Monday, September 26, 2011

In My View: An ancestor's diary full of life's lessons

The following is a portion of an op-ed written by University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan J. Koch. It was published in an September 24, 2011, edition of The State Journal-Register.

"As new residents of Illinois, my husband and I have found numerous reasons to appreciate our new surroundings. But this move, to assume the chancellorship at the University of Illinois Springfield, is really a homecoming for me. My father grew up in Peru and my great-grandfather was a coal miner in Spring Valley.

With 5,000 acres in the heart of Illinois coal country, the Spring Valley Coal Co.’s intent was to sink four shafts and build a 'Magic City' that would employ up to 4,000 miners. An Irishman, my great-grandfather was one of them. His eldest, Mary, passed along to us her father’s diary, a narrative titled 'Solid Facts.' He made brief entries into this spiral-bound notebook from 1894-1902."

Read the full op-ed online

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U of Ill. fundraising campaign tops $2.25 billion

The University of Illinois Foundation says its eight-year-old Brilliant Futures fundraising campaign has topped its $2.25 billion goal several months early.

The foundation is the university's fundraising arm. It said in a news release Friday that the campaign has raised $2.267 billion in donations from graduates, corporations and others. The campaign ends Dec. 31.

Money from the Brilliant Futures campaign will be split among the university's three campuses. So far $1.6 billion is dedicated to the flagship campus in Urbana and Champaign. The Chicago campus will receive $593 million, and the Springfield campus will get $25.9 million.

The campaign was featured in an September 23, 2011, Associated Press article.

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Women's Soccer: Prairie Stars get road win

Chatham Glenwood graduate Erin Egolf scored a goal, and Chandler Sommerfeldt added another to give the University of Illinois Springfield a 2-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference victory over Saint Joseph’s.

UIS improves to 3-3-1 overall and 2-3-1 in conference play.

The win was featured in an September 26, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Downstate Innocence Project gets federal grant

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Downstate Innocence Project has been awarded another federal grant to help investigate cases where people might have been unjustly convicted of crimes.

The $249,319 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will go toward clearing cases that can’t be resolved through DNA testing.

The Downstate Innocence Project last year received a $687,448 federal grant to investigate cases in which DNA testing is involved.

The grant was featured in an September 22, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Illinois Downstate Innocence Project gets federal grant

An Illinois institute that helps people convicted of crimes they didn't commit has won a federal grant to help cover the cost of tackling cases that cannot be resolved through DNA testing.

The Downstate Innocence Project got more than $249,000 from the Justice Department.

Project director Larry Golden says more than 90 percent of wrongful convictions cannot be resolved with DNA testing. He says that without DNA, figuring out whether someone has been unfairly sent to prison can require years of investigation.

The Downstate Innocence Project is based at the University of Illinois at Springfield. It collaborates with law schools at Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

The grant was featured in an September 22, 2011, report by the Associated Press.

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Paludan sisters open new UIS series

Kirsten and Karin Paludan began performing together when they were just kids.

The sisters, three and a half years apart in age, would put on variety shows in their basement, singing songs, playing violin and recording soap operas on a tape recorder.

On Saturday, the Paludans will bring their show from the basement of their childhood home to a basement of a different sort: the Studio Theatre at the University of Illinois Springfield.

It’s the first performance in Sangamon Auditorium’s new Kitchen Sink series, which also includes St. Louis singer Erin Bode and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. All the Kitchen Sink artists are to perform in the intimate, black box Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the UIS Public Affairs Center.

The performance was featured in an September 22, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Men's golf Stars tie for second

Led by Mike McKillips’ third-place finish, the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars tied for second at the 36-hole Wisconsin-Parkside Fall Invitational at The Club at Strawberry Creek Tuesday.

McKillips had rounds of 76 Monday and 73 Tuesday for a 149, four strokes behind the individual champion.

UIS moved up two spots as a team by following up a 305 with a 297.

The team was featured in an September 21, 2011, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Men's soccer: UIS goalie scores tying goal

University of Illinois Springfield’s goalie Jack Turanchik scored a goal with 15 seconds remaining to give the host Prairie Stars a 1-1 tie with Wisconsin-Parkside on Sunday in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game.

Carlo Cubero had four shots to lead UIS (0-4-1, 0-3-1). Turanchik had five saves.

The game was featured in an September 19, 2011, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Conversation with UIS Chancellor Susan Koch

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan J. Koch was a guest on WMAY radio's "The Jim Leach Show" on September 15, 2011.

Listen to the interview online (File opens as an MP3)

Note: This is an external link, which may expire at any time.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

UIS makes U.S. News list of top schools

U.S. News & World Report magazine has ranked the University of Illinois Springfield as the top regional public university in the state of Illinois and the fourth best public university in that category in the entire Midwest.

This is the fourth straight year that UIS has achieved those rankings in the magazine’s annual lists of “America’s Best Colleges.”

The 2012 rankings placed UIS at 28 on a list of 155 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region that includes, in addition to Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

“We are proud to be among the best in the country as we continue to strive towards helping more students obtain a high-quality education,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “Our ranking is a reflection of the commitment to students that is central to the work of our faculty and staff and to the quality of educational experience that we continually strive to provide.”

The ranking was featured in an September 15, 2011 story in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS finalizes transfer agreements with four community colleges

It's a growing trend during hard financial times and the University of Illinois Springfield is catching on.

The number of students who transfer to the University from community college continues to grow. To meet that demand UIS finalized transfer agreements with four more community colleges.

WICS-TV's Andrea Marvin explains how the agreements will focus on business majors in an September 14, 2011 report.

Watch the story online

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UIS women's soccer starts strong

The University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars started the women’s soccer season 2-0 for the first time ever, and then nearly ran their record to 3-0.

A game-winning goal in the final minute gave UIS a 2-1 win over Maryville last Friday. Two days later, the Stars dropped a 1-0 decision to Missouri-St. Louis.

“We should have tied at least on Sunday,” UIS coach Pete Kowall said. “The first 10 minutes we had three chances to score and just didn’t do it, which was disappointing. One went wide. One went over the crossbar. We should have scored a goal before halftime.

“The goal they scored was a deflection. We played really well defensively. They scored four goals on us last year.”

UIS is looking like a different team from a year ago, when it compiled a 3-12 record. The 2-1 Stars have boosted their offensive production, which is what they desperately needed.

The team was featured in an September 15, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NPR "political junkie" Ken Rudin at UIS

Ken Rudin, the political editor of NPR, said in Springfield Tuesday that enthused Republicans coupled with progressives unhappy with President Barack Obama make the next election precarious for the incumbent from Illinois.

“If the election were held today … if this were a referendum on President Obama’s re-election, I would suggest the president could very well lose,” Rudin told a midday crowd at the Public Affairs Center lobby at the University of Illinois Springfield.

But Rudin said he doesn’t expect Obama to face a serious primary challenge from within his own party, as when Ted Kennedy challenged President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Patrick Buchanan challenged George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Rudin has a blog on NPR.org called Political Junkie. He was introduced Tuesday by Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of WUIS, the NPR station at the university.

Rudin's appearance was featured in an September 14, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WTAX Interview: UIS Chancellor Susan Koch

WTAX 1240-AM's Bob Murray interviews University of Illinois Vice President and UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch about the future of the university and her first 2 months on the job.

Listen to the conversation online

(Note: This is an external link, which may expire)

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Mosley, Ross join UIS athletics staff

The University of Illinois Springfield athletic department has added assistant athletic director for compliance and student services Hayley Ross and business administrative associate Allison Mosley to its staff.

Mosley, an Ashland native, was previously employed at the University of Illinois as a resource and policy analyst for the Department of Animal Sciences. She majored in agribusiness, farm and financial management and graduated from Illinois in 2004 from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Ross previously worked for the New Center for Legal Advocacy in New Bedford, Mass. She earned her law, master’s and undergraduate degrees from Valparaiso University. She was an intern in the school’s compliance office and worked with the Sports Law Clinic while in law school.

The appointments were featured in an September 13, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

UIS enrollment numbers released

Fall enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield has topped 5,000 students for the second year in a row. The total number of enrolled students at UIS is 5,137, a decrease of 37 students from the record 5,174 enrolled last fall.

“We continue to pursue our strategic goal of 6,000 students at UIS,” said University of Illinois vice president and UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “I’m particularly pleased this fall with the increase in enrollment at the graduate level and in the online programs."

There are 3,112 undergraduates at UIS this fall, compared to 3,197 last fall semester. The number of graduate students rose to 2,025, an increase of 48 students over last year.

Growth in online learning continues, with a total of 1,425 students enrolled in online degree or certificate programs, a 4.5% increase over fall 2010.

The numbers were featured in an September 8, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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No supernova, but the star party goes on

The science world was abuzz last week with the sighting of a spectacular galactic event, the kind that only comes once in several decades.

Astronomers at the Palomar Transient Factory in southern California discovered a white dwarf star in a distant galaxy exploding into a bright supernova. It’s been 25 years since astronomers last saw this kind of supernova bursting in the night sky.

The sighting comes as the University of Illinois Springfield is revving up it its own campus observatory for public star parties. From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, UIS will have its first star party this fall, offering close glimpses of the moon, star clusters and other stellar sights.

Hosted by UIS astronomy professor John Martin, visitors will get a presentation on galaxies, stars and the sun while they ascend the staircase to the observatory.

But star watchers should note they won’t be able to see the newest supernova, called SN 2011fe. Although some recent news reports claim that the celestial happening is visible with binoculars, Martin says would-be supernova watchers might be unable to spot the object.

“I think the visibility of this supernova has been a bit exaggerated,” he said. “That’s something that somebody is going to be able to see in a small telescope, but that’s only at its peak brightness.”

Martin was featured in an September 8, 2011, article in the Illinois Times.

Read the story online

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tokarski scores hat trick in UIS women's soccer win

Freshman Kim Tokarski scored three goals for the Univeristy of Illinois Springfield’s women's soccer team's third hat trick in school history Sunday as the Prairie Stars drubbed Oakland City University 11-0.

Chandler Sommerfeldt scores UIS’ first goal in the game’s ninth minute off an assist from Erin Egolf. Egolf then scored the next two Prairie Stars’ goals to give UIS a 3-0 lead at halftime.

UIS hosts Maryville for the next game at 5 p.m. Friday. It is the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener for UIS.

The team was featured in an September 5, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Stars' Vorreyer scores ace

University of Illinois Springfield golfer Abby Vorreyer scored a hole-in-one on the 150-yard, No. 14 hole at The Links and shot a school-record 75 en route to a runner-up finish at Illinois College Invitational Sunday.

Vorreyer finished eight strokes behind medalist Jada Bennington (William Woods), who also had a hole-in-one Sunday. Vorreyer carded a 12-over-par 156.

The Stars’ Paige Luker tied for fifth with a 161, and Caitlin Osborn took 10th with a 163.

The team was featured in an September 5, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS men's golf shoots for super season

Expectations are high for the University of Illinois Springfield men’s golf team, and rightfully so.

The Prairie Stars return their top five players from last season. Coach Frank Marsaglia also has brought in a pair of junior college All-Americans, Andy Wilkinson and Sam Norbom.

“We had six that were competitive last year and five played,” he said. “This year, they’re going to step up. We’re going to the next level. Our goal is to make the (NCAA Division II) super regional. To do that we’ll have to finish in the top 10 in our area and it’s about 27 teams.”

The team was featured in an September 3, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

UIS Star Parties to resume Sept. 9

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Star Parties will resume Friday, Sept. 9, and continue every Friday night through Oct. 28, weather permitting.

Star Parties, conducted from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory by professor of astronomy and physics John Martin, are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.

The entrance to the campus observatory is on the southeast corner of Brookens Library.

The parties were featured in an September 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Returning core should boost UIS volleyball team

Depth and experience will be mainstays when the University of Illinois Springfield volleyball team takes the court this season.

The Prairie Stars return seven players from a team that compiled a 10-20 overall record and 2-12 Great Lakes Valley Conference mark last year. Coach Angie Riggle has added five junior college transfers to the roster.

“The big thing for us is we brought in a lot of freshmen last season, whereas this year we have a good core group returning,” Riggle said. “We have five junior college players that are new to this program, but they have had this experience.”

One of those transfers is junior setter Rebeka Pruemer, who became the first All-American in Lincoln Land volleyball history last year when she earned a spot on the Division II second team.

The team was featured in an September 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Exhibition gives UIS men's soccer team hope for rebound

The University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars men’s soccer team is looking to build on an encouraging exhibition match against NCAA Division I opponent Evansville.

UIS held its own in the first half before falling behind 1-0 at halftime on the way to a 4-0 loss two weeks ago.

“Coach said he was surprised to see us take it to Evansville the first 25 minutes or so,” UIS sophomore midfielder Mike Brydl said. “We had good possession compared to last year. Last year, we didn’t really have possession.”

Said midfielder Nikita Fadeev, “We held the ball 75 percent of the time. We didn’t lose the ball much, but when we did they scored on us in the last 10 minutes.”

The team was featured in an September 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Numbers, optimism up for UIS women's soccer

Goalkeeper Kelli Kubal and defender Jessica Jaime are the lone holdovers from the inaugural University of Illinois Springfield women’s soccer team in 2008.

Kubal and Jaime reflected on the evolution of the program as the Stars prepare for their season-opening match Sunday at Oakland City.

“From Day 1 (coach Pete Kowall’s) promise was we will have a full practice where we can scrimmage,” Kubal said. “We have that ability this year. Our freshman year, we came out here with maybe 11 people. Now we’re at 21. We’re off to a much better start. We’re not starting in the hole like past years with only 14 players.”

The Stars have experienced the growing pains that come with launching a sports program. UIS has a 9-34 overall record in its first three years of existence, including last season’s 3-12 mark (2-11 Great Lakes Valley Conference).

The team was featured in an September 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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'Showcase' features art teachers’ work

High school art teachers across central Illinois are exhibiting their work in the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield.

There’s a reception for the “Showcase” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 1 in the gallery, located in Room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building.

Admission to the reception and exhibit is free.

Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information, call 206-6506 or email gallery@uis.edu.

The showcase was featured in an September 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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