Thursday, December 12, 2019

UIS program to offer paid state internships in Chicago area

The popular Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) program at the University of Illinois Springfield is expanding into the Chicago area, the school announced Wednesday.

It will offer paid graduate student internships with state government agencies beginning in August 2020.

Students admitted to the program will complete their UIS master’s degrees online, while working a paid internship in the Chicago area.

For the past 45 years, the GPSI program has offered paid internships with government agencies and nonprofits based in Springfield.

“This expansion will allow more students and agencies to participate in this enduring and historically successful program and strengthen the university’s commitment to educating a new generation of public service professionals,” said Sherrie Elzinga, director of the GPSI program.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Dec. 11, 2019.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Men's Soccer: Falsone earns all-region recognition

University of Illinois Springfield senior forward Mario Falsone earned United Soccer Caoches third team all-region honors.

Falsone led the Stars with six goals, five assists and 17 points. He wrapped his career as the top offensive player in the program’s NCAA era with 19 total goals and 12 assists. He was twice all-Great Lakes Valley Conference.

The Stars finished 9-8-2.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 9, 2019.

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Women's Soccer: UIS’ Maggie Juhlin named second team all-region

University of Illinois Springfield senior forward Maggie Juhlin landed United Soccer Coaches second team all-region recognition.

Juhlin led the women’s soccer team with nine goals and four assists.

The Chatham Glenwood High School graduate also had five game-winning goals, which ranked No. 25 in the nation.

The Stars finished 8-10.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 9, 2019.

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Monday, December 9, 2019

University of Illinois drops criminal past question from admissions applications

Admissions applications to the University of Illinois campuses are no longer requiring students to disclose whether or not they have a criminal background.

A student-led coalition urged the university to remove questions about criminal and disciplinary history, saying it discouraged potential students from applying, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported.

To maintain the safety of the campus and to ensure those ultimately admitted do not pose a security threat, the criminal history questions were moved to the point after an admissions decision has been made but before students enroll, "balancing safety and access."

The policy is being adopted for all three university campuses in Champaign-Urbana, Chicago and Springfield. Julian Parrott, assistant vice president for academic affairs for the university's admission system, said if the applicant has been convicted, or charges are pending, they must provide a description of the incident, the outcome and documents such as court records or parole requirements. Pending review of the information provided, a decision will be made whether to admit the student - with or without conditions - or rescind the offer.

This story aired on ABC 7 in Chicago on December 7, 2019.

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Men's Basketball: Prairie Stars break school record in win

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team converted a program record 22 three-point attempts and Chase Robinson knocked down six treys for 30 points to lead the Prairie Stars to a 108-71 victory at the Johnson Center on Saturday.

Four of the five starters for UIS reached double figures. Keymonta Johnson had a double-double, scoring 29 and grabbing 11 rebounds. Jesus Castillo had 12 points and eight boards and Alonso Meana had 11 points, five assists and two steals.

UIS shot 53.3 percent from the floor in the game and 50 percent from behind the arc. After going nine of 20 from deep in the first half, the Prairie Stars put up 61 points in the second half behind 13-for-24 shooting from three-point range.

The 108 point total is also the second most in school history for UIS, as is the 27 team assists.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 7, 2019.

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Voice your opinions on Illinois’ roads

The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking feedback on the state’s transportation system through its annual Illinois Traveler Opinion Survey, available today through Dec. 31.

“The public’s input is vital for the health of our transportation system. We look forward to learning about your travel preferences, what you think we are doing well and how you’d like us to improve,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman.

The annual survey, conducted in partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield, seeks feedback on topics ranging from road conditions and ice-and-snow removal to commuting habits and driving behaviors.

This story appeared on OurQuadCities.com on December 5, 2019.

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UIS Professor pens book: 'Fake News Battle' makes case for regulation

Ha Jae-sik's book "Fake News Battle" is a fresh update about fake news and its irreversible, devastating consequences on the community. The fallout of fake news goes far beyond what we can possibly imagine and what's worrisome is that the entire globe is grappling with the phenomenon, according to the author.

Ha, an assistant professor at the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois Springfield, voices his concerns about social media, claiming it has become a conduit for misinformation, and encourages those who are involved in the media to stand up against fake news. "It's regrettable that social media has become the epicenter of fake news," he wrote. "Conspiracy theories are rampant on social media and they are out of control. It seems inevitable that all members of society, including policymakers and journalists, start a debate about how to regulate disinformation and draw up measures to redress the victims."

According to him, content creators are not the only people to be held accountable. "I think social media companies are not directly responsible for fake news," he told The Korea Times in a recent interview. "Broadly speaking, I think there are three groups of people who are responsible for manufacturing and disseminating misinformation ― social media users who created and uploaded misinformation, internet users who selectively choose information they are to consume in favor of their political orientation and some media outlets that are trying to profit from fake news.

This story appeared in The Korea Times on December 6, 2019.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Chorus concert held at UIS to celebrate the holiday season

Wednesday was the "Viva America" Concert at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The UIS Chorus and the Lincoln Land Community College Choir both performed at the concert.

"I think it provides for a campus atmosphere that is welcoming, inviting and fun. It's the holiday season, so why not celebrate with music?" Yona Stamatis, director of the UIS Music Program, said. 

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on December 4, 2019.

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Preliminary plan for downtown university campus emerges

Early plans for a new downtown university campus to be shared by the University of Illinois Springfield and Southern Illinois University have emerged, with a local economic development group suggesting a location on the business district’s eastern edge.

The Springfield-Sangamon Growth Alliance has proposed a university campus to be located between Second and Fourth streets to the west and east and Washington and Monroe streets to the north and south. While SSGA interim president and CEO Josh Collins said the proposal is “extremely preliminary,” it is to the point where the group has been quietly meeting with property owners within the potential project’s scope.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder and other city officials were also briefed on the proposal in late November. “There’s no concrete proposal on anything. Everything’s kind of in draft one or draft .01,”

In August 2018, UIS purchased downtown Springfield’s Innovate Springfield, a business and social innovation incubator. It was then awarded the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network, a University of Illinois system-led initiative meant to foster economic growth through research and innovation by connecting satellite hubs spread across the state with the flagship Discovery Partners Institute, a Chicago-based research institute. While the hub is housed at Innovate Springfield’s offices on the Old State Capitol Plaza, university officials have been open about their intentions to find a bigger space in downtown Springfield for the expanded hub and other university programs.

In a statement, UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp said “the university is considering various options for a new and larger location for the downtown hub that includes an expanded Innovate Springfield and additional activities with funding for construction and/or renovation to be provided in part by a recent legislative appropriation that includes $15 million for the UIS hub.” “We’ve had some discussions with SIU representatives about possible collaborations that would enhance further economic development in the region,” Schnapp said. “As discussions continue, we look forward to collaborating with local and state legislative leaders.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 4, 2019.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Downtown university plan floated

The Springfield Sangamon County Growth Alliance is pitching a major university presence in downtown Springfield that sources say would involve the University of Illinois Springfield, Southern Illinois University and perhaps the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Plans aren't concrete, but the first public meetings to unveil ideas are expected in January, said Josh Collins, interim president and CEO of the alliance, a public-private economic development group. Collins confirmed that the alliance has contacted property owners in the area. "I would say this is very preliminary right now," Collins said. "There will be at least two public meetings on this, plus other outreach efforts to property owners and businesses. ... I would say there is an anticipation to have more formalized concepts, hopefully, in the first quarter of 2020.

In an email, UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp wrote that the university wants a new location for Innovate Springfield, a business incubator now located near the Old State Capitol that is part of a so-called innovation hub being developed by the University of Illinois that is aimed at helping entrepreneurs. "The university is considering various options for a new and larger location for the downtown hub that includes an expanded Innovate Springfield and additional activities with funding for construction and/or renovation to be provided in part by a recent legislative appropriation that includes $15 million for the UIS hub," Schnapp wrote. "We've had some discussions with SIU representatives about possible collaborations that would enhance further economic development in the region. As discussions continue, we look forward to collaborating with local and state legislative leaders."

This story appeared in the Illinois Times on December 3, 2019.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

New athletic director Peyton Deterding arrives at UIS

University of Illinois Springfield presented Peyton Deterding as its new athletic director Monday at The Recreation and Athletic Center. Deterding replaces Jim Sarra, who resigned in July for undisclosed reasons after holding the position for three years.

Deterding will officially begin his first day next Monday. “I’m extremely excited to be chosen as the next athletic director here,” Deterding said Monday. “But I want to make one thing clear: this isn’t about me. This is about our student-athletes, our coaches and our support staff. Together we will celebrate our victories and become stronger in times when we fall short.”

Deterding, 44, arrives at UIS after spending 12 years at Illinois State University, last serving as the school’s senior associate athletic director.

The UIS men’s basketball team, in fact, last played at ISU on Friday in an exhibition game. Deterding called the Great Lakes Valley Conference a premier league in NCAA Division II and said one of the reasons UIS appealed to him was its ability to grow as a fairly young DII school, moving up from NAIA in 2009. 

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on December 2, 2019.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

A Brief History of Thanksgiving

Guest View: A Brief History of Thanksgiving written by Graham A. Peck. He is the Wepner Distinguished Professor of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

In 1867, the popular New York City printmaking firm Currier and Ives published “Home to Thanksgiving.” The print celebrated domestic bliss. Although the roofs of the house and the barn were covered in snow, all was warm within: The grandmother cradled her granddaughter while the young husband warmly grasped the hand of his father-in-law. The print reflected mid-19th century domestic ideals that the American middle and upper classes had come to associate with Thanksgiving.

Yet Thanksgiving was not always a family holiday, but only slowly became one, which reminds us that everything — including holidays — has a history. To understand Thanksgiving now we need to know its past.

This article appeared in the State Journal-Register on November 28, 2019.