Friday, August 29, 2014

UIS men’s soccer team hopes to build on productive 2013

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s soccer team scored nearly twice as many goals last season as it did in 2012 and produced more wins than the previous four seasons combined.

UIS coach Jesse Miech then stocked the cupboard in the offseason with quality talent. All of this should point to a bright future and present for the Prairie Stars.

“We have a 25-man roster, which is more than we had last year,” UIS sophomore defender Addison Ferry said. “The competitiveness of the practice is way higher, which will ultimately help us. There are a lot of freshmen, and they’re all pretty talented.”

The team was featured by The State Journal-Register on August 28, 2014.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UIS picked seventh in East in preseason volleyball poll

The University of Illinois Springfield volleyball team was voted by league coaches to finish seventh in the East Division in the Great Lakes Valley Conference preseason poll.

Indianapolis was picked to win the division. The Greyhounds received nine first-place votes and 112 points. Lewis was second with 110 points and earned seven first-place votes. Southern Indiana (95), Bellarmine (68), McKendree (62), Wisconsin-Parkside (58), UIS (35) and Saint Joseph’s (27) round out the list.

The story was published by The State Journal-Register on August 26, 2014.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Bridge gives head start to UIS freshmen

Successful college learning sometimes requires a jump-start unencumbered by the distractions of making new friends, learning the campus and adjusting to life away from home.

The Summer Bridge program at the University of Illinois Springfield is designed just for that — to help students prepare academically and socially for the transition into college.

The program, now in its third year, doubled in size to include 53 incoming freshmen from two separate “living-learning communities” that include a large number of students who are the first generation of their families to attend college.

“We want to make sure they know the demands of college-level courses and can meet those demands when school starts,” said Tarah Sweeting-Trotter, a UIS academic adviser and coordinator of the two-week Summer Bridge program.

The program was featured by The State Journal-Register on August 20, 2014.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer program bridges the gap at UIS

It's almost that time, college freshman will be arriving on college campuses across the state and starting a new chapter of their lives.

The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) is already working to make sure students adjust to all of the challenges freshman year brings.

"It was important for me to go to college because I would be the first one in my family to go," said Rebecca Garcia, incoming freshman at UIS.

"I want to be better than my parents. I want to take care of my future family, and my current family, and I want to be a successful person," said Anthony Boyd, incoming freshman at UIS.

The UIS class of 2018 is made up of students from diverse backgrounds, but they all have a common goal, graduation.

"A lot of these students are first generation college students, a lot of them might feel like they're academically under prepared, so they're very interested in resources that exist to help them be successful here," said Dr. Tarah Sweeting-Trotter, Coordinator, Summer Bridge Program at UIS.

The Summer Bridge Program at UIS helps ease the transition from high school to college life.

"The past two weeks we've been doing math courses and English courses. We've also been talking about financial stuff and housing, so we're getting ahead of the other freshman that will just be starting the first day," said Boyd.

UIS started the Summer Bridge Program three years ago. Students spend two weeks before school starts in classes sharpening up basic skills and learning new lessons.

The program was featured by WICS-TV 20 on August 14, 2014.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Susan Koch: Great examples on campus for new faculty

The following is a portion of a guest column written by UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. It was published on August 10, 2014 in The State Journal-Register.

"My calendar signals that students will soon be arriving for the start of the Fall 2014 semester at the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

At the same time we’re greeting students, we’ll also be welcoming 24 new faculty; newcomers from across the country and around the world who will join a community of creative and dedicated professors at UIS and who will also become residents of the Springfield area. These new arrivals are part of what author Thomas Friedman calls the “human intellectual capital” that is such an essential element of a thriving 21st century community … and that is the bedrock of a high-quality university."

Read the full column online

'The Price is Right' coming to Springfield

A touring show of “The Price is Right Live” will be coming to Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17.

Tickets at a price that has not yet been specified go on sale Thursday.

However, to line up beforehand for a chance to be in the show does not require a ticket, and buying a ticket to see the show itself will not increase your chances of being selected to be a contestant.

Registration to be a contestant will begin three hours before show time.

For more information, call 217-206-6106.

The story was published by the Peoria Journal Star on August 8, 2014.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

UIS names new tennis coach

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s and women’s tennis programs have a new face and it is 24-year-old Tom Rees.

He replaces Manny Velasco as head coach. Velasco retired in June after 33 years of coaching.

Rees is a first time head coach. He was an assistant at NCAA Division II University of North Georgia the past two seasons. He was chosen as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southeast Region Men’s Tennis Assistant Coach of the Year in May. North Georgia held a No. 23 ranking and qualified for the NCAA Tournament during his stint. The women’s team set program-best records in 2013 and 2014.

“(UIS athletic director Kim Pate) and the whole athletic department is pointing UIS athletics in the right direction,” Rees said. “I’m excited.”

Rees was featured by The State Journal-Register on August 8, 2014.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Local expert explains Ebola virus

There has been a lot of talk about the Ebola virus lately, especially with Americans who have contracted the disease coming back to the states. Many people are not quite sure how it spreads. We got the chance to talk to an expert on the topic.

Josiah Alamu, a University of Illinois Springfield professor from West Africa, explained to us how the disease spreads, and how the cultural aspect contributes to the rapid spreading of the disease as well.

"Ebola is extremely infectious when somebody shows signs and symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea during the later stage before death," Alamu said. "So people who are caring for these people have already had contact with the fluid, the secretion, the urine, the vomiting, you know all those things, and they also have been exposed."

Alamu says caretakers share the news of the patients with families of friends and spread the disease to even more people during this time. He also says it was difficult to get a handle on Ebola sooner because they don't trust other countries, so it was hard for them to get the assistance.

Alamu was featured by WICS-TV 20 on August 6, 2014.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Springfield still a city of neighborhoods, survey shows

Springfield residents retain a strong sense of neighborhood identity even after decades of population shifts to smaller surrounding communities, a survey by University of Illinois Springfield and a local planning commission found.

There was less optimism on long-term stability in the survey released Monday, with more than 20 percent saying their neighborhoods would be worse places to live in coming years.

Nearly 730 residents of Sangamon County responded to the “Neighborhood Survey,” taken this spring and summer. It was the first in-depth survey of neighborhood sentiments since 1975, said Norm Sims, executive director of the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission.

Residents in north Sangamon County were most satisfied with their neighborhoods, with nearly 96 percent reporting liking where they live, while satisfaction was lowest in northeast Springfield, where the favorability rating was nearly 82 percent of residents.

“If they don’t have a neighborhood identity, I think they’re trying to get one,” said Ashley Kirzinger, director of the UIS Research Office. “The county was the only place where they’d say, we don’t really have a neighborhood.”

The story was published in The State Journal-Register on August 5, 2014.

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Monday, August 4, 2014

UIS unveils new athletic logo

A fresh appearance for their school’s sports teams will greet University of Illinois Springfield students when they return to campus for the fall semester in a few weeks.

UIS unveiled a new logo during a ceremony on Friday at The Recreation and Athletic Center. The logo, featuring “UIS” and a single motion star, is navy, Vegas gold and white.

“We cleaned it up and simplified it,” UIS athletic director Kim Pate said.

The release of the logo comes six months after the school announced it would retain the Prairie Stars nickname, which dates back to 1977. A process to examine nickname alternatives began in 2012. Among the proposed name suggestions were Stars, Mammoths, Sabers, Stampede and Springers.

Pate assured those in attendance Friday that “Prairie Stars” is here to stay. Free shirts, balls, bracelets, buttons and other items featuring the new UIS and Prairie Stars logos were distributed to those on hand. A tarp was removed from the gymnasium floor and revealed the new logo painted on the court.

Studio Simon of Louisville, Kentucky, designed the graphics, which include 11 primary marks and sport-specific logos.

The story was published in The State Journal-Register on August 2, 2014.

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Smith leaves legacy of speed, versatility at UIS

At the plate, she was dependable. In the field, she was versatile and on the base paths, she was one of the fastest ever at University of Illinois Springfield.

Nokomis graduate Mandy Smith, who suited up for University of Illinois Springfield during the last four years, led the team in stolen bases two of those years. She was second in stolen bases one other year. At the plate, she never had a batting average lower than .245 and batted as high as .312. In the field, she played second base, right field and centerfield.

"I am a big fan of right field," said the former Redskin player. "Everyone thinks that right is a boring spot, but in college it is not. I played quite a bit of infield during high school, so I was very used to that position. Center was a ton of running and backing up the middle infield."

But, she was good at all three spots and probably because of her bat and her ability to steal bases, was a constant starter in the lineup. From her freshman year, she started every game.

"I had the great fortune to never be injured and to be good enough to play," said Smith. "It was a good four years for me. They were like a family and we had great times. I have some great memories."

Smith finished her career with a .286 batting average. In 640 trips to the plate, she had 183 hits (16 doubles, three triples). She also had 105 runs scored, 71 stolen bases, 52 RBIs and 49 walks. For her career, she made 239 putouts, 112 assisted putouts and 19 errors for a fielding percentage of .949.

Smith was featured by the Hillsboro Journal-News on August 4, 2014.

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