Monday, August 6, 2018

UIS debuts new entrance markers

A series of new entrance markers will greet University of Illinois Springfield students, staff and faculty returning for fall semester later this month.

The three signs, placed on West Lake Shore Drive, 11th Street at University Drive and on Shepherd Road, were installed last month. They feature a dark blue background with the university’s spelled out name emblazoned in white.

The cost — which included building the structure, installing it and landscaping the area surrounding it — was about $15,000, according to UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp.

Schnapp said the old signs, which featured the UIS dome logo, were in poor condition and out of date.

Materials from the old signage were recycled, he said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on August 4, 2018.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

UIS hires Slade to coach cross country, track teams

The University of Illinois Springfield has hired another veteran coach to oversee its cross country and track and field programs.

Scott Slade brings 30 years of coaching experience to UIS.

He replaces Mike De Witt, who retired in June after starting the Prairie Stars’ cross country program in 2015 and track and field program in 2016. De Witt had coached for 44 years.

The 54-year-old Slade is originally from Buffalo, New York, and began coaching in 1988. He is heavily involved in USA Track and Field. He is currently the national chair for development for men’s middle distances.

UIS athletic director Jim Sarra was Slade’s supervisor at UTSA.

“He saw me turn the program around at UTSA,” Slade said. “He saw that I built a competitive program there. That’s what he’s looking for me to do (at UIS).”

Slade’s first day at UIS is Monday.

Springfield High School graduate Tyler Pence will continue to serve as an assistant coach.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on August 2, 2018.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Interiority gets exteriorized at UIS Gallery

A smiley-face pin balanced on a wall-mounted thermostat; an infant’s onesie reflected in an antique mirror; an office lamp propping open a window shade.

The experience of walking through “Interior Space” – an installation which opened July 26 at University of Illinois Springfield’s Visual Arts Gallery – is something like wandering into a stranger’s sparse attic or onto the set of a dream sequence in a 1960s Italian film.

The work, by Allyson Packer, is spread throughout the entire gallery (occasionally even beyond its physical boundaries).

Packer, who is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a summer resident in the Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists program. Although at first glance it might seem like there is little or nothing on display, a little hunting gradually reveals a bounty of unlikely objects, including the ones described above, many of them displayed in even less likely ways.

The items, distributed throughout the space with deceptive precision and wit, were all borrowed from Springfield residents by Packer for the purpose of the exhibition.

Also at the UIS gallery on July 26 was a one-night-only multichannel audio installation by Normal, Illinois-based artist and composer ZW Buckley, entitled “faith comes by hearing.”

Buckley described the work as “exploring the themes of transience and permanence within Springfield’s Enos Park neighborhood.”

This article appeared in the Illinois Times on August 1, 2018.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sterling grad Stroup blossoming into a star for UIS

Her jersey number is 00, but Erin Stroup has been anything but a zero during her first two seasons for the University of Illinois-Springfield softball team.

The 2016 Sterling graduate came into college as an accomplished recruit for the Prairie Stars, and has made an immediate impact at the plate and in the field.

“After my first year, I learned so much that was going to help me,” Stroup said. “But I really didn’t expect to be as successful as I have, especially as soon as I started.”

Stroup also started her high school softball career in a large role as a 4-year varsity player for the Golden Warriors. She was an SVM all-area first-team selection as a junior after earning co-NIB-12 West MVP with teammate Lexy Staples and being tabbed to the second team of the Class 3A Illinois Coaches Association all-state team.

Illinois-Springfield coach Shannon Guthrie was aware that Stroup had started her junior and senior seasons as the Golden Warriors’ shortstop, but also considered her at second base and in the outfield. An injury to UIS’ starting shortstop right before the 2017 season gave the former Sterling star a chance to start right away, and she hasn’t relinquished the job since.

“When we recruited Erin, we could see the potential she had as a shortstop and offensively,” Guthrie said. “She had a really great career at Sterling. We knew she was going to bring a lot of talent. We wanted to have her bat in the lineup, but we weren’t sure which position she would play.”

This article appeared in the Sauk Valley News on August 1, 2018.

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