Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Flag display raising sexual assault awareness at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield is observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action.

The UIS Women's Center and Civic Engagement Center created a display of 1,000 flags.

The flags represent the 433,000 Americans who are sexually assaulted each year. Each flag represents 433 Americans.

This story appeared on WICS on April 6, 2021.


Monday, April 5, 2021

University of Illinois system will not require ACT, SAT for admission for 2 years

The University of Illinois System announced Thursday that three state universities will not require students to submit standardized test scores for admission applications.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois Chicago and University of Illinois Springfield will allow high school students to apply for admission for the two upcoming academic years without taking the ACT or SAT.

The request to the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees was made in response to restrictions on large gatherings that limited students' ability to take standardized tests.

This story aired on WAND TV on April 2, 2021.

Watch this story online.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Women's Softball: UIS tallies two wins against Eagles

University of Illinois Springfield chalked up a couple of wins against Southern Indiana on Sunday, edging the Eagles 8-7 in Game 1 and dominating the second contest 10-2 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 21, 2021.

Men's Baseball: UIS sweeps doubleheader against Lewis

No. 14-ranked University of Illinois Springfield improved to 10-2 overall with two victories on Sunday at UIS Baseball Field, winning Game 1 by a score of 13-5 and the second game 10-8, over Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent Lewis University.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 21, 2021.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

WBCA names UIS assistant coach Kotas to its Thirty Under 30 list

University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball assistant coach Jenna Kotas has been named one of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Thirty Under 30 honorees, the organization announced on Wednesday.

“I am honored to be recognized by the WBCA and be named to the Thirty Under 30 class of 2021 with so many young, dedicated coaches,” Kotas said in a UIS press release. “It is a privilege to coach women's basketball, and mentor and impact student-athletes. I would like to thank those who nominated and voted for me for this award. A huge thank you to my family, mentors, peers, former coaches, current/former players, and also (head) coach (Casey) Thousand and (assistant) coach (Destiny) Ramsey for helping me grow as a coach and as an individual every single day.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 17, 2021.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

UIS graduates will have option of a 'stage experience' for commencement

Tasneem Shaik said her mother and father are coming from India for her graduation from the University of Illinois Springfield in May.

That experience will look a little different than past UIS graduations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students like Shaik, who is getting her master's degree in computer science, are being given the option of having an in-person “stage experience” days before a May 15 virtual commencement celebration.

Students were informed of the plan last week.

UIS degree candidates who book the “stage experience” will be able to walk across the Sangamon Auditorium stage to be congratulated by UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney and UIS Provost Dennis Papini, who will be wearing full academic regalia.

The stage will be set up like it usually is for graduation, said Joan Sestak, the director of community and governmental relations in the chancellor's office and a co-chair of the commencement committee.

Up to four guests per graduate will be allowed in the audience.

The "stage experience," which will last five to 10 minutes for each student, will be live-streamed on the UIS website for guests to watch, beyond the four who attend in person.

Whitney said the celebrations will allow UIS to continue to follow United in Safety protocols while celebrating graduates’ academic accomplishments. United in Safety is the campus' plan for safety expectations, testing protocols, teaching and learning strategies and efforts to promote and prioritize well-being.

“We all want to return to our large traditional commencement ceremony, but we must wait until it’s safe to do so,” Whitney said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 15, 2021.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Women's Basketball: UIS guards Ladowski, Jackson earn all-GLVC women's basketball honors

University of Illinois Springfield junior guard Lauren Ladowski moved up to the Great Lakes Valley Conference second team Tuesday after reaching the league's third team honor last season.

A second UIS guard, sophomore Malea Jackson, was also named to the league's third team on Tuesday.

Both guards were named to the GLVC all-freshman team their respective debut seasons.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on March 2, 2021.

Read the entire article online.

Men's Basketball: UIS forward Jack Weber tabbed on GLVC All-Freshman team

University of Illinois Springfield forward Jack Weber reached the Great Lakes Valley Conference all-freshman team on Tuesday.

Weber ranked third on the team with 12.4 points per game, which was also third among GLVC freshman. He also led the conference in shooting percentage, converting 105 of 163 (64.4%) shot attempts. He additionally had 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on March 2, 2021.

Men's Track and Field: Lincoln grad Blake Jones becomes first UIS men's runner to advance to indoor nationals

University of Illinois Springfield sophomore long-distance runner Blake Jones will compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Friday, March 12 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Lincoln High School graduate is the first UIS men’s track and field athlete to advance to the event. He set an automatic qualifying mark in the 5,000-meter run earlier this season with a time of 14:02.84, which also shattered the previous school record and ranks 15th best nationally. He will be among 16 participants in the race.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on March 2, 2021.

UIS, LLCC to host virtual Career Connections Expo

People in Central Illinois looking for a career have a great opportunity coming up this week, and you won't even have to leave home for it.

The University of Illinois Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College are hosting the 2021 Virtual Career Connections Expo.

It will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 4.

Representatives with more than 50 organizations are expected to attend.

This story aired on WICS on March 2, 2021.

Watch the story online.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Women's Basketball: UIS junior guard Lauren Ladowski picks up first GLVC player of the week honors

University of Illinois Springfield junior guard Lauren Ladowski was named Great Lakes Valley Conference women's basketball player of the week for the first time in her career on Monday.

Ladowski, a 5-foot-7 Lake Central High School graduate from St. John, Indiana, became the school's all-time leader in made free throws against Rockhurst and eclipsed the 1,000-point career milestone against Southwest Baptist.

Ladowski leads UIS with 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game this season while shooting 41.9% from the field. She was named Third-Team All-GLVC in 2020.

This article was published in The State Journal-Register on February 22, 2021.

Monday, February 22, 2021

UIS Innocence Project gets pardon for client from Pritzker

The Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield announced that one of its clients, who was wrongfully convicted twice, has been pardoned by Gov. JB Pritzker.

Norman Propst, formerly of Chicago, was convicted of robbery in 1990 and of retail theft from a Borders bookstore in 1997.

“We are thrilled that the governor has granted clemency to Norman Propst for these wrongful convictions,” said John Hanlon, executive director of the Illinois Innocence Project. “So many unjust convictions have occurred to innocent young Black men in Chicago. Unfortunately, Norman suffered for that reality. We are, however, so proud of the unselfish and successful way that he has devoted himself to his community since he left Chicago."

Propst pleaded guilty in the 1990 case to avoid a possible 15-year prison sentence as his mother's health was worsening. In 1997, he pleaded guilty also to avoid prolonging the court proceedings.

Hanlon said the false convictions on Propst's record have been a barrier to Propst moving forward in his life.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 19, 2021.

Women's Basketball: Ladowski hits 1,000 points; UIS goes above .500

Lauren Ladowski scored a game-high 28 points and University of Illinois Springfield went on an 11-2 run with under 4 minutes to play to claim a 63-58 victory over Southwest Baptist on Saturday in a women's Great Lakes Valley Conference game at Meyer Sports Center.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 21, 2021.

Monday, February 15, 2021

UIS PERSPECTIVES: Planning, transparency and community mark UIS’ COVID-19 response

The following is an excerpt from a column by Bethany Bilyeu, UIS executive director of Student Support Services. This column appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 13, 2021.

As we are quickly moving through this new year, many of us have spent time reflecting on the past year, and 2020 provided us so much to reflect on. In past years, there are several things that we can safely say are behind us as we look at them in the rear-view mirror. However, this year, there are still many things that we will continue to navigate.

For most of the last year, I have spent most of my personal and professional energy dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as so many others have. I am a member of the University of Illinois Springfield’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team. The team’s main purpose is to shepherd UIS through the COVID-19 pandemic, and I believe UIS has done a remarkable job managing COVID-19 on our campus.

For Fall 2020 to be as successful as it was, months of planning and coordination occurred throughout the U of I system. Last spring, as word quickly spread around the world of the growing pandemic, the University of Illinois initiated a system-wide response team that helped guide our COVID-19 response at each of its three universities.

Our campus has risen to meet these many challenges with grace and compassion. I am awestruck by the level of support at this university. One of the most rewarding parts of the past year has been seeing people support one another through this exceedingly difficult time.

Over the past year, many of us have had to make unbelievably hard choices and sacrifices, and more may be coming. And yet, I am hopeful for the future not only for UIS but society at large. I witnessed a group of people coming together in many ways for the first time to work together delivering great outcomes. I know it’s possible for people with different interests to engage in tough conversations and find common ground for the betterment of everyone.

Read the entire article online.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Center at UIS hopes to steer Lincoln scholars to his life in Illinois

To fully embrace a historical figure like Abraham Lincoln, Anne Moseley said, you have to literally walk in his footsteps.

A prime example, said Moseley, the acting director of the Center for Lincoln Studies — which officially opens Friday — is walking into the House of Representatives at the Old State Capitol, the spot where Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech in 1858 after he had accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination for U.S. senator.

"There is a presence you feel when you walk into (the Old State Capitol)," Moseley insisted. "To quote 'Hamilton,' 'It's the room where it happens.' Anyone who is passionate about Lincoln and passionate about studying his life and times, you have to come to Illinois in order to embrace Lincoln and understand him. That's how you make good scholarship."

The center, which is housed at the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Center, has a goal of getting researchers to look into Lincoln's life in central Illinois and "to discover the Lincoln we know and love," Moseley said.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 10, 2021.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

It’s a virtual grand opening for the Center for Lincoln Studies on Friday

The Center for Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield will hold a virtual grand opening on Lincoln's Birthday Feb. 12, 2021.

WTAX's Joey McLaughlin talks with the acting director of the Center for Lincoln Studies, Anne Moseley, about the center and its virtual grand opening for the center this Friday.

The interview aired on WTAX on Feb. 9, 2021. Listen to a recording online.

Women's Basketball: UIS coach Casey Thousand collects 100th career win after defensive stand against Lindenwood

University of Illinois Springfield's defense smothered Lindenwood and Prairie Stars coach Casey Thousand netted her 100th career victory 56-46 in a women's basketball Great Lakes Valley Conference contest at The Recreation and Athletic Center on Tuesday.

A 9-0 run in the fourth quarter clinched the win, sparked by Jalyn Harris who gathered an offensive rebound and scored the layup after missing her second free throw attempt for her only points of the night.

Lauren Ladowski led UIS with 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists on Tuesday. Malea Jackson had 13 points and five rebounds in the win. Liz Uhl added nine points while Makenna Fee had three blocks.

Thousand is in her second season at UIS but ninth overall as a head coach. From 2009-2016, she won 83 games at Edgewood, and she has now won 17 games at UIS.

This story was published in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 9, 2021.

3 appointed to U of I System Board of Trustees


Gov. JB Pritzker, D-Illinois, has appointed three people to the University of Illinois System Board of Trustees.

On Friday, Pritzker named the following individuals to six-year terms on the board:
Ramón Cepeda, finance executive
Sarah Phalen, banking executive
Tami Craig Schilling, agricultural communicator

The board, which oversees the U of I System, consists of 13 members, 11 of whom vote.

The governor appoints nine trustees to the board. No more than five board members may belong to a single political party.

Sarah Phalen is a Republican from Springfield. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and her MBA from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Phalen serves as the president and CEO of INB, a 13-branch bank headquartered in Springfield.

In addition, she is the treasurer of the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance and treasurer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on Feb. 9, 2021.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

UIS to offer these accelerated and blended courses beginning March 15

The University of Illinois Springfield will offer more than two dozen accelerated online and blended courses for prospective and current students.

Most classes begin March 15, and conclude in early May.

“This is a great opportunity for new UIS students to start or finish their education,” said UIS interim chancellor Karen Whitney. “It’s also a chance for current students to add to their course load and potentially earn their degree in a shorter period of time.”

Accelerated courses will be offered in accounting, athletic training, business, communication, education, educational leadership, human development counseling, management, management information systems, mathematics, and music.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 9, 2021.

Read the entire story online.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Women's Basketball: Ladowski's accuracy at line lifts UIS past Indianapolis

Lauren Ladowski was given a second chance and the junior guard took advantage of the opportunity for the University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team.

Ladowski scored 11 points in overtime and lifted the Prairie Stars to a 69-63 victory over Indianapolis on Thursday in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game at Nicoson Hall.

Ladowski — who finished with a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds and five steals — immediately regrouped by putting UIS ahead in OT when she made a jumper at 4:17. After the Greyhounds knotted the score at 55, UIS junior guard Grace Weber scored four straight points for a 59-55 advantage, and the Prairie Stars never trailed again.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on January 28, 2021.

Abraham Lincoln Birthday symposium to be held remotely

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of Coronavirus may speedily pass away,” said Abraham Lincoln Association President Michael Burlingame as he paraphrased the famous Lincoln quotation.

Burlingame made the statement while announcing that the annual symposium commemorating Lincoln's 212th Birthday will be held remotely this year, with the full slate of speakers available on-line.

The Symposium is named for Benjamin P. Thomas (1902-1956), the renowned Lincoln biographer and one-time Executive Secretary of The Abraham Lincoln Association. The symposium is supported by a generous gift of Thomas's daughter, Sarah Thomas, and her family to The Abraham Lincoln Association Endowment Fund. The event is co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Springfield. For more information about the Abraham Lincoln Association, visit www.abrahamlincolnassociation.org.

This story appeared in the Canton Daily Ledger on January 28, 2021.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Springfield firefighters required to do weekly saliva COVID-19 testing

The Springfield Fire Department officially began weekly rapid saliva COVID-19 testing in partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS).

The Springfield Fire Department is requiring their workers to get tested for COVID-19 every week on the UIS campus.

“We are sending every crew every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week to go to UIS and to get tested,” Springfield Fire Chief Brandon Blough said.

The Springfield Fire Department expects to test around 150 to 200 people a week. Most should expect the results from UIS within 24 hours.

This story aired on WICS on Jan. 26, 2021.

UIS online bachelor’s degree programs ranked among the top 10 percent in the country

The University of Illinois Springfield’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked 34th best in the country (out of 357 institutions) by U.S. News and World Report.

The 2021 ranking put UIS among the top 10 percent of best online bachelor’s degree programs in the United States.

UIS’ online master’s degree programs were also ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report. The management information systems online master’s degree was ranked 53 out of 184 in the non-MBA business category. The UIS online master’s degree in education was ranked 91 out of 317 degrees.

“UIS has ranked among the top tier of U.S. News Best Online Program rankings of undergraduate programs since their inception in 2012,” said Ray Schroeder, UIS associate vice chancellor of online learning. “We are honored to once again be ranked among the top 10 percent of online programs by the rigorous and highly respected rankings by U.S. News. With this recognition comes our promise to continue to provide excellence in all of our online classes and programs.”

This story appeared on WAND January 26, 2021.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

University of Illinois tuition hike, delayed because of COVID-19, will kick in next year, as trustees consider room and board cost increase

The University of Illinois will become more expensive for some in-state students next fall if the board of trustees agrees to raise fees for housing and campus services.

Despite concerns about the ballooning cost of college, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, university officials proposed the increases at a Wednesday meeting of the board’s academic and student affairs committee.

The full board will vote Thursday on the measure, which would boost undergraduate room and board rates by 1.4% at the Springfield campus for new students in the 2021-22 school year. The proposal also calls for student fees and assessments to rise by 0.8% at the two most populous locations.

While the proposal keeps tuition the same, new in-state undergraduates and sophomores will have to pay more for the first time since 2014.

Barbara Wilson, vice president for academic affairs for the U. of I. system, described the proposed increases in student fees and housing as “modest” and necessary to offset inflation.

This story appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Jan. 20, 2021.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

UIS health roundtable will discuss vaccines, herd immunity

The University of Illinois Springfield Innovation Hub, UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership and the Community Health Roundtable will host a Zoom public webinar titled “COVID-19 Vaccine: The Journey to Immunity” at noon on Friday.

The roundtable will feature public health and health care panelists discussing the COVID-19 vaccine and answering questions around the safety and efficacy of each vaccine, allocation and distribution.

Additionally, panelists will discuss COVID-19’s impact on specific populations and how the impact has determined vaccine prioritization, along with giving some understanding of when herd immunity will be reached.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Jan. 12, 2021.

Men's Basketball: Wendling lights it up from downtown to lead UIS over Lewis

Matt Wendling went six for seven from three point range and finished with 20 points to help UIS beat Lewis 69-54 on Tuesday evening.

Chase Robinson led the Prairie Stars with 21 points while Keymonta Johnson chipped in 16 points and 13 rebounds.

This story aired on Sports Radio 1450 on January 12, 2021.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Bulls Tab Chigozie Umeadi as Director of Basketball Operations


The Chicago Bulls have made yet another addition to their basketball operations department

Chigozie Umeadi is the newest member of the Bulls’ front office, joining Executive VP Arturas Karnisovas and GM Marc Eversley in their first year in the basketball operagtions department.

Umeadi, a Chicago native and basketball product of Fenton high school, comes from NBA HQ, where he worked for nearly eight years.

After graduating from the University of Illinois-Springfield, Umeadi worked his way through the NBA’s basketball operations, strategy, and analytics departments before getting the nod from his hometown team.

This story appeared in On Tap Sports Net on January 7, 2021.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

“Whatever it takes” – UIS official led with love

Dr. Clarice Ford lived a storied life before coming to Springfield where her impact will be felt for generations to come. Her first positions at University of Illinois Springfield, in 2008, were executive director of the diversity center and associate vice chancellor of student services. In 2014, she became the vice chancellor for student affairs. She died earlier this year after a brief illness.

Ford’s best known phrase was “whatever it takes” – a missive to students to graduate and succeed no matter the obstacles. 

One testament to the power of her mentorship is evident in her protégé, Justin Rose, a former student who is now in the position she first held at UIS as director of the diversity center. Rose said Ford’s role in the lives of students often transcended that of adviser. Many came to call her “Mama Ford."

Ford’s legacy will live on, not only in the countless students whose lives she touched, but also in a UIS fund in her name and a planned section of the UIS library in her honor. The Outlet has also set up a scholarship fund in her name. 

This story appeared in the Illinois Times on December 31, 2020.