Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mullican set to continue soccer career in college

Edwardsville High School’s Andrew Mullican is proud to be attending the University of Illinois-Springfield campus on a scholarship to play soccer in the fall.

He said he was looking for a college soccer program where he would fit and he also is intrigued about getting a degree from the University of Illinois. He said he plans to major in business.

Since grade school, finding a college scholarship was a goal for Mullican, a midfielder. “It was a goal since eighth grade,” he said. “My mom put a lot of money in private lessons and this is a way to pay it back. This is a big deal to me.”

“I am sure the winning tradition we have here at EHS will help me. We have done some special things in soccer at EHS.”

The EHS soccer player thanked his varsity coach Mark Heiderscheid for his constant support over the years. Heiderscheid expressed extreme pride in Mullican earning his college scholarship. “You play the game for love of the game but when you have a player like Andrew that you respect, it is very exciting to see him get a scholarship,” the coach said. “You sort of feel like a parent when they are successful and move on to college.”

This story appeared online on on April 29, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ordinance could bring UIS students downtown

An ordinance being discussed at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting could give the University of Illinois Springfield a larger presence downtown.

The ordinance would give TIF assistance to a contractor, taking a vacant parking lot on the corner of East Madison St. and North 4th Street and turning it into an apartment and office building for UIS.

The TIF funding would be about $700,000. The total project expected to cost a hair under $10 million. A majority of the building would house graduate students, increasing the university's presence downtown.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on April 28, 2015.

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Softball: UIS seeded seventh in GLVC tourney

The University of Illinois Springfield is the No. 7 seed for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Softball Championship and will play nationally ranked Indianapolis in the opener Friday at noon in East Peoria.

The Greyhounds (38-10) are ranked ninth in the NCAA Division II poll and seeded second.

UIS (31-20) played Indianapolis twice during the regular season. The Greyhounds won the first game 6-0. The Prairie Stars won the second contest 1-0.

The team was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 29, 2015.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Bowlby, Smith power UIS softball to sweep

Prairie Star pitchers Taylor Bowlby and Alexandria Smith allowed just six combined hits over two games as UIS swept Rockhurst, 4-0 and 3-1 in a doubleheader Sunday at the Lincoln Softball Complex.

Lauren Hollinshead scored a run in the first and drove in another in the third inning in the 4-0 victory, backing Bowlby (19-8), who struck out three.

Bowlby also went 3-for-6 from the plate in the twinbill, knocking in three runs, two of them on a bases-loaded single in the fourth inning of game 2 to snap a 0-0 tie.

The win was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 27, 2015.

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Pitching keeps UIS baseball team in contention for conference tournament berth

To say pitching is a strong point for the University of Illinois Springfield baseball team is an understatement.

It is everything for the 21-23 Prairie Stars. UIS had the 22nd-best team earned run average in NCAA Division II earlier this week. It is now 29th with a 3.55 ERA.

“Our four starters and three relievers are as good as it gets in our conference,” UIS coach Chris Ramirez said.

The pitching staff has helped compensate for a struggling offense. The Stars rank last in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in team batting average (.247).

“We know our offense is going to come around eventually,” UIS senior reliever Kyle Schildroth said. “We feel like it’s our job to make sure we keep the game in check and make sure nothing bad happens.”

The Stars’ top four starters are juniors Max Biedrzycki, Christopher Irwin, Jose Marin and Matt Farrington. The relievers are Schildroth, junior Richard England and junior Chance Simpson, who was previously a starter. Six of those seven pitchers weren’t even on the UIS roster last spring. Schildroth is the only one with more than one year under his belt with the Stars.

The team was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 25, 2015.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Local employer optimism highest since the recession

A survey released Thursday finds Sangamon County employers are more optimistic on the future of the local economy than at anytime since the end of the recession.

As if to confirm the results, a separate report Thursday put Springfield unemployment at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in March.

The University of Illinois Springfield survey of expectations in the coming year of nearly 250 private, government and not-for-profit organizations found more optimism on employment, sales, capital investments and the overall health of the local economy. The telephone survey, which also is done in the fall, was conducted from March 5 to March 26.

Optimism was highest since the spring-fall surveys began in 2008, a year after the national recession ended, said Ashley Kirzinger, director of the UIS Survey Research. Kirzinger said employer expectations continued to fall through 2009 before starting a gradual improvement, only to drop again in the fall of 2012.

"This is the first big uptick," Kirzinger said.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on April 24, 2015.

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Innocence Project reviewing hundreds of Illinois cases seeking wrong convictions

Illinois is number one in the country for overturned criminal cases which result in prisoner releases, representatives from the University of Illinois-based Innocence Project say that's a bad and good distinction.

Executive Director John Hamlon told the McLean County League of Women Voters on Wednesday the criminal justice system is riddled with junk science. He said his group is busy going over hundreds of cases in Illinois after his group and another fair justice organization found that 28 examiners with the FBI's microscopic hair comparison unit overstated forensic matches to favor prosecutors in more than 95 percent of cases across the country that have been reviewed so far.

Professor Gwen Johnson of the University of Illinois Springfield said the criminal justice system is broken. She said her group is also working for changes in the law. For example, she's pushing for a new statute specifically for people whose convictions were overturned.

"It says that when you are exonerated of a crime if the conviction is overturned, your record should be expunged immediately,"Johnson said.

The story was reported by WJBC Radio on April 23, 2015.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

UIS offering unique program to veterans

The University of Illinois Springfield is offering veterans and active military members the chance to earn college credit by applying skills and experience acquired throughout their military careers in a unique online program.

The program, titled Prior Learning Assessment, is the first and only of its kind in the nation, and allows veterans and active military members to earn up to 16 total credit hours. Participants also develop a portfolio complete with a compilation of reflections, assessments, and discussions on past experiences.

Officials say members from all five branches of the military have participated in this unique course. Director and developer of the program, Kevin Beeson, explained the incentive behind the program. "They deserve to come back here and get a great education, and get college credit and a pat on the back for what they've done for this country."

The program is already gaining traction nationwide with other universities.

The story was featured by WAND-TV on April 21, 2015.

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Second survey in UIS series to focus on education

The second in a series of surveys conducted every two years of residents in Sangamon County will focus on education.

The University of Illinois Springfield Center for State Policy & Leadership, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and the United Way of Central Illinois have partnered to conduct the 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey.

The survey was first conducted in 2013 and is planned every two years for the next eight years.

Ashley Kirzinger, director of the UIS Survey Research Office, said the overall survey was designed to focus on nine areas of quality of life, but each iteration from here on out will also go more in depth on one topic.

Organizers chose education based on findings from the 2013 survey that showed residents believe education plays an important role in improving Sangamon County, she said.

“We’re trying to dissect the 'why' aspect,” Kirzinger said. “Why do Sangamon County residents care, and what about education do they want us to play close attention to?”

The survey combines a traditional telephone poll with a survey of cell-phone users. The final sample will include more than 500 randomly selected county residents and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

The story was published by The State Journal-Register on April 22, 2015.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

UIS golfers Wherley, Matsen have shot at Super Regional berths

Both Jacob Wherley and Jocelyn Matsen feel good about their golf games and they’re peaking at the right time.

The two have the best shots among University of Illinois Springfield men’s and women’s golfers at earning bids to the NCAA Division II Super Regional in early May. A committee selects who competes in the event by examining a player’s performance in certain tournaments.

“Jake still has a chance if he finishes probably in the top 10 of conference to make the region as an individual,” UIS men’s and women’s golf coach Frank Marsaglia said.

Matsen, a sophomore, has a chance to tune up her game before the GLVC Women’s Golf Championships April 24-26 at Annbriar Golf Course in Waterloo. The Rochester High School graduate plays in the UIS Spring Invite starting Saturday at Piper Glen Golf Course.

“If she finishes in the top 10 or top 15 of the conference, she’ll probably get in,” Marsaglia said. “She had her best tournament last week down in Florida. It was against some of the very top competition in the country. One was ranked 44th in the nation as far as recruiting freshman and one was ranked in the top five of the nation. ”

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on April 18, 2015.

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Baseball: Prairie Stars pitching dominant in split

The University of Illinois Springfield baseball squad held the University of Wisconsin-Parkside to just three hits and one earned run Sunday, but the Prairie Stars could only gain a split, winning 6-2 in 11 innings and then losing 2-1 to the host Rangers.

In total, UIS pitchers Jose Marin, Kyle Schildroth and Matt Farrington struck out 18 hitters over the two games.

In the first contest, early homers by Adam Warda and Michael Rothmund staked the Stars to a 2-0 lead. But UWP scratched single runs across in the fifth and sixth innings and sent the game twirling into extra stanzas.

The Prairie Stars (14-14) took advantage of a Rangers fielding error with four hits in the top of the 11th inning, scoring four runs to take the win.

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on April 20, 2015.

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Softball: King, Miller lead Stars in split

RBI singles by Ashli King and Brittany Miller led the University of Illinois Springfield to a 2-0 win over Missouri S&T in the second game of a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader.

Rachel Goff was 2-for-3 with two doubles for UIS (29-18 overall, 14-12 in the GLVC).

The Prairie Stars’ Taylor Bowlby was 3-for-3 and hit a double. She was the losing pitcher with two strikeouts and no walks in six innings.

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on April 19, 2015.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

UIS To Mark Earth Week With Events

The University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate Earth Week with a variety of events designed to educate students, faculty, staff, and the community about the environment.

Monday, April 20 ECCE Speaker Series: “Connecting Food, Climate Change and Environmental Advocacy: Lessons from Indigenous Peoples' Climate Justice Movements” Kyle Powys Whyte, the Timnick Humanities Chair at Michigan State University’s Department of Philosophy, will speak at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. He will discuss how people's relations to food can obscure their awareness of how their actions affect the ecosystems on which they depend. Globally, food justice movements are becoming increasingly connected to climate justice movements given how climate change will affect the food system. These movements offer lessons for how food can serve as a powerful connector of people interested in taking action to address climate change. The presentation will be followed by a catered reception.

Tuesday, April 21 Free Electronics Recycling Event The UIS Senate Committee on Sustainability, in conjunction with BLH Computers, is hosting a FREE Electronics Recycling event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will receive items on the north side of Brookens Library, at the loading dock on the first floor level. Visit the BLH Computers web site ( for a complete list of items that will be accepted for free recycling. This list includes: desktop and laptop computers, LCD monitors, printers, keyboards, mice and cables, LCD & Plasma TVs, DVDs, etc. 

Wednesday, April 22 SAGE Earth Day Picnic Join the members of Students Allied for a Greener Earth (SAGE), a UIS student group, for an Earth Day Picnic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the UIS quad. Play games, relax and enjoy a sandwich or cookie from Cafe Moxo, or simply drop off your clean plastic bags and clean containers with lids, which will be donated to St. John's Breadline. The picnic is the perfect place to learn more about Earth Day and what SAGE does to promote environmental awareness on the UIS campus and in Springfield.

ECCE Speaker Series: “Greening Broadway” In an Earth Day keynote presentation, Donyale Werle, a Brooklyn, NY based theatrical set designer, will speak about her efforts to promote sustainability in the performing arts community and beyond. The event starts at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. Werle won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for Peter and the Starcatcher in 2012. She constructed the entire Act II set from 100% recycled materials.

Friday, April 24 Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony Join the UIS Grounds Maintenance Department and the Sustainability Committee for a ceremonial tree planting in honor of both Earth Week and Arbor Day at 10:30 a.m. near the UIS campus pond (next to the UIS Police Station). The tree will be dedicated to the university’s on-going commitment to creating a greener and more sustainable campus.

Biology Club Service Day at Jubilee Farm Join members of the UIS Biology Club as they begin the second phase of their restoration project at Jubilee Farm from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jubilee Farms is located at 6760 Old Jacksonville Road in New Berlin, Ill. The Biology Club will provide the tools and protective materials (eye protection, gloves, etc.) and the actual work will be selectively cutting out and removing invasive plant species from the back portions of the savanna woodlands (where the prairie meets the old growth forest). Volunteers should wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and close toed shoes; they should also bring a refillable water bottle and a hat if they desire.

This story appeared online on on April 16, 2015.

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Prairie Stars' Carter named GLVC freshman of year

University of Illinois Springfield tennis player Jane Carter was named the women’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshman of the Year on Thursday.

She was also one of 16 players who earned All-GLVC honors.

The New Zealand native is the first UIS player from either the women’s or men’s tennis programs to receive a major individual award.

Carter was 12-3 overall at No. 1 singles and undefeated in league play with a 4-0 record. She was 8-8 in No. 1 doubles.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on April 16, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

UIS students participate in National Day of Silence

Some University of Illinois Springfield students are breaking the silence on the issue of bullying for youth who are marginalized, undocumented, or have disabilities.

It's called Day of Silence. It's a national day of action where students take a vow of silence to represent the silencing effect of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender bullying and harassment in schools.

UIS broadened the event to also include undocumented citizens, differently-abled and minorities.

After not speaking all day, the students broke their silence at an event earlier tonight. Students shared stories from youth across the country who have been bullied. They also discussed their experiences and what they learned after spending the day without a voice.

"It's been really nice to see people talk across different lines of difference and begin to think about sort of the trials and tribulations of youth across a number of spectrums," said Kerry Poynter, Executive Director of the Diversity Center at UIS.

This story appeared online on on April 16, 2015.

Watch the story online.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stars finish on a high note

The University of Illinois Springfield men's tennis team wrapped the season with a 7-2 win over Truman State.

Hayden Esker and Cole Buehnerkemper won in No. 1 doubles.

Buehnerkemper also won in No. 2 singles, while Esker was a winner in No. 3 singles.

UIS finishes with an 11-13 record. It is the team’s best mark since joining NCAA Division II.

This story appeared online in The State Journal-Register on March 15, 2015.

Read the entire article online.

UIS signs 2 men's basketball players from St. Louis area

Two players from St. Louis suburbs signed Wednesday to play for the University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team.

Six-foot-9 forward/center Zach Steinberg led Lafayette High School with 13 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. He was the Suburban West Conference co-player of the year.

Five-foot-11 guard Logan Gonce was the leading scorer at St. Charles West with 17.1 points. He averaged a team-high 5.32 assists per game.

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on March 15, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

UIS students tweet 'live' coverage of President Abraham Lincoln's death

University of Illinois Springfield students are taking us back into the past using Twitter.

Tuesday night marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination in Washington DC... And some students are creating a living history by tweeting out moments as they happened more than a century ago.

The students mission is to give people a chance to experience how the country felt during the death of Abraham Lincoln and the month-long funeral procession that followed.

Students hope people will have a chance to travel back in time with help from 21st century technology.

What if people could tweet when Abraham Lincoln was killed?

One class of students is testing the theory. "As soon as he gets shot another tweet will go out, so really you're going to be living minute by minute what he was doing the last few hours of his life," said Julia Grigsby, UIS history student.

The Lincoln tweets will give people a chance to live history as it happened.

"Because of Twitter, we're able to put ourselves and other people in Lincoln's footsteps," said Grigsby.

History professor Kenneth Owen says the tweets will be precisely timed. His students have spent months researching to make tweets as accurate as possible. "Attribution, the fact checking they've done to make sure we've got everything right as it fits into our timeline of tweets has been really impressive," said Owen.

You can continue following tweets from the UIS students all month until the replica funeral train arrives in Springfield at the beginning of May. The majority of tweets on the@AbesLastRide account will begin after 7 p.m. on April 14.

This article appeared online on on April 14, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Andrew Mullican to play at Illinois Springfield

Andrew Mullican has been able to accomplish a list of achievements in his time with Edwardsville High School soccer. 

The three-year starter was a major contributor on a state championship team his junior year, and backed that up by being a captain on a team that won 17 games and made a sectional championship.

Now the All-Sectional pick will have the chance to continue his playing career as a member of the University of Illinois Springfield. He is the third Tiger in the last two years to commit to UIS.

Mullican admits he took his time and looked at a few different schools before making is ultimate decision. “The thing I was really looking for was the chance to get a good education and to be associated with University of Illinois was big for me,” Mullican said.

“As far as getting to play, I was looking for a place where I felt I would really fit in and I think Illinois is a good place for that.”

Mullican will look to make an early impact for the Prairie Stars, a team that went 8-10 last year. The team’s current record sits at 6-12, but the roster only has three seniors. The team will also be returning head coach Jesse Miech, who will be entering his fifth year.

“Last year they were a really young team. They started between seven to nine freshman, so that led to their struggles,” Mullican said. “Next year, they are still going to be pretty young, but they have brought in a lot of good players and hopefully we’ll be able to start winning more games.”

This article appeared online in The Edwardsville Intelligencer on April 13, 2015.

Read the entire story here.

Prairie Stars get two road wins

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Taylor Bowlby threw a one-hit shutout in a 5-0 win over Lincoln University in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader.

She had two strikeouts and one walk in five innings.

Jordyn Amos was 3-for-3 and hit two doubles for UIS.

Amos and Ashli King both were 2-for-3 and had two RBIS in a 13-1 victory in the second game.

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on April 14, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

UIS Star Parties give glimpse of the galaxy

Star gazers don't need to head out to the country away from the lights the next few weekends.

The University of Illinois Springfield opened up its observatory on top of the Brookens Library roof Friday night for its popular Star Parties series.

The Star Parties, which are free and open to the public, will continue from 8 to 10 p.m. the next two Fridays, weather permitting.

About 25 people attended the first event Friday. Among those in attendance were Noel and Mike Fitzgibbon, along with their 8-year-old daughter, Sydney, and one of her friends.

The Rochester couple said they had never been to the observatory at UIS and thought it would be a good opportunity for their daughter to see firsthand the stars and planets she's learning about in the classroom.

"We thought it would be interesting and good for her education to get that hands-on experience," Noel Fitzgibbon said.

UIS astronomy professor John Martin said the Star Parties have been a tradition in Springfield since 1976.

They were started by UIS professer Charles Schweighauser and have continued nearly every year except for a brief hiatus in the mid-2000s, he said.

Star Parties were featured by The State Journal-Register on April 11, 2015.

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Baseball: Rothmund has 7-RBI day for Prairie Stars

Michael Rothmund, of Lombard, drove in seven runs over two games Sunday afternoon, helping the University of Illinois Springfield gain a split against visiting Lewis University.

UIS (16-19, 10-12 GLVC) lost the first game, 5-3, despite Rothmund’s 3-run homer, but turned around and beat the Flyers 7-3 in the second game thanks to four more RBIs from Rothmund on three singles.

In the second game, Gabriel Acevedo, Blake Thompson and Alex Bradley all hit RBI singles in support of pitcher Matt Farrington, who earned the win. Senior Kyle Schildroth pitched three innings to notch the save. UIS baseball will travel to McKendree on Tuesday.

The win was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 13, 2015.

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Softball: UIS splits two shutouts at Indy

Taylor Bowlby tossed a four-hit shutout to give the Prairie Stars a well-earned 1-0 victory over the No. 10-ranked University of Indianapolis. But the Greyhounds struck back in the second game, riding a grand slam by Taylor Russell to a 6-0 win.

Uindy’s Morgan Foley struck out 14 Prairie Star batters and held UIS (25-15, 12-10 GLVC) to just one hit in the first game, but two errors and two hit-by-pitches helped push across the only run Bowlby and the Prairie Stars would need in the first game.

Bowlby now has 16 wins on the season and needs just one more to tie Alexandria Smith’s single season UIS record.

The win was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 12, 2015.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Congressman Rodney Davis talks student loans

Congressman Rodney Davis stopped in Springfield today to talk about student loans while Congress is on break.

Davis and his Millenial Advisory Board spoke with students at the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

He says loan debt is a major concern for parents and families, but there are few solutions in sight in Congress.

Davis is proposing a bill that would allow employers to help students in relieving their college debt. 

He also says Washington's approach to student loans should change. "We need to make college affordability more transparent," said Congressman Davis. "We also need to make sure families and institutions where their students are going to, that they understand what the true cost of college is going to be."

Congressman Davis says the bill would provide tax incentives for employers to help students pay off loans. He says he expects the bill would have bipartisan support. When asked about a timetable, Davis said the bill was "in process.

This story appeared online on WICS NewsChannel 20 on April 9, 2015.

Watch the story online.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Unlikely team attempting to reform eyewitness identification program

Like a walk down memory lane... "I served 31 years."

Men - remembering time they'll never get back. "21 years."

What do they have in common?

All of these men were wrongly convicted, putting them behind bars for crimes they didn't commit.
"I served 20 years in the Department of Corrections.”

 All of these men have heart wrenching stories, but none received the national attention of the evening's key note speaker - Ronald Cotton.

 In 1984 - he was accused of sexually assaulting Jennifer Thompson-Cannico, a college student at the time. When she described the offender's appearance to police, it seemed to match Ron's, whose mug shot was on file from run-ins with the law. Police put him in a line-up with 6 others, and Jennifer identified him as the attacker because it was the closest match to the sketch the investigator drew from her description. 

Ron spent 11 years in prison until a DNA test proved he wasn't the offender.

"We both met. I asked if he could forgive me, and he immediately, without hesitation, said he'd already done that years before." That's when Jennifer and Ron started their journey to reform the eyewitness identification process, by telling their story at events around the country. They were invited to Springfield on Wednesday by the Innocence Project, a public policy organization that, in the past 4 years, has helped 5 men find freedom after wrongful convictions.

To date, more than 300 people in the U.S. have been exonerated by DNA testing.

Cotton and Thompson-Cannico were the guest speakers at the 8th annual Defenders of the Innocent event, hosted by the Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois Springfield.

This story appeared online on WAND-TV on April 8, 2015.

Watch the story online.

Thibodeaux-Thompsons throw focus into UIS production of 'Streetcar'

Instead of teaching theater classes this semester, University of Illinois Springfield associate professor Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson focused on preparing for one of the most iconic roles in American theater.

"Yes, it is daunting," she said of her role as Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire," the UIS spring theater production opening Friday. "A friend of mine says Blanche is often seen as 'the woman's Hamlet.' "

To prepare for the production — directed by her husband, associate professor of theater Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson — she took a semester-long sabbatical.

Three years ago, the couple did the same in reverse, with Missy directing Eric in a production of Sam Sheppard's "True West."

Detailed word choice "Streetcar," the most famous work of playwright Tennessee Williams, premiered in 1947 and won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for drama. It is widely considered to be one of the best American plays of the 20th century and has inspired a number of stage and screen versions.

Set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, "A Streetcar Named Desire" depicts Blanche, a former schoolteacher, moving into a cramped apartment with her sister Stella (Ellyn Thorson) and Stella's husband, Stanley Kowalski (Thom Miller). As Blanche makes increasingly desperate attempts to maintain her romantic view of life and conceal the problems that forced her to leave home, tensions and resentment build among her, Stanley and Stella.

The play has left "some pretty indelible images in our culture", according to Eric, including the common conceptions of Stanley as a loud, obnoxious brute and Blanche as an emotional basket case.
But the Thiboudeaux-Thompsons agree that the characters and atmosphere Williams created are much more complex and deserve careful attention.

"There is a little bit of Blanche and Stanley in all of us."

The play also depicts a conflict between the higher ideals and aspirations of Blanche and the more immediate, down-to-earth desires of Stanley, Stella and their neighbors. "There are people who are more introspective and who like the finer things in life," Eric said. "And there are others who just want to have a beer and pizza."

A Streetcar Named Desire takes the stage at the UIS Studio Theatre in the Public Affairs Center, April 16-18.  Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.  Tickets are $6-$14.

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on April 8, 2015.

Read the entire article online.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Two international students give boost to UIS tennis

Jane Carter and Gerard Carpinell have at least four things in common: They’re the No. 1 singles players on their respective University of Illinois Springfield women’s and men’s tennis teams; they’re international students; they arrived in Springfield in January; and both have beaten a nationally ranked NCAA Division II player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association ratings.

Carter hails from Auckland, New Zealand, and was on her way Saturday to scoring a win against another ranked opponent when she led No. 12 Stephanie Hirsch, a sophomore at Indianapolis, 6-2, 1-0. But then the Greyhounds called off the match due to the cold temperature at Washington Park. “I was so in the zone to beat someone who was better than me,” Carter said.

Carpinell, who is from Granollers, Spain, located northeast of Barcelona, beat a ranked opponent on the same day. Carpinell knocked off No. 27 Romain Boissinot, a sophomore at Northwest Missouri State, 6-3, 1-6, 10-8. “I was very happy,” Carpinell said. “I didn’t expect to win that match, but I was playing very well. I was up one set, but I was so tired because that was my fourth match that day. I tried to hit the ball hard, attack every ball, serve as fast as I can and win the important points.

Carter, who graduated from high school in December, and Carpinell both started at UIS in January when classes resumed for second semester.

The women's team has a 6-11 record after winning only three matches last year. The men's squad is 7-9 after posting a 4-13 record the previous season. “I really wanted to add some kingpins to the lineup in January,” said UIS first-year coach Tom Rees, a native of Worcestershire, England. “I think it’s important for us to build from the top moving forward. We’ve got pretty deep rosters. We just needed a couple of standouts to really lead us at the top.”

Carter had never been to the United States before January, while Carpinell visited once before when he spent one week in New York. “It’s been really different from home,” Carter said. "You see it in the movies and you think it's just a movie, but it's exactly like the movies."

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on April 2, 2015.

Read the entire article online.

Chancellor: Positive changes coming to UIS

Despite concerns over state funding, there is reason for optimism at the University of Illinois Springfield.

In the first part of our interview, Chancellor Susan Koch told us about planning that is underway for a likely reduction in funding. But there's also a bright side at UIS.

The campus has all time high enrollment and many other positive changes are coming. A new nursing program will launch this fall and ground will soon be broken on a Student Union.

This interview aired on WUIS on April 1, 2015.

Listen to the interview here.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

UIS baseball sweeps McKendree

The University of Illinois Springfield improved to 7-7 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference by sweeping McKendree 12-4 and 7-4 in a doubleheader at the UIS baseball field.

The Prairie Stars pounded the Bearcats with 15 hits in the opener and led 7-0 after three innings. 

Adam Warda hit a pair of solo home runs to left centerfield and finished with three hits, four runs and two RBIs.

Aaron Kuper and Ryan Walling each contributed three hits for UIS. 

Starter Jose Marin picked up the win, allowing one hit and fanning eight and walking two in four innings.

In the nightcap, UIS again scored seven runs in the first three innings and led 7-3.

Alex Bradley finished with two hits and two RBIs and John Schram rapped out three hits and drove in a run. Kyle Schildroth got the win in relief, giving up four hits and one earned run in 4 2/3 innings.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register online on April 1, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

UIS Chancellor: Higher Ed "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" Financially

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch says if a proposed 31% state budget cut to higher education occurs, it would hamper the school's ability to carry out its mission.

"It would be severely damaging," Koch said. She added she is hopeful the eventual budget won't hit UIS so hard. But she also expects less state support in the coming year.

"The reality is at this point we don't know where things will end up."

Koch will soon enter her 4th year at the helm of UIS She says the university is looking at ways to curb expenses but also to increase revenue. That includes increasing enrollment, which is already at an all time high.

But growing the number of students while keeping the cost of college in check is becoming increasingly difficult. Koch says if a 31% cut were to become a reality, it would be the equivalent of raising tuition 20%.

"We have increased tuition over the years because we had to. But we don't feel like that's a place we can go for additional support for our budget. So we're, as they say, between a rock and a hard place here."

The U of I Board of Trustees voted to keep in-state tuition flat for the coming academic year. The mission of the university, according to Koch, remains educating students.

The story was reported by WUIS Public Radio on March 31, 2015.

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Softball: UIS, McKendree split

Chelsea Minor hit a two-run homer and Jordyn Larsen had a two-run double in the University of Illinois Springfield’s 15-2, five-inning win over McKendree in the first game of Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader.

Larsen was 3-for-3 and had a triple. Rachel Goff was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

The Prairie Stars’ Alexandria Smith pitched a complete game and had three strikeouts and three walks.

In the second game, McKendree took the lead in the fifth inning and won 7-5.

The team was featured by The State Journal-Register on April 1, 2015.

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