Monday, September 16, 2019

Cross Country: Jones, McIntyre help Stars at Michigan State

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s cross country team finished with 191 points and placed seventh in the 23-team Michigan State Spartan Invitational meet.

Blake Jones led UIS with a time of 25:25.8, finishing in 13th place. Athens native Wyatt McIntyre finished 52nd with a time of 26:11.5 on the 8,000 meter course.

The UIS women’s team, also at Michigan State, finished 11th out of 26 teams with a score of 312.

Taryn Christy led the Prairie Stars with an 11th-place finish, running a time of 21:53.9 on the 6,000 meter course. Her time was second among the NCAA Division II runners.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 13, 2019.

Read the entire article online.

Women's Volleyball: Stars sweep matches in Indy

The Prairie Stars closed out the two-day tournament hosted by the University of Indianapolis with straight set wins over Davenport and Minnesota State-Moorhead to give the University of Illinois Springfield a 3-1 record overall, tied for best record in the tournament.

The Prairie Stars turned up the defense late, forcing Davenport to a hitting percentage under .100.

Hannah Nicolaisen led UIS with 15 kills. Becca Blakeley had 34 assists for the Stars.

In the second match the Stars won 25-19, 25-21, 25-14 over MSU Moorhead.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 14, 2019.

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Women's Soccer: UIS shuts out Lewis in GLVC opener

Maggie Juhlin converted the game’s only goal on a penalty kick to give University of Illinois Springfield the 1-0 victory over Lewis University on Sunday.

Bailey Cross got the shutout in goal for UIS (2-1-0), with two saves in the Great Lakes Valley Conference opener.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 15, 2019.

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UIS incoming freshman class makes history, total enrollment drops

The incoming freshman class at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) is making school history. 

UIS reports freshman enrollment grew by more than 18%.

The total number of first-year students stands at 373, compared to 316 last fall semester, making it the largest incoming freshman class in school history.

“We are pleased to see the substantial increase in the size of our freshman class again this year,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “It affirms that an increasing number of prospective students and their families are choosing UIS for a student-centered undergrad experience - an experience that provides uniquely personalized educational opportunities that prepare our graduates for success in their careers and their communities.”

While it's good news for the incoming freshman class, total enrollment is a different matter.

The total number of students enrolled at UIS dropped this year. There were 300 fewer part-time students enrolled this semester. The total number of students enrolled in fall classes at UIS stands at 4,275 compared to 4,575 students in fall 2018.

Earlier this week, U.S. News & World Report announced UIS was ranked the fourth-best public university in the Midwest Regional category and the top public regional university in Illinois in the 2020 rankings. UIS was also ranked as one of the best ethnically diverse campuses in the Midwest category.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on September 12, 2019.

Watch the story online.

Friday, September 13, 2019

UIS and Central Illinois Foodbank partner for Hunger Action Day

The Central Illinois Foodbank was at the University of Illinois Springfield's Hunger Action Day.

The foodbank talked to students and faculty about resources in the community. Some of the resources include UIS Cares - an on-campus food pantry.

"We know that students and faculty alike in our area may be facing food insecurity, so it's a good opportunity for us to engage with those groups and make sure they realize there are resources in the community," Ashley Earnest, of the Central Illinois Foodbank said.

Hunger Action Day is a nationwide effort for foodbanks and for people to realize that food insecurity is an issue in every county in the country.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on September 12, 2019.

Watch the story online.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Susan Koch: Fundraising underway for much-needed renovations for UIS Observatory

The following is an excerpt from a column by University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch. This column appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 7, 2019. 

Since the University of Illinois Springfield was created nearly 50 years ago, engagement with the community has been central to its mission. That commitment continues to provide countless ways for area residents from preschoolers to seniors to learn, grow and enjoy by engaging in a variety of events and activities across the university calendar.

One of the most popular outreach activities of the University today is also one of the oldest. Star Parties, where visitors are invited to the UIS Observatory to view celestial objects and learn about science and astronomy, were started in 1977 by Professor Charlie Schweighauser, one of the early members of the then-Sangamon State University faculty.

“Everyone is intrigued by the sun, moon, planets and stars,” said Schweighauser (now retired), “and I saw astronomy as a gateway for making good science available to the public.”

The UIS Astronomy program possesses some of the finest equipment in the state, including a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and four smaller telescopes located on the observation deck atop Brookens Library.

Since the late 1970s, thousands of people of all ages have come to the UIS Observatory for Star Parties, as well as for special astronomical events like lunar and solar eclipses and comets.

At a typical Star Party, visitors learn about galaxies as well as star and constellation identification.

Staff and trained volunteers then assist guests in using the telescopes — enabling stargazers to observe objects of interest in the night sky.

It’s not unusual for the program to host 50 to 100 participants on a clear night.

There are even Star Parties for people with disabilities that feature the first telescope ever designed for wheelchair access.

Professor John Martin, who grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, has provided leadership for the Astronomy program since 2006.

“Starting my freshman year at UVA,” Martin said, “I would hang out during public viewings at the UVA Observatory — taking measurements and having fun. They eventually asked me to help out, and I worked there for four years. That was my Friday nights!”

After more than 40 years of Star Parties, fundraising is now underway for much-needed renovations of the UIS Observatory, including redesign and replacement of the original deck with composite material, improved accessibility for people of all abilities and re-imagining the telescope enclosure for more efficient use.

“It has been a joy helping kids look through our telescopes week after week, always with a fresh set of questions,” Martin said. “With these much-needed renovations, we’ll be able to satisfy the curiosity of stargazers young and old for the next 40 years and beyond.”

Read the entire column online.

UIS students remember victims of September 11th attack

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield remembered the lives lost during September 11, 2001.

Hundreds of flags were placed around campus.

The student organizer said the goal was to raise awareness about a tragedy that happened before they were born and wanted to make sure students don't forget about it.

"We need to look past our differences in our culture, we need to look past our differences and really just see this is something as all Americans, we can come together and honor people who have lost their lives," President of College Republicans Andrew Cunningham said.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on September 11, 2019.

Watch the story online.

UIS ranked best public regional university in Midwest

The University of Illinois Springfield has been ranked the fourth best public regional university in the midwest.

UIS moved up three spots from last year's rankings. It's also ranked as one of the best ethnically diverse campuses in the midwest.

"It's a real point of pride for us. We are very happy to have moved up in the rankings. It signals that families and prospective students are making a really good choice when they choose to learn more, apply, and enroll at the University of Illinois Springfield," said Provost of Management, Natalie Herring.

Herring also says there are lots of student grant opportunities. And the school will be able to provide for students who deserve scholarships.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on September 9, 2019.

Watch the story online.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Annual 5K at UIS gives back to local charity

The University of Illinois Springfield hosted their 4th annual UIS Prairie Star 5k walk/run. Money raised goes towards the Triple Heart Foundation, a non-profit founded by our very own Stacey Skrysak and her husband Ryan.

Director of Campus Recreation, James Koeppe, said it's a great way to give back to the community while getting students involved.

"We do it for several reasons, one it's just to welcome our students back, welcome the upper class back, as well as welcome our new students," said Koeppe. "But also as a community event, we have a lot of community runners as well as our students and our faculty and staff."

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on September 7, 2019.

Watch the story online.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

UIS students take part in Welcome Week Service-a-Thon

University of Illinois Springfield students are volunteering as the school year gets underway.

The annual Welcome Week Service-a-Thon has students serving at seven Springfield locations.

The event encourages students to place community first by starting the school year with service to others.

The day of service ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

Locations where students volunteered included Concordia Village, the Habitat for Humanity and the UIS Community Garden.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on August 30, 2019.

Watch the story online.

Downtown shuttle bus for UIS students to return

Going out downtown on Saturday nights just got a bit easier for University of Illinois Springfield students with the return of a free shuttle bus to and from campus.

The service, sponsored by the UIS Student Government Association, will begin Sept. 7 and run nonstop between the UIS Student Union and downtown every Saturday night from 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.The plan is to have the shuttle run through mid-November, ending just before Thanksgiving.

“We have other transportation in order right now ... but we didn’t have transportation for students to go downtown on the weekend,”Ben Paoletti said. “So there was an apparent need for this. And what I saw often was that students would go downtown and would have to pay for Uber or Lyft or, even worse, they would drink and drive.” “So, as president SGA, I saw that there was a need for there to be a shuttle for students, free of charge, so that they could go downtown, they could enjoy downtown, but also be able to get there back and forth safely,” he said.

The 16-person shuttle, provided by Springfield-based Gracious Cab Company, will cost the student association about $1,500 for the semester, Paoletti said. As a pilot program, the shuttle is only guaranteed through this semester, with the student organization seeking sponsorships from downtown bars and restaurants to ensure that it continues beyond.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on August 30, 2019.

Read the entire article online.