Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WUIS, Illinois Issues join together in new media age

The transition in how people get their news in the age of the Internet is playing out in Springfield, as two longtime institutions — Illinois Issues magazine and radio station WUIS — have merged operations.

RANDY ECCLES, who came to WUIS as its development director in 2008 and became general manager in 2013, is overseeing the operation as interim general manager and publisher. He said the station and magazine actually merged as of July 1, and cross-training continues.

Staff of the magazine have now moved into the same building at the University of Illinois campus that houses the radio station, which is part of NPR. Reporters who have been heard on the radio are becoming regular writers for the magazine, and traditionally print reporters have been learning digital editing and are doing radio stories as well.

Strategic planning for the future began under now-retired Illinois Issues editor DANA HEUPEL, who left the job in early 2014, and Eccles said that process led to the merger.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 24, 2014.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

UIS Intensive English Program Graduation

In September WICS brought you the story of the Intensive English Program at the University of Illinois Springfield that's attracting students from all over the world.

The program's goal is to teach foreign students English, and then have them get degrees at UIS. 

Thursday, the students featured in our story graduated from the program and are ready to take classes at UIS.

The celebration afterwards was a mix of culture and honors.

"I will go to try some traditional classes and make some new friends and of course go back and see my old friends," Yawen Li, graduate, UIS Intensive English Program.

UIS administrators say the number of students attending the program has doubled over the years and they hope, it continues to grow.

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on Thursday, December 18, 2014.

Read the story online.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UIS web team help students with finals stress

It's finals week at UIS and students have a new way to hit a winner.

The school's web team created an interactive Pong game for its homepage. It's the old-fashioned video game. It's a stress buster for students and they say it's definitely doing the trick.

"It's definitely a welcomed break from finals and the stress," said Brittany Carls, UIS senior. "It's good to pull up the picture and see 'Oh there's a game' instead of a picture, so just take a little break and play some Pong."

The game is currently on the website, but not for long. It is scheduled to be taken down on Wednesday, but school officials say they may keep the pong up until finals end on Friday because of its popularity.

The game had more than 9,000 hits in less than 24 hours.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on December 16, 2014.

Watch the story online

Monday, December 15, 2014

Susan Koch: Important factors for enrolling in college

The following is a portion of a guest column written by UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. It was published in The State Journal-Register on December 14, 2014.

"One of the most enjoyable aspects of serving as the leader of a university is spending time with talented young people.

I’m always interested to learn from University of Illinois Springfield students how they successfully navigated the college decision process and ultimately chose the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois for their college experience.

For first-year students from Illinois, there are well over 100 possibilities in-state alone, and the type of school, distance from home, academic majors offered, cost, selectivity, size, location, housing, student life and even food are all important factors that help students match their personal profile to the right institution. Navigating through the possibilities and making the right match, however, can be both challenging and complicated.

For students (and parents) considering UIS, one of the best resources for navigating the college decision process is our talented Director of Admissions Fernando Planas."

Read the full column online

Local colleges have protocols on sexual assaults

“We go over sexual assaults, sex offenses, date rape drugs and other things at orientation,” UIS Police Chief Don Mitchell said. “If one is reported, we do the same as if it was the city, county or state police investigating.”

The protocol, published on the UIS Police Department website, tells victims of sexual assault not to shower but to go immediately to a hospital and report the incident to campus police, the UIS Women’s Center or the UIS Counseling Center.

“We do a follow-up investigation and work with city, county and state police, state particularly if the offense is committed off campus by UIS students,” Mitchell said. “We handle the investigation here.”

UIS offers counseling services as well as a rape aggression defense course that’s offered to students, faculty and staff and is taught every semester. The class is sponsored by the UIS Women’s Center and the campus police department.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 15, 2014.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

UIS offers free online course on wrongful convictions

The University of Illinois Springfield plans to offer a free online class examining the issues surrounding wrongful convictions.

The university said Wednesday that online registration is underway for the six-week course, which begins in February and is open to the public. Participants need not be enrolled at the university.

It will examine the scope and causes of wrongful convictions and the difficulties in trying to free innocent people after they have been convicted. It also will consider strategies to prevent future wrongful convictions.

The course will be taught by assistant professor Gwen Jordan, who also is a staff attorney for the Illinois Innocence Project.

The class was highlighted by the Associated Press on Dec. 11, 2014.

Read the article online

UIS' Meredith Marti scores 36 in 87-point rout

Junior guard Meredith Marti poured in 36 points and a school-record 3-pointers in the University of Illinois Springfield's 104-17 win against Robert Morris University-Peoria at The Recreation and Athletic Center Wednesday.

Marti was 12-for-20 from the field and made 12 of 19 shots from 3-point range. She added six assists, six rebounds and three steals.

Senior guard Courtney Knuckles scored 24 on 10-for-14 shooting from the field in the third consecutive win for the Prairie Stars (4-3).

UIS held a 47-5 halftime lead. The Stars set a single-game scoring record with 104 points bettering the previous high of 89. The Stars also set records for most points by an individual player (36), most 3-point attempts and made 3-pointers by a single player (12-for-19), most 3-pointers by a team (17) and most assists in game (31).

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on Dec. 11, 2014.

Read the article online

Monday, December 8, 2014

UIS men's basketball team blows out Millikin

Mark Weems and Jamall Millison each scored 17 points Saturday to lead the University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team past Millikin 89-49 at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Weems went 6-for-9 from the field and made five of eight free throws. Millison hit seven of 13 shots, including two 3-pointers, and JJ Cravatta added 15 points for the Prairie Stars (5-1).

UIS’ Dylan Sparkman also hit double figures with 13 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

UIS shot 56.3 percent from the field, making 36 of 64. The NCAA Division II Prairie Star held Division III Millikin to 23.8 percent shooting (15 of 63).

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 7, 2014.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Bids go out for UIS public safety building

Bids are expected to be awarded in early March for a new Public Safety Building at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The building, which has been in the works for several years, will be the first new building on campus since Founders Residence Hall opened in August 2008.

“It went out for bids Nov. 19, and there was a roomful of contractors at our pre-bid meeting,” said Chuck Coderko, director of construction for UIS.

The state has appropriated $5.3 million through the Illinois Capital Development Board for the entire project. Construction costs are estimated to be less than $4.35 million.

UIS and Capital Development Board officials had hoped to begin the project more than a year ago, but delays in designing the building pushed the start date back. The building has been in the design phase for the past year and a half, Coderko said.

“Even though it has been a slow process, we’re really pleased with the design,” UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said. “This is a long-awaited project for us, and we’re really happy it is moving forward.”

Coderko said the one-story, 9,000-square-foot building will house 22 people — 13 UIS public safety officers, a chief and sergeant, dispatchers, and other staff — who are currently located in a house on the north side of campus.

The house “doesn’t meet the state requirements for a police department,” Coderko said. 
Koch said the new building “is professional and appropriate for a growing campus.”

“Campus safety is a very high priority for us,” she said.

This story appeared online at The State Journal-Register on December 4, 2014.  

Read the entire story online. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Women's Basketball: Balanced Stars rally past Oakland City

The University of Illinois Springfield went on a 20-2 run in the second half to convert an 8-point deficit into a 10-point lead en route to a 61-55 win over Oakland City in a non-conference game at TRAC.

The Mighty Oaks ran off eight unanswered points to cut the deficit to 57-55 with 1 minute 36 seconds left, but the Prairie Stars held on for their third win in six games.

Briana Stars hit six of nine field goals and scored 15 points – including eight in the run – to lead a balanced UIS. The Prairie Stars rallied from a 34-31 halftime deficit as Oakland City connected on only eight of 27 second-half field goals, .296.

Syerra Cunningham scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, and Shelby Patterson and Courtney Knuckles added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The win was featured by The State Journal-Register on December 4, 2014.

Read the article online

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

UIS adding cross country, track and field teams next year

The number of University of Illinois Springfield-sponsored athletic programs has grown to 15 with Tuesday’s announcement that the Prairie Stars will add men’s and women’s cross country and track for the 2015-16 school year.

“After much discussion, research and considerable dialogue, it was obvious that a cross country and distance-focused track and field program would be a great fit for our campus and the Springfield community,” UIS athletic director Kim Pate said at a press conference at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

“We have a talented pool of prospective student-athletes throughout central Illinois and across the region as well as ample space on campus to support program growth and a strong running community to back the program.”

UIS currently offers 11 sports, five for men and six for women. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will take part in NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference competition in the fall.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 3, 2014.

Read the article online

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

UIS men's basketball team rolls past Blue Tigers

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team spotted Lincoln University the first two points and then didn't trail again in an 81-55 victory Monday night at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

It was the second time this season that UIS defeated Lincoln. The Prairie Stars beat the Blue Tigers 72-67 at Jefferson City, Mo., on Nov. 24.

After the 2-0 deficit, UIS went on a 16-1 run and led 16-3 midway through the first half.

The Prairie Stars eventually doubled-up Lincoln in the half, taking a 38-19 lead into intermission. UIS, which improved to 4-1, was able to go deep into its bench in the second half as 11 players got into the scoring column.

Junior guard Jamall Millison netted a team-high 17 points on five of eight shooting from the floor for the Prairie Stars. He nailed three of five attempts from 3-point range.

UIS center Dylan Sparkman also made five of eight shots and finished with 13 points and six rebounds.

Junior forward Sammie Elem chipped in 13 points and had a team-high 10 boards, and junior guard Davi Austin made two 3s and added eight points and five assists for the Prairie Stars.

The article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on December 1, 2014.

Read the full article here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

International Thanksgiving

You may not remember your first Thanksgiving, but a group of international students at UIS will certainly remember theirs.

Nearly 20 graduate students were invited over Friday for a late Thanksgiving dinner. It was hosted by Jeannie Capranica, who works in international services at UIS.

Thursday the students tried traditional American Thanksgiving meals.

Friday they made recipes familiar to their homes.

"Learning something new is very fascinating. If we are doing something new- I'm just knowing the cultures over here. In India we know that how the culture is over there, but we are sharing our cultures with the Americans over here so we are also a part of it," graduate student Vishal Patel said.

Patel says most of the students are getting Masters Degrees in management information systems and computer science--all computer studies.

The article appeared online at on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

Read the article here.