sanders doubled to left with one out and Brianne Moeller walked before Brittany Morgan singled to load the bases. Carroll then stroked a two-run double to give UIS a 3-2 lead.

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Area Colleges: Vorreyer second at UIS golf shootout

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Abby Vorreyer shot a final-round 88 and finished second at the Prairie Star Shootout that concluded Tuesday at Piper Glen Golf Club.

Vorreyer, who shot an opening-round 82, finished second at 169 behind Quincy’s Carrie Lambkin, who carded a final-round 83 and took medalist honors by one shot.

UIS got a third-place finish from Tiffany Blumhorst, who shot 179 (87-92) while Lillian Luker tied for sixth at 187 (90-97).

The Prairie Stars’ Kelsey Blake shot 95-94—189 and finished eighth while Katie Boyd went 97-94—191 and was alone in ninth place.

The shootout was featured in a April 14, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Politics can't get between two UIS roommates

Maybe those folks in Washington, D.C., could learn something from Matt Van Vossen and Ryan Melchin.

Van Vossen, 20, president of College Democrats at the University of Illinois Springfield, and Melchin, 21, chairman of the College Republicans on campus, are juniors who have been friends since freshman year, and they live in the same on-campus four-person townhouse this year.

“We mostly get along,” Van Vossen said. While they’ve done some arguing in their time in school together, he added, “We know where we stand by now on most issues.”

Van Vossen and Melchin were featured in a April 13, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Learning technology trends

A wall is typically something that keeps people out, but on Facebook it lets people in. It’s just one of the many terminologies UIS alums got acquainted with as they learned the ins and outs of Facebook during a technology workshop on campus.

Fear of the unknown is what keeps many older Americans from learning new technology, which is why UIS began offering workshops like this one.

Even Karen Hasara, a U of I trustee who uses a cell phone and email daily found herself in need of a refresher course.

The Alumni Technology Workshop was featured by WICS-TV 20 in a report on April 12, 2010.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

All known and unknown nuclear powers should come under this fold

Dr. Baker Ahmed Siddiquee, Professor of Economics at UIS and an analyst on Arab World and Muslim countries in an interview with VOABangla Service urges upon all nuclear power to come under a single fold of pledging to secure their nuclear weapons.

In a round table discussion Professor Siddiquee says that he welcomes the initiatives of the U.S. President Barack Obama to hold this International Global Summit where the nations are required to reassure that their nuclear materials are secured and that they do not, in particular, fall into the hands of the terrorists organizations like the Al Qaida.

Siddiquee's comments were featured by Voice of America radio on April 12, 2010.

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Listen to the interview on the Voice of America website

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheers, tears part of naturalization ceremonies

For Nnenna Dettro of Chatham, whose husband, frequently travels abroad for his job, becoming a citizen means she won’t have to apply for a visa to travel with her husband.

And what about the ceremony itself — which featured Lincoln scholar and author Michael Burlingame as the guest speaker — will Nnenna remember?

“Everything about it was special,” she said.

Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi Lynn Distinguished Professor in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield and winner of the Lincoln prize for his book “Abraham Lincoln: A Life,” talked about Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts and writings about immigration and the U.S.

“His life story inspired me, and I hope it also inspires you,” Burlingame told the 60-plus new citizens, who represented 27 countries.

Burlingame was featured in a April 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Area colleges: Moeller sends UIS softball to split

Brianne Moeller hit two home runs, including a walk-off shot in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the University of Illinois Springfield an 8-7 win over the Missouri Science & Technology Miners and a doubleheader split Saturday at the Land of Lincoln Softball Complex.

Missouri S&T (18-14 overall, 10-8 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) won the first game 9-0 in five innings. The Miners finished with nine hits and scored eight runs in the fourth. Brooke Carroll had both of the Prairie Stars’ hits. Moeller was the losing pitcher.

The win was featured in a April 11, 2010 article in the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Opinion: In Praise of Illinois

Democrats take baby steps on pension reform.

The Pew Center on the States recently honored Illinois as the state with the biggest public pension mess. So it's a minor miracle that the state's Democratic legislature passed, and Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign, a pension reform that at least takes baby steps in trimming the state's retirement largesse for its 700,000 government workers. Perhaps bankruptcy concentrates the mind.

A new report by Charles Wheeler of the University of Illinois Springfield summarizes the state's problem this way: "To say Illinois faces a hole in funding its public employee pension systems is like saying the Grand Canyon is an impressive ravine." He finds that the state's five retirement systems "will need roughly $131 billion to cover benefits already earned by public workers, with only $46 billion in expected revenues to cover the costs."

Wheeler's report was featured in a Wall Street Journal opinions article on April 8, 2010. The research was also featured in a February 2010 edition of Illinois Issues magazine.

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Humor, healthy eating, control of finances all help battle stress, experts say

Positive thinking is one way to relieve stress, but doing it is much harder than saying it, a St. John’s Hospital nurse said Wednesday during a health-awareness forum at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Diana Weyhenmeyer, a community outreach educator, suggested that overstressed people look for humor in their lives.

Another speaker at the two-day Health Awareness Week event, which continues today at UIS, outlined ways of promoting “financial wellness.”

UIS' Health Awareness Week was featured in a April 8, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Richard Judd: Saving capitalism

The following column was written by Richard Judd, National City Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield. It was published in the State Journal-Register on April 7, 2010.

"For decades the U.S. was the epicenter of advanced technology production. No longer. In 2008 the U.S. exported $275 billion of such goods but imported more than $329 billion. Of those imports, $91 billion came from China. The U.S. depends on advanced technology, yet we are outsourcing production.

The state of global trade in 2010 is as precarious as global finance was before its 2008 collapse, largely because of a free-market approach to global trade and deregulation of the money industry."

Download a PDF of the full column:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UIS Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame to speak at ceremony

New citizens of the United States, including several from Central Illinois, will take the oath of allegiance during naturalization ceremonies at 2 p.m. April 9 at the Old State Capitol Historic Site.

Featured speaker will be Michael Burlingame, a history professor at University of Illinois, Springfield. U.S. District Judge Jeanne Scott will preside.

Burlingame's appearance was featured on April 6, 2010, in the Bloomington Pantagraph.

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UIS welcoming Monica Chiu to campus

A long standing goal of immigrant children has been to become “Americanized” as a key to their future economic and social success. In the particular case of Lao American youth, "becoming white" is closely associated with performing blackness.

Mae Marie-Noll from the University of Illinois – Springfield explains that author and Associate Professor of English and University Honors Program Director at the University of New Hampshire, Monica Chiu, will share her works with the public April 14th.

This talk discusses how Lao American boys' refashion themselves with the blackness inspired by media in order to achieve the so-called social acceptance among their American peers. It also highlights how their efforts to "fit in" are related to their academic struggles.

Noll adds that Chiu is one of many speakers that the university will be welcoming to the school this semester.

The event was featured by WTIM Radio in Taylorville on April 5, 2010.

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Listen to Mae Marie-Noll's interview online

Monday, April 5, 2010

UIS studying accelerated degree potential

When interim University of Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry asked college officials to find out what it would take to create an accelerated degree program, he kick-started the process at all three U of I campuses.

But University of Illinois Springfield provost Harry Berman said the three-year degree idea is “relative to the traditional full-time student.”

“It’s a matter of affordability for higher education, which is a big concern for all of us,” said Berman. “We’d have to look and see what majors we could do it in.”

Berman's comments were featured in a April 4, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Time, and money, running out for MAP college aid program

At the University of Illinois Springfield, Gerard Joseph, director of financial assistance, said 259 eligible students missed the MAP application deadline last year. A total of 845 out of 4,900 students received MAP grants this year, up from 827 last academic year.

“That’s going to become a very critical factor,” Joseph said when asked about students losing money by missing the cutoff.

Returning students will generally be better off financially than freshmen, because tuition rates already are locked in for returning students. University of Illinois officials have suggested tuition could go up by 20 percent next year.

Joseph's comments were featured in a April 2, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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What's Illinois voters' mood?

Democrats hold an iron grip on Illinois state government, control both U.S. Senate seats and occupy 12 of the state’s 19-seat delegation in the House of Representatives.

Illinois, remains solidly in that Democrats’ column, said Christopher Mooney, a professor with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The state has a lot of union members who tend to vote Democratic and are bolstered by the party in return.

“The political culture here is not ideological. It’s all about where you are pouring concrete, providing services,” he said. Solidly Democrat Chicago still “dominates state politics.”

Given the political makeup of the state, minority Republicans won’t be able to make much headway on national issues like the Obama administration’s passage of health care reform, said Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the university.

Mooney and Wheeler's comments were featured in a April 5, 2010, article in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

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Bipartisan roommates at UIS

The president of the college Democrats and the chairman of the college Republicans at UIS are roommates.

Ryan Melchin, a republican and Matt VanVossen, a democrat, met during freshman year. They hit it off and have been friends ever since. The pair say they debate about politics all the time, but they do have common interests.

They hope to set an example for professional lawmakers.

The pair was featured by WCIA-TV Channel 3 in a report on April 1, 2010.

Read more and watch the story on WCIA's website

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sustain exhibition opens at UIS Visual Arts Gallery

The Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield presents an internationally juried exhibition of fine art titled Sustain. It features selections from 13 artists, whose work addresses three issues of sustainability: resource conservation, social justice and economic equity. The exhibit can be viewed weekdays Monday through Thursday. A closing reception is planned as part of the campus’ celebration of Earth Day on April 22 from 5:30-8 p.m. in the gallery. Pictured is “The Bitter Pill” by Minneanpolis artist Bart Vargas.

Through Thursday, Apr 22
Mon-Thu, 11am-6pm
UIS Visual Arts Gallery
Health and Sciences Building, Room 201

The exhibit was featured in a April 1, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:

UIS notes: Ace makes McKillips' day in golf tournament

Golfers at the Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational played the final round in on-and-off rain, but a hole-in-one brightened University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars sophomore Ryan McKillips’ day.

He scored his first hole-in-one on the No. 3 hole Sunday at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind. He aced the par-3, 197-yard hole using a 4-iron.

“It took a couple of bounces before the pin, then went in,” McKillips said. “I was very surprised that it went in. I asked around, ‘Did it actually go in?’ I didn’t yell, scream or jump up and down.
“The thought that crossed my mind was now you can’t shot 80. That would look bad.”

The golf team, UIS' search for a location to play baseball and the men's and women's tennis teams were featured in a April 1, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article: