Saturday, December 31, 2011

Love-Roberts rescues UIS in overtime men's basketball win

The Lindenwood University-Belleville men’s basketball program is only in its second year of existence, but the Lynx took the University of Illinois Springfield to overtime Friday night.

Behind senior guard Jermaine Love-Roberts’ 30-point game, UIS survived for an 81-74 victory in the non-conference contest at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

In overtime, Love-Roberts hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 77-71 UIS lead with 35 seconds remaining.

Love-Roberts scored 12 of the Stars’ 18 points in overtime. He poured in 21 of his 30 over the final 11 minutes 7 seconds. It was the second 30-point effort for a UIS player since Richard Oruche scored 36 in 2009.

The win was featured in an December 31, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS women hit free throws to close out McKendree

Perfect free throw shooting in the final minute by the University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team resulted in a 76-71 win over the McKendree University Bearcats on Friday night.

UIS seniors Cristina Nevins and Bailey Beale and sophomore Alyssa Palmer shot a combined 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the last 58.7 seconds. Palmer and sophomore Megan Bergerud scored 17 points for the Stars (6-4). Both Nevins and Beale finished with 13.

“We played better in the second half,’’ UIS coach Marne Fauser said. “We break it down into five-minute segments. We won a couple of those five-minute segments and really pushed that lead."

The win was featured in an December 31, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Illinois group pushes to exonerate man convicted of Krajcir crime

An Illinois group is pushing for the posthumous exoneration of a man convicted of an attempted murder a known serial killer recently confessed to. Grover Thompson was convicted in 1981 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. He died in prison in 1996.

After Thompson's death, convicted serial murder and rapist Timothy Krajcir told authorities he had committed the crime. Krajcir is more than four years into an 80-year sentence for murders in Williamson and Jackson counties in Illinois.

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project and students from Southern Illinois University's law school are now collaborating to get Thompson posthumously exonerated for Krajcir's crime, according to a news release sent Thursday. The group will present its case to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board in Springfield, Ill., on Jan. 11.

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, which is based at UIS, was featured in an December 30, 2011, article in the Southeast Missourian.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Upbeat arts in a down economy

Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, director of theater at University of Illinois Springfield, is determined to continue providing another kind of artistic experience for Springfield theatergoers with a taste for something different.

“In Springfield, we realize that our niche is continuing to be: we do the plays. A lot of people do the musicals around town, and we love musicals, but we’re a little more the place for dramatic literature onstage,” he explains. “Not just the classics like Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, but also the newer work that’s winning Tonys and Pulitzers on Broadway, from playwrights like Neil LaBute and Rebecca Gilman. I love a good production of Annie or Fiddler on the Roof, but we want to complement that with other things that theater can be.”

Thibodeaux-Thompson's comments were featured in an December 22, 2011, edition of the Illinois Times.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Prairie Stars soar past crosstown rival Robert Morris

University of Illinois Springfield coach Ben Wierzba and Robert Morris University coach Scott Eades left the court with respect for one another’s programs after UIS beat the visiting Eagles 84-75 Saturday in a non-conference men’s basketball game.

The game between Springfield schools was close for most of the first half, and then UIS pulled away for a 45-32 halftime lead in front of a crowd of 875 at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

It was a welcome win for the Prairie Stars (3-7), who suffered a heartbreaking 66-64 loss to McKendree less than 24 hours earlier.

“Robert Morris came out and played hard,” Wierzba said. “They came right at us. They didn’t back down. They shot the ball well and attacked us.”

The win was featured in an December 18, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS women get past the .500 mark

The University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team had never won a game when trailing at halftime under third-year coach Marne Fauser.

Until Saturday, that is.

UIS picked up a 66-63 non-conference victory over the Hannibal-LaGrange Trojans at The Recreation and Athletic Center after being down by a point at halftime.

The 5-4 Prairie Stars, who were down 10-1 at the start, have a winning record for the first time since the first week of December 2010.

A layup by junior Ashley Coffey on the first possession of the second half put UIS ahead 36-35 for its first lead. UIS and Hannibal-LaGrange (8-7) stayed within six points of each other the rest of the way.

The win was featured in an December 18, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Photographer and historian team up to produce a fine new book

Rarely in publishing is there such a perfect collaboration of writer, photographer and publisher as in the new book, Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way. The lovely landscape photographs by Illinois photographer Robert Shaw are complemented by the narrative of preeminent Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame.

Shaw, from Heyworth, south of Bloomington, wondered some 10 years ago if anyone had done such a project – documenting with photographs locales where Lincoln lived and worked. After learning that no one had, he began photographing various sites in Illinois.

After hearing Burlingame speak about Lincoln several times, Shaw contacted the historian to see if he would collaborate on the project, and the two began their years-long journey, which led them from Illinois to Kentucky and Indiana, and on to Washington, D.C., and the East Coast. Burlingame is, of course, the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Burlingame was featured in an December 15, 2011, article in the Illinois Times.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chancellors back creating enrollment director

The three campus chancellors at the University of Illinois have signed on to the creation of a new university "executive director for enrollment management," a key priority of President Michael Hogan.

Hogan and trustees are eager to move forward with the post as quickly as possible, spokesman Tom Hardy said Monday.

"He's listened and he wants to hear what everyone has to say and be sensitive to" their concerns, Hardy said.

The idea of an enrollment management director was part of a consultants' report that included 21 recommendations for managing admissions, financial aid and other enrollment matters across the three campuses.

The position was spotlighted in an December 13, 2011, article in the Champaign News-Gazette.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rance Carpenter honored at Governor's Conference on Aging

The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) hosted an awards program to honor individuals from around the state, who have shown outstanding dedication and compassion about aging issues, during the Governor’s Conference on Aging on December 9, 2011

Rance Carpenter, of University of Illinois, in Springfield, received the Joyce Sill Memorial Award. Carpenter worked at the Illinois Department on Aging for 26 years and was responsible for the administration of all Older American Act Title III-C nutrition funds. He also helped create a new home delivered meal fund.

After serving the aging network, he was recently selected as director of the university’s Graduate Public Service Internship Program in the Center for State Policy and Leadership.

Carpenter was featured in an December 12, 2011, article in the Aledo Times Record.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Phil Rock's new book proves Illinois' big issues just stay the same

A casino for Chicago, private school vouchers, mounting deficits and doomsday budgets. Those are big topics in the Illinois legislature these days. And they were just as big almost two decades ago when Philip J. Rock was president of the state Senate.

The Democrat from Chicago – and later Oak Park – is out with a new book. Now 74 years old, Rock wrote Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello with Ed Wojcicki, an assistant chancellor at the University of Illinois in Springfield and former publisher of Illinois Issues magazine.

WBEZ public radio in Chicago interviewed Wojcicki on December 12, 2011.

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Holiday card creativity is pushing the envelope

David Bertaina, assistant professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield, said tradition remains strong because the public still embraces the cultural values — fostering and strengthening family and business relationships — that gave birth to the Christmas card in the 1870s.

“In the ‘50s, it was sentimental. The ‘60s and ‘70s were irreverent with Santa lounging on the couch. The ‘90s went back to the more Thomas Kinkade-style. Now, you have one’s own card with your picture on it.

“The pictures, letters are modern cultural attempts to express those values with the technology at hand.”

Bertaina's comments were featured in an December 10, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Creative space: Artists find inspiration at The Pharmacy

On a recent crisp, fall Sunday evening, in a building from which pharmaceuticals and root beer floats formerly were dispensed to customers, more than 30 people gathered to hear University of Illinois Springfield student fiction writers read their work.

Flanked by paintings hanging in Springfield’s newest artist-run co-op, gallery and community center called The Pharmacy at 401 South Grand Ave. W., one by one the students stood in front of the audience to read.

Kristen Chenoweth read an excerpt from “Cabbages and Kings,” her story about a woman walking away from her marriage to a man from an affluent family with whom she has little in common. In the passage Chenoweth read, the woman was headed inside a bookshop.

On the recent Sunday before students read their writings, their instructor, Meagan Cass, assistant professor of creative writing at UIS, expressed thanks for what The Pharmacy has brought to the community.

Given the recession and a political climate in which the value of art and “the necessity of supporting artists has been repeatedly called into question, this place is a bulwark as well as a sanctuary,” Cass said.

Chenoweth & Cass were featured in an December 11, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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RLC's Harp signs with University of Illinois - Springfield

Rend Lake College sophomore golfer Josh Harp signed a national letter of intent this week to play at the University of Illinois - Springfield in the fall. Harp, a 19-year-old political science major from Benton, said it's the perfect fit.

“I’m extremely happy,” Harp said. “I couldn’t have made a better choice, for my major especially. Smaller class sizes, a beautiful campus and to be able to come in and help them reach their goal of winning a regional championship – I’m absolutely thrilled.”

Harp said Prairie Stars coach Frank Marsaglia is in the process of rebuilding the program which competes in the NCAA DII Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The offer he accepted from UIS consists of both an academic and athletic scholarship, which will combine to cover tuition.

Harp was featured in an December 11, 2011, article by WJBD radio.

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Women's soccer: Stars' Egolf makes all-region 3rd team

University of Illinois Springfield junior midfielder Erin Egolf was named to the All-Midwest Region third team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on Friday.

The Chatham Glenwood High School graduate scored a team-leading six goals and dished out three assists. She scored two game winners and led the team in points (15), shots (43) and shots on goal (19). Her 2.69 shots per game ranked 10th in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Egolf was also named to the GLVC third team this season.

Egolf was featured in an December 10, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS makes Majerus work for 500th win

This was supposed to be Saint Louis University coach Rick Majerus’ big day, but for more than a half the University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team grabbed the attention.

The Division II Prairie Stars took a two-point halftime lead against Division I Saint Louis before the Billikens recovered for a 72-62 victory Saturday at Chaifetz Arena. Majerus earned his 500th career win, and the Prairie Stars earned some respect.

“We showed up ready to play in the first half,” UIS coach Ben Wierzba said. “We executed very well on offense and defense.”

Michael Fakuade finished with 14 points to lead the Prairie Stars, and Jermaine Love-Roberts went 5 for 5 from the field and scored 13.

The game was featured in an December 11, 2011, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Women's Basketball: Stars crush Oakland City

Alyssa Palmer scored 16 points and Carly Goede connected on 4-of-6 3-pointers to add a career-high 15 points, pacing the University of Illinois Springfield past Oakland City 74-55 Thursday at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Megan Bergerud scored 14 points and Elizabeth Kelly recorded her second double-double of the season with 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Ashley Coffee grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds.

The win was featured in an December 9, 2011, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bernard Schoenburg: Bipartisanship in action

There must be something about the water out at the University of Illinois Springfield that makes people get along.

Back in the spring of 2010, I wrote a story about how the president of College Democrats at the time, MATT VAN VOSSEN, and the then-chairman of College Republicans, RYAN MELCHIN, were roommates in campus housing.

Well, it’s happening again.

SEAN MILLER, president of College Democrats, and ZACH WATKINS, chairman of College Republicans, are roommates this year. So are the secretaries of the organizations — MICHELLE TUMA of the Democats and ANDREA CARLSON of the Republicans.

“We get along fairly well,” said Miller, a senior from Dieterich in Effingham County, about him and Watkins, a native of Mossville, near Peoria. “We look at each other as people. … Most of the time we just try to put our politics aside.”

“We share a bathroom, so we kind of have to get along,” he said.

Carlson, a Plainfield native, and Tuma, of Elgin, met at freshman orientation. Both intended to double-major in legal studies and political science, so they decided to room together.

The roommates were featured in an December 8, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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A&E Notebook: UIS art auction

Today is the last day for the annual auction and benefit for the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield. A closing reception and final bidding is set for 5:30-7 p.m. today in the gallery, located in Room 201 in the Health and Sciences Building.

The event features work donated by area artists such as Felicia Olin, Thom Whalen, Chris Britt, Bob Sill, Mike Miller and Betsy Dollar. Items up for auction include photographs, ceramics, sculpture, paintings and works on paper. There’s also a custom printing package donated by Miles Ahead Productions and theater tickets from UIS Theatre.

The reception will have complimentary refreshments and two music performances, by the UIS Chorus from 5-5:30 p.m. and the UIS Chamber Ensemble from 5:40-6:10 p.m.

Admission is free; proceeds from the auction will benefit the gallery.

The auction was featured in an December 8, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New book traces Lincoln's life in photos

A landscape photographer and a Lincoln scholar have collaborated on a new book that weaves images and writing to trace Abraham Lincoln’s life story.

“Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way—The America Lincoln Knew” is a collection of images by Robert Shaw and writing by Michael Burlingame that aims to take readers on a visual journey that explores Lincoln’s life story.

The 276-page hardcover book, available at several locations in Springfield, required five years of research and hundreds of days of photography in 10 states and the District of Columbia, according to Shaw, who traveled more than 100,000 miles in taking the photographs that range from the Mississippi River to New Hampshire.

Burlingame is the author of “Abraham Lincoln: A Life, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln,” and most recently “Lincoln and the Civil War.” He is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The book was featured in an December 7, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

UIS Theatre to present evening of short scenes

UIS Theatre will present an evening of student-directed scenes at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the Studio Theatre, on the campus of the University of Illinois Springfield.

The event provides an opportunity to sample a variety of playwrights and styles rather than commiting to one show for an entire evening. This year's selections are by American playwrights, some of whom are still working today. Each scene lasts 10 to 15 minutes, with an intermission in the middle.

The scenes are part of the final project for students in THE 476, Directing for the Theatre, taught by associate professor and UIS Theatre director Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson. The evening of student-directed scenes in 2009 eventually led to a full-scale production of one of the shorts.

The scenes were featured in an December 6, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS names Zandler baseball coach

The University of Illinois Springfield has added another coach with NCAA Division I experience by hiring Mike Zandler as its new head baseball coach.

Zandler served as an assistant coach the last five seasons at Davidson College, a Division I school near Charlotte, N.C. UIS Director of Athletics Kim Pate introduced the 43-year-old at a press conference Monday. His salary is $45,000.

“When I looked at his resume, learned a little more about him and got him on campus, his experience is outstanding for where the program is,” Pate said. “He is positioned to take this program forward, primarily because of his experience.

“He has been recruiting nationally and has great recruiting contacts. He has recruited for a highly selective institution like Davidson. … He has looked for the quality student-athletes that we would like to bring to UIS.

“He has been at a smaller Division I school and has his hand in a lot different things. Having had the experience he had to coach at the high school, Division I and Division III levels and the success he demonstrated really was appealing to us.”

Zandler was featured in an December 6, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Student's gift endows English professorship in teacher's name at U of I at Springfield

Some teachers make such a strong impression on their students that they are never forgotten.

This fall, Decatur native and University of Illinois at Springfield alumna Cheryl Peck recognized one of her favorite instructors, former English professor Judy Everson, by donating $500,000 to establish a professorship in her honor.

"I was so thrilled and honored," Everson said of the professorship. "I never expected it."

The Judith E. Everson Professorship in English is the university's first from a graduate honoring a former professor. Peck, a former Herald & Review reporter and copy editor, was more than happy to honor a teacher who influenced her so greatly.

"She was one of the most dynamic and energetic teachers I ever had," Peck said of Everson. "She inspired me to study harder than I ever thought I could."

The gift was featured in an December 4, 2011, article in the Decatur Herald & Review.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Men's Basketball: Fakuade lifts UIS to victory

Michael Fakuade had 15 points and 16 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double, and Jermaine Love-Roberts scored a game-high 19 points to lead the University of Illinois Springfield past William Jewell College 70-61 Saturday at The Mabee Center.

Fakuade, a senior, also had six blocked shots to give him 101 for his career at UIS (2-5 overall, 1-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference).

Love-Roberts came off the bench to score his points. Lester Hart added 15 points to reach double figures for the fifth straight game.

William Jewell fell to 3-3, 1-1.

The win was featured in an December 4, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Online learning's finest is here in central Illinois

Online learning and education is growing more and more every semester. Did you know one of the nation’s leaders in online education is the University of Illinois Springfield? One student says she wouldn't have been able to complete her degree without online classes.

Jamie Worthy is a non-traditional student, so a Monday-Friday class schedule at school wouldn't be an option. She's sought out one of the country's premier online curriculum's, the University of Illinois Springfield.

"This semester, almost two-thirds of our students are taking at least one online class. More than one-third of our credit hours are earned entirely online this fall term," said Ray Schroeder, UIS associate vice chancellor for online learning.

Online programs were featured in an December 1, 2011, CiLiving.TV broadcast on WCIA-TV.

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Women's Basketball: Beale lifts UIS in OT

Bailey Beale hit a field goal and two free throws in overtime, and Alyssa Palmer added two free throws with 25 seconds remaining to ensure the University of Illinois Springfield’s 70-68 victory over Rockhurst in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game Thursday night.

Beale, who scored 18 points to lead the Prairie Stars, hit a 3-point field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 62.

In overtime, UIS opened on a 6-0 run as Beale hit a jumper and Mallory Beck and Beale each converted two free throws to give the Prairie Stars a 68-62 lead.

Megan Bergerud, Carly Goede and Elizabeth Kelly each added 10 points as UIS improved its record to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the GLVC. The Hawks fell to 1-6 and 0-1.

The win was featured in an December 2, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stars open GLVC play with Rockhurst

As tough as the non-conference schedule has been, it only gets tougher for the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars men’s basketball team as it makes its way through the Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule.

UIS plays its first GLVC contest at 7:30 tonight on the road against the Rockhurst Hawks in Kansas City, Mo.

The Stars (1-4) and Hawks (2-3) are among eight teams that make up the GLVC’s West Division. Of those eight, only three have winning records. In comparison, the eight teams in the league’s East Division all have winning records.

“Every night of the conference is going to be a battle,” UIS coach Ben Wierzba said.

The game was featured in an December 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Women's Basketball: Indianapolis recruit signs with UIS

Meredith Marti, a 5-foot-9 senior at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis, has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team.

Marti averaged 4.1 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game before suffering a season-ending knee injury as a junior.

“We are excited to add Meredith to the program,” said UIS coach Marne Fauser. “She is an athletic guard and a true competitor.”

The future student was featured in an December 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Men's Golf: UIS picks up two new players

Rend Lake College sophomore Joshua Harp and Woodlawn High School senior Nickolas Tannahill have signed national letters of intent to play for the University of Illinois Springfield men’s golf team.

Tannahill tied for 15th at the Class 1A Boys State Tournament in October. He is a three-time sectional qualifier. Tannahill had the team’s lowest scoring average for four seasons.

Harp played for Benton High School’s Class 1A state runner-up squad in 2008 and tied for 69th. He tied for 59th at the 2009 tourney.

The future students were featured in an December 1, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.

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