Friday, September 28, 2012

Shimomura to display works at UIS Visual Arts Gallery

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery welcomes Roger Shimomura, an internationally renowned and celebrated artist known for his prints, paintings and performance works.

The gallery exhibit, "America Behind Barbed Wire", runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 1. Shimomura will present a lecture from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 in the Public Affairs Center. A gallery reception will follow from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 27, 2012.

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Lincoln Legacy Lectures returns for 10th year Oct. 11

The 10th annual Lincoln Legacy Lectures, "Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation,” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois Springfield.

The lectures will offer “Four Roads to Emancipation” presented by Allen Guelzo, and “Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today” presented by Ron Soodalter with Michael Burlingame as the moderator.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information call 206-7094.

The lectures were featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 27, 2012.

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Hayden speaks to full house at UIS

Political activist Tom Hayden told students and community members at the University of Illinois Springfield Thursday that change can come, but it sometimes takes a while.

“The lesson I’d like to pass along to anybody who needs to hear it is that change comes. It comes inch by inch, it comes no matter how impatient, how radical you are, or how urgent you are, it comes very slowly,” Hayden said.

Hayden was one of the founders of the 1960s group, Students for a Democratic Society. In 1968, he was one of the “Chicago 7” who were charged with conspiracy for disturbances at the Democratic convention.

Hayden spoke to a packed house of more than 200 people at UIS's Brookens Auditorium.

Hayden's appearance was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 28, 2012.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spare and elegant: The William Maxwell style

When Barbara Burkhardt, an associate professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield, published her biography of William Maxwell in 2005, reviewers were justifiably enthusiastic. Maxwell, who spent his early years in Lincoln, Ill., in which he set many of his fictional works, died in New York in 2000, at the age of 92, after a career that produced an impressive array of novels, stories, fables and letters, many of the latter in exchanges with the legendary writers he worked with in his 40 years as a fiction editor at The New Yorker. Burkhardt’s William Maxwell: A Literary Life captured the spirit and style of this consummate literary craftsman.

And now comes another effort by Burkhardt to spread the word about the quiet life and estimable work of one of the great under-appreciated authors of the 20th century. Burkhardt has edited Conversations with William Maxwell, a compilation of 29 disparate items which, together, provide a detailed impression of his literary influences, his goals and motivations, his generous, compassionate character, and his unassuming personality.

Burkhardt's book was featured by the Illinois Times on September 27, 2012.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UIS sponsors Voter Registration Day

The University of Illinois Springfield was one of hundreds of locations across the country to host voter-registration drives Tuesday.

The campaign, dubbed National Voter Registration Day, was an effort to remind people to take the necessary steps to be eligible to vote this year.

The groups behind the event say 6 million Americans who could have voted in 2008 didn’t do so because they didn’t know how to register or because they missed the registration deadline.

Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, said members of different student organizations, both Republicans and Democrats, worked together to organize the drive, which took place on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center.

David Gill, the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 13th District, spoke at the event. Rodney Davis, the Republican hopeful, was unable to attend.

The registration drive was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 26, 2012.

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UIS students sponsor voter registration drive

With just 41 days to the November election, there's a big push to help get out the vote.

Tuesday was the first-ever National Voter Registration Day, and students at the University of Illinois Springfield encouraged fellow students to get involved.

Several student organizations at UIS sponsored a voter registration drive at the Public Affairs Center on Sept. 25. Just in the first hour, more than 50 people registered to vote. In 2008, six million Americans didn't vote because they missed the registration deadline or didn't know how register.

The event also taught people about election issues and the importance of voting.

ABC Newschannel 20's Liz Foster talked with UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center Director Mark Dochterman about the goals of the event in a September 25, 2012 report.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

UIS hosts Leadership Fair for high school students

College admissions, financial aid, and leadership skills are just some of the things hundreds of local high school students learned at a special event at UIS. The university hosted a leadership fair with help from the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute on Friday, Sept. 21.

The Chicago-based nonprofit is hosting events like this nationwide, and although they target Hispanic students, the events are open for all high school students who feel they need them.

"The thing they want to remember is that it doesn't stop here," event coordinator Vicente Valtierra said. "This is just the start of it. Now they're going to go back to their communities--wherever they reside--and whoever they come in contact with, and share this information and spread the word."

The students spent the day with nationally prominent motivational speakers. They also spent one-on-one time with recruiters from numerous colleges, tech schools, and even the military.

The story was featured by WICS-TV 20 on  September 21, 2012.

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Women's soccer: UIS roll to win

Carin Fearing had two goals to lead an offensive explosion for the University of Illinois Springfield as the Prairie Stars rolled to a 5-1 win over Missouri S&T in a Great Lakes Valley Conference match Sunday at Kiwanis Stadium.

The Prairie Stars, 3-4-1 overall and 2-4 in the GLV C, started the scoring when Eileen Kenny scored off a feed from Kim Tokarski just over six minutes into the contest.

The Miners (4-4, 2-4) tied it at the 23:30 mark as Lauren Todd scored from an assist from Kelsey Salzman. But the Stars regained the lead just before halftime when Fearing — on assists from Erin Egolf and Ally Redington — scored the first of her goals at the 40:28 mark.

The win was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 24, 2012.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

UIS names chief fundraiser

A Southern Illinois University development official has been named vice chancellor for development at the University of Illinois Springfield and senior vice president of the University of Illinois Foundation.

Jeff Lorber, who will assume his duties later next month, will provide leadership for the strategy development and management of fundraising plans, priorities, and activities at UIS. He will work closely with UIS Chancellor Susan Koch and UIF President Sidney Micek.

He comes to UIS from SIU-Carbondale, where he currently serves as associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and executive director of development for the SIU Foundation. He has been at SIU since 2005 and served as the campaign director for its first comprehensive campaign, a successful $106 million effort.

Lober was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 20, 2012.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

UIS celebrates Constitution Day

Monday marks the 225th anniversary of a big moment in U.S. history. The U.S. Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787.

In honor of the 225th anniversary, UIS took a look at the constitutional system for electing U.S. presidents. The school welcomed two reporters--Amanda Vinicky from WUIS, and the Chicago Sun-Times' Dave McKinney--to discuss their experiences covering both parties' conventions.

"We're having an event that really focuses on some of the election events that are happening this fall, and gives students an opportunity to start to think about those events in light of the constitution, and how that might impact the election," said Karen Moranski, UIS Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education.

The event was part of the school's "Engaged Citizenship, Common Experience" speaker series.

The story was featured by WICS-TV 20 on September 17, 2012.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

"Cheers" to UIS for U.S. News & World Report ranking

CHEERS to the University of Illinois Springfield and its No. 2 rank in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report in the public regional universities category of its annual edition of America’s Best Colleges and Universities. UIS moved up two positions nationally and ranked as the best regional public university in Illinois for the fifth year in a row. UIS has grown up over the past several decades from a commuter school to a burgeoning full-scale university with more and more undergraduates living on campus.

The ranking was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 17, 2012.

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Embassy attacks a test of Libyan government, UIS prof says

Whether or not the Libyan government can put those arrested in connection with Tuesday’s deadly attack on the U.S. Embassy through due process and transparency will be a real test of the new government, says a professor at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“If they can, it will be a really good sign that Libya is functioning as a real democracy,” said Kristi Barnwell, assistant professor of history with a concentration in the modern Middle East.

Barnwell said one question that prevails as some Arab countries go through the process of establishing democratic governments is whether those governments will be secular and moderate or Islamic and fundamentalist.

“We’ve found it’s a mixed bag,” she said. “Egypt held parliamentary elections, and the fundamentalists had a strong showing. Libya was a victory for the secular moderates, and we’re still waiting on Yemen.”

Barnwell was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 15, 2012.

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UIS volleyball team triumphs

The University of Illinois Springfield posted its first Great Lakes Valley Conference volleyball victory of the season, beating Maryville in a marathon five-set match, 25-17, 19-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-9 Saturday at Moloney Arena.

The Prairie Stars moved to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the GLVC, while the Saints are 1-10 and 0-2.

The UIS offense was paced by freshman Connor Borgmeier, who had 19 kills and hit .350 (19 kills, five errors and 40 attacks) for the match. Junior Kellee Mahaffay added 15 kills.

The win was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 16, 2012.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

UIS moves up in college rankings

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Illinois Springfield second among public universities in the Midwest in its annual edition of America’s Best Colleges released Wednesday.

The 2013 ranking is two positions higher than 2012, when UIS was fourth in the same category.

UIS was ranked as the top regional public university in the state for the fifth consecutive year.

“This prestigious ranking reflects the strength of our student body as well as high quality, teaching-focused experience provided at the University of Illinois Springfield,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “Our class sizes allow that personal interaction between professors and students in an environment where leadership is lived every day.”

The rankings were featured by the State Journal-Register on September 13, 2012.

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Tom Hayden of Chicago 7 to speak at UIS

Tom Hayden, co-founder of Students for A Democratic Society in the 1960s and one of the activists who faced trial for disrupting the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, will speak at the University of Illinois Springfield later this month.

The speech, which is free and open to the public, will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in Brookens Auditorium.

The appearance is part of a speaker series that students can attend as part of their curriculum but that is also open to the public, said Kimberly Craig, coordinator of the series at the school.

His speech is titled “Activism in the 21st Century: Towards a New Port Huron Statement.”

Hayden was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 13, 2012.

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Marsaglia encouraged as UIS golf opener approaches

Better averages in practice suggest the University of Illinois Springfield men’s golf team has what it needs to improve upon last season’s success.

The Prairie Stars’ qualifying scores are encouraging to coach Frank Marsaglia as they prepare for the first tournament of the fall campaign, Monday’s Wisconsin-Parkside Fall Invitational.

“The averages are all better than what they were last year at this time,” he said. “Last year, my averages ranged from 73 in practice to 86. Right now I range from 72 up to 78. My upper end is down a lot.”

The team was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 13, 2012.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

UIS enrollment dips; still tops 5,000

Although both undergraduate and graduate student enrollment dropped slightly, the University of Illinois Springfield’s fall 2012 enrollment has topped 5,000 students for the third consecutive year.

The total number of enrolled students at UIS after the first 10 days of classes — the day enrollment figures are officially established — is 5,048.

“Students choose the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois, and parents encourage them to come to UIS, because of the personalized, high quality experience that we provide every day,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “It is a right-sized, supportive community."

There are 3,054 undergraduates at UIS this fall, compared to 3,112 last fall semester, a decline of 1.9 percent.

However, the number of freshmen attending UIS increased by nearly 16 percent this semester. A total of 283 freshmen are enrolled compared to 244 in fall 2011.

The numbers were featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 12, 2012.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Innocence Project gets $590,000 grant

Illinois will receive more than $1 million in federal grants for two criminal justice programs, including the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will administer nearly $590,000 for the Illinois Innocence Project. It has focused on wrongful-conviction cases in downstate Illinois, but the grant will allow it to expand to the northern part of the state.

The money will help it identify and investigate the strength of DNA evidence where available.

The grant was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 11, 2012.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Innocence Project work leads to new trial for murder suspect

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield, working with the Illinois Innocence Project, have helped obtain a new trial for a Centralia man convicted of murder in 1998.

A Marion County judge last month ordered vacated Anthony Murray’s conviction for stabbing to death Seneca Jones of Centralia after a dice game. Murray was serving a 45-year sentence at Menard Correctional Center.

UIS students helped review the case and assisted Innocence Project lawyer John Hanlon and Marion County public defender Timothy Hewitt. The students searched for new evidence, interviewed Murray, and attended a June hearing challenging his conviction.

“We spent a lot of time going through trial transcript and contacting witnesses,” said Rebecca Jo Luke, a senior legal studies major completing an applied study term with the Innocence Project. “I think it was clear to everyone that there had been a miscarriage of justice.”

The story was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 10, 2012.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

UIS instructor keeps 'play' front-of-mind in classroom, while creating

The campus office of University of Illinois Springfield assistant professor of visual art Shane Harris is populated with tiny ceramic figures and abstract forms, but in one small corner of the office, a well-curated collection of M&M candy dispensers holds court. The tiny figures and abstract forms represent part of Harris’s body of work as a ceramicist, but the collection of M&M candy dispensers is a source of inspiration — the sign of a creative mind at play.

Harris, the father of a 4-year old, appreciates the role of play in creativity.

“Deep inside, I feel like I am a kid. We get in this rut in our society where we take our lives so seriously, but that does not mean we have to stop playing,” he says.

Instead, Harris suggests, adults could graduate to a kind of sophisticated play in which the playfulness and imagination of the child informs the work of the adult. Playing with his daughter reminds Harris of the pleasures of play.

“I am always surprised when I sit down to play with my daughter and time goes by so quickly,” he says. “She uses her imagination to create whole worlds to inhabit. “When I was a kid, I remember going to a playground with an old wooden structure — it could have been anything, a fort or a castle,” Harris says. “When you go to a playground as a kid, you use your imagination. It is that imagination I try to harness in my work.”

Harris was featured by Springfield's Own Magazine on September 7, 2012.

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Innocence Project gets new trial for Southern Illinois man

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield have helped a southern Illinois man, who was convicted murder in 1988, get a new trial.

The students, who are part of the Illinois Innocence Project, reviewed Anthony Murray's case, interviewed him, and attended a June 2012 hearing challenging his conviction. A judge has since ruled Murray's conviction be vacated due to ineffective representation. That means his conviction has been overturned and a new trial will take place.

"This is something not a lot of undergraduate students get to do," Rebecca Jo Luke, a UIS Student said. "We are one of the only projects that allows undergraduates to get involved in investigation, I've had the opportunity to go with an investigator and talk with witnesses, working with legal documents gives me a lot of hands on experience."

The Innocence Project is currently reviewing 25 cases to see if evidence points to a wrongful conviction.

The case was featured by WICS-TV on September 6, 2012.

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Local employment outlook as seasonal jobs end

The economy is starting to pick up a little bit,” University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Director Tammy Craig said. Craig is an expert at jump starting careers. She helps students at UIS do it every day.

“Typically in the Springfield area a lot of times we run about a year behind what is going on in Chicago. It takes us a little while we're so government driven."

That might not be such a good thing when it comes to hiring. Craig says local jobs in government are getting harder and harder to come by.

“I think because of the budget you know across the board whether that's at the state level or the national level. You know any time that the government is in deficit then we're trying to cut those jobs as much as we possibly can," she said.

Craig was featured by WICS-TV 20 on September 6, 2012.

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White Out night at UIS Kiwanis Stadium

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s and women’s soccer teams kick off the Great Lakes Valley Conference season Friday against Kentucky Wesleyan with White Out Kiwanis Stadium Night.

Fans are encouraged to wear all white to the women’s match at 5 p.m. and the men’s game at 7:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best white outfit. Spirit sticks will be given away.

The game was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 7, 2012.

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UIS softball diamond, roster receive upgrades

The diamond at the Land of Lincoln Junior Olympic Softball Complex where the University of Illinois Springfield plays is undergoing a facelift.

Concrete dugouts are under construction. The previous dugouts consisted of benches surrounded by a chain-link fence. Changes are being made to the fence around the field to give it more of a “collegiate look,’’ according to coach Mat Mundell.

The program itself took on a new look this past spring: that of a winner.

The Prairie Stars’ history-making 2012 season carried them to the championship round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. They became the first UIS team in any sport to reach a national tournament in the school’s Division II era that began in 2010.

The team was featured by the State Journal-Register on September 7, 2012.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Service-A-Thon gets UIS students off on right foot

Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, said about 50 volunteers participated in projects around Springfield on Friday as part of the Service-A-Thon.

In addition to the Habitat site on Fifth Street, volunteers worked at another building site on Enterprise Street and the Habitat ReStore.

Other students volunteered at Southeast High School and Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington middle schools with the Springfield School District’s AVID tutoring program. A third group helped Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach to sort medical supplies for distribution worldwide.

Getting students involved in the community early is an important part of the event, Dochterman said.

“We want to start the year off on a good foot,” he said. “We find that if we get them involved right away, a lot of times it sticks.”

The Service-A-Thon was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 1, 2012.

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UIS men's soccer team wins opener in overtime

Mark Czarny scored six minutes into overtime Monday to lift the University of Illinois Springfield to a season-opening 2-1 victory over Viterbo at Kiwanis Stadium.

It was the first victory for second-year UIS coach Jesse Miech, whose team went 0-14-2 last season.

The Prairie Stars outshot Viterbo 21-4, but the V-Hawks (0-3) clung to a 1-0 lead after Jake Dellamuth scored on an assist from Tye Kreutzfeldt in the 19th minute.

UIS tied it at the 77-minute mark when senior Victor Martinez scored on an assist from junior Nicolas Alonso del Moral.

It remained 1-1 through the end of regulation before Czarny won it on a header. Assists went to Nikita Fadeev and Dylan Hoschar.

The win was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 4, 2012.

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UIS women's soccer blanks Lindenwood

The University of Illinois Springfield women's soccer team took its first win of the season with a dominating 4-0 victory over Lindenwood-Belleville Sunday at Kiwanis Stadium.

The win improved UIS to 1-0-1 on the young season while Lindenwood-Belleville dropped to 0-2-0.

Kim Tokarski opened the Prairie Stars’ scoring 28 minutes into the match with a goal assisted by Ashley Stariha. Freshman Eileen Kenny later took a pass from Erin Egolf and scored late in the first half for a 2-0 halftime lead.

The win was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 3, 2012.

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UIS splits volleyball matches

The University of Illinois Springfield bounced back from a season-opening loss with a 25-22, 25-18, 11-25, 27-25 victory over Missouri Southern at the Pittsburg State Classic on Friday.

Host Pittsburg State was a 25-22, 18-25, 27-25 winner over the Prairie Stars earlier in the day. Freshman Connor Borgmeier led UIS with 14 kills and 14 points in the match.

She tallied a team-high 22 kills against Missouri Southern. UIS senior setter Rebeka Pruemer had 40 assists and 10 digs. Pruemer had 34 assists in the first match.

The win was featured by the State Journal-Register on Sept. 1, 2012.

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