Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rickson to play soccer at UIS

Kimmie Rickson, a girls soccer player at Peotone High School, recently signed her letter of intent to continue her soccer career for the Prairie Stars of University of Illinois-Springfield. 

Kimmie will be majoring in Biology.

This story appeared online in the Peotone Vedette on May 28, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

UIS' link to Cybersecurity

The head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois-Springfield says it’s pretty hard to fight cyber attacks.

But Ted Mims says his students try to do it, as there’s a curriculum in place dealing with computer and network security, and forensic investigation of computers.

That said, Mims says there’s nothing you can do once a data breach has hit a retailer, except try to make the system better.

Mims says if the Pentagon can’t even keep its computer systems perfectly secure, no one can. UIS, though, has been recertified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through the government.

This story appeared on WTAX Newsradio on Monday, May 25, 2015.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Professor writes book about father's World War II experiences

Growing up, Paul McDevitt never knew what his father did during World War II. About six years ago, all that changed when he was given a box full of old letters that his late father, Joseph B. McDevitt, had written home during the war.

The letters revealed a perilous career as the leader of a group of landing boats from the attack transport ship USS Leon. It was the elder McDevitt’s job to lead the boats to shore under heavy enemy fire, unload the Marines, and then return to the Leon so the whole process could be repeated.

As McDevitt thumbed through more and more of the letters, he realized that his father had participated in amphibious assaults at Saipan, Palau, Leyte, Luzon and Okinawa.

“My dad was like many of those veterans. He came home from the war, and I think he tried very hard to forget the things he had seen and the things he had done. He never talked to any of my brothers or sisters or to me about the war,” McDevitt said. “When I read about the five amphibious assaults he participated in as boat group leader for an attack transport … I was unbelievably stunned.”

McDevitt, professor emeritus in business administration at the University of Illinois Springfield, was so moved by his father’s letters he decided to write a book based on them.

“All Came Home” is available online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

This story appeared online in The State Journal-Register on May 24, 2015.

Read the entire article here

Saturday, May 23, 2015

New U of I president visits Springfield campus

The new president of University of Illinois made the rounds to the school's campuses this week. 

Timothy Killeen began his term as the 20th university president earlier this week following the retirement of Robert Easter after last weekend's graduation ceremonies.

He visited the Springfield campus earlier today to discuss the university's direction under his leadership. "We are very anxious to take our wonderful 150 year-almost legacy of excellence and expand it's world-class impact in world-class teaching and learning and research, and emphasizing to some degree our role in economic revitalization for the state of Illinois," said Killeen.

Killeen was named the school's 20th president last November. He previously served as the vice chancellor of the State University of New York Research Foundation.

This story appeared online on WICS News Channel 20 on Friday, May 22, 2015.

Watch the story online

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

UIS expert comments on snow day online learning bill

Online courses are common among college students, but now some high schools are also getting in on the act.

Lawmakers have noticed the trend as well as the difficult task districts face in the winter when it comes to closing school.

A new bill at the Capitol hopes to allow students to learn online, at home, instead of canceling school for traditional snow days.

"There are several states, maybe 10 or 12, that have already done this type of thing and so it does make sense for some of our students who are affected adversely by weather conditions," said Vickie Cook, Director for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Online learning is growing in popularity that just this year, a new masters program was created at UIS that allows teachers to receive certificates for e-learning.

"It really does seem like the direction to go that will be effective and efficient in the future," said Cook.

Cook was interviewed by WICS-TV 20 on March 19, 2015.

Watch the story online

Monday, May 18, 2015

Killeen ready to take the reins at UI

The first day for a university president Timothy Killeen has had lots of on-the-job training since that day in mid-November when he arrived at Chicago's Midway Airport to accept his new position at the University of Illinois.

There to greet him at the bottom of the escalator was his predecessor, current UI President Robert Easter. The two had never met; Easter was holding a photo of Killeen so he'd be sure not to miss him.

It was the night before the announcement, and Killeen and his wife, Roberta, went to dinner with Bob and Cheryl Easter. The two presidents hit it off and have worked closely together ever since, on decisions big and small — including a tuition freeze and the creation of a new medical school in Urbana.

The unusual arrangement was designed to provide a smooth transition for Killeen, former vice chancellor for research at the State University of New York, who officially takes over as UI president on Monday.

At first Easter was uncomfortable with the idea: "You're going to name someone and then the old guy's going to hang around for six months?" Both were in deferential mode for a while, each offering to "sit in the back," Killeen said. "I was very careful that everybody knew who was the president and who was not the president."

Over time, Easter has deferred to Killeen more and more, "because it affects his time, his watch." In the decision to endorse the new medical school in March, Easter wrote a rough draft of the statement to the board; Killeen added the "absolutely critical" line that the two medical schools would be collaborative by design, Easter said.

"We tend to think about things in a similar way," Easter said. "He's been very respectful of my responsibilities and I've tried to respect his increasing role."

The UI worked out an arrangement for Killeen to reduce his time at SUNY while he gradually took on more responsibilities in Illinois. He was paid $200 an hour for his UI work, or about $47,200 — 12 hours a week in January and February, 16 hours a week in March and April, and 40 hours a week since April 22, according to the UI. He will take on his full $600,000 presidential salary on Monday.

 Killeen has already moved some things into the UI President's House and stays there when he's in Urbana. His wife will remain in Albany until their son, Cormac, 17, graduates from high school, then join him here. Killeen will also spend significant time in Chicago, but said, "I'm going to be an Urbana resident. I've met many members of the community already and feel wonderfully welcome there." Easter will formally hand over the presidential regalia to Killeen at the Springfield commencement, the last of the day.

Whereupon Killeen will face plenty of challenges — from a UI budget under duress to faculty discontent over the Steven Salaita controversy to allegations that arose last week about the UI's football program.

Perhaps the biggest? Sticking to his agenda as crises pop up. "That's the hardest reality," said former UI President B. Joseph White, who knew Killeen at the University of Michigan.

We asked the UI's past, current and future presidents for their thoughts on what's ahead. The budget ... The state budget crisis tops Killeen's to-do list, as the university works through how it might shoulder a potential 31.5 percent state funding cut — or roughly $208 million.

"I'm actually optimistic that it won't be that bad," Killeen said Tuesday, on his way to Springfield for legislative meetings. The university is not immune from responsibility in solving the state's budget problems, but "I'm making the case wherever I can: This is a very important institution to the state of Illinois," he said. "We're going to make it cogently, we're going to make it with data, we're going to demonstrate the value we bring to the table." Killeen has visited Springfield with Easter and on his own, meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, as well as their chiefs of staff and committee chairs.

This article appeared in The News-Gazette on May 17, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

UIS holds largest commencement ceremony in school's history

Blake Hudson, the student speaker at the University of Illinois Springfield's Saturday commencement ceremony, said people should stop seeing barriers as obstacles and instead view them as opportunities.

"The opportunities we are looking for in life — to serve, to be involved, to be great as individuals and a generation — they really come to us as obstacles," Hudson said prior to delivering his speech. "Sometimes it's a messy river you have to clean up. When you do that, you pursue something that is bigger than yourself."

Hudson, 24, of Zion, was one of more than 950 undergraduate and graduate students who participated in UIS' commencement ceremony at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

More than 1,600 students were eligible to participate. UIS had 740 students participate in last year's commencement ceremony, and 777 students took part in 2013.

Chancellor Susan J. Koch said Saturday's ceremony was the biggest in the history of the university, and it also marked the largest graduating class. "We've had an emphasis on growth for the last four years," Koch said. "What that means is the strategies we are using to grow the campus, such as implementing new majors and various recruitment efforts, are really working. I think that as the reputation of the campus increases, that brings more people … both at the undergraduate and graduate level."

Hudson earned his bachelor's degree in communication and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, he came to Springfield through the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program and worked with the Senate Republican staff. He liked the Springfield area, and decided to enroll at UIS to pursue a master's degree in public administration.

As for the obstacles he had to overcome, Hudson talked about his early years growing up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. His father wasn't around, his school wasn't that great, and other kids made fun of him because he "talked too smart." "Before Zion, I grew up in North Chicago. It was a dangerous environment. My house got broken into. I could have made one wrong turn and ended up on a very different path in life," Hudson said. "But it was understanding that the situation I lived in, it didn't have to define me. It may explain me, but it didn't have to define me."

Hudson said that one thing he's learned is that no matter where you are in life, you are always in charge of your attitude. He pointed to a quote from Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl: "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

In addition to containing a lot of accomplished graduates, Koch said this year's senior class has been a lot of fun. "When I think about them, I think about our Springfest event, which is our biggest social event of the year," Koch said. "It was spectacular this year. We had more students than ever participating. "It really shows that the life of the campus continues to grow," she said. "That is very exciting because students come to the university to earn their University of Illinois degree, but they also come looking to have a comprehensive student experience."

Online students part of ceremony Saturday's ceremony included 64 students who graduated from the university's online program. The online students came from 16 states, including California and New York.

 This story appeared online in The State Journal-Register on May 16, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Photo Gallery from The State Journal-Register

Friday, May 15, 2015

UIS drawing in record breaking numbers of international students

For some students graduating from college means gaining a sense of independence while preparing to enter the working world.

For others like UIS student, Rabeena Iqbal, this milestone has a deeper significance. "I'm graduating in computer science and this is like the one time opportunity which I get".

Rabeena was born and raised near Hyderabad, India. After receiving her bachelor's degree in her bachelor's degree in her home city, she decided it was time to travel abroad and earn her Masters degree in computer science at the University of Illinois Springfield. Her parents traveled 21 hours to be with her for her big day.

Rabeena is the first in her family to leave her country for higher education in the United States. She's not alone.

UIS Spokesperson Derek Schnapp says the University has become a big draw for international students. "We have over 800 international students this past academic year which is our record year of international students to be quite honest it's over 15 percent of our enrollment," Schnapp said. He adds it's their computer science and business schools that bring in the most international students because of what the programs offer.

As for Rabeena's future plans: "If there is a good job opportunity I would like to experience it here I could like to gain some more experience in the us before I land up in India".

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on May 15, 2015.

Watch the story online.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UIS participates in Monarch butterfly challenge

Ecologists are reporting the monarch butterfly population in the United States is dwindling - down as much as 80 percent compared to just 30 years ago.

Tuesday morning, the UIS Biology Club planted a butterfly garden filled with milkweed and nectar plants near the Health and Science Building as part of the Monarch Challenge.

A UIS associate professor of biology says the challenge is simple, and everyone can do it.

"We're hoping that it'll really take off and if people can't put milkweed or nectar plants in their backyard, maybe they'll give $5 or $10 to Monarch Joint Venture and we can really help boost monarch populations," said Amy McEuen, UIS associate professor.

Once you have been challenged, you have five days to install monarch-friendly plants. If you don't, you're asked to donate to the Monarch Joint Venture organization.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on May 12, 2015.

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UIS' King earns regional softball honor

University of Illinois Springfield junior Ashli King has been named to the Daktronics Midwest Region Softball first team in a vote by the Midwest Region’s sports information directors.

The all-region honor comes on the heels of her selection to the All-Great Lakes Valley Conference third team as a utility player after spending time as a designated player, catcher and outfielder. All first-team honorees advance to the national ballot for All-America consideration.

King led the 32-22 Prairie Stars with a .350 batting average, a .600 slugging percentage, 49 hits — including 11 doubles — and 32 runs batted in. She also tied for the second-most home runs in program history with eight.

The award was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 13, 2015.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UIS names new women's basketball coach

The new University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball coach Mark Kost has spent his entire college coaching career at the NCAA Division I level.

Kost, 42, was an assistant last season at Charleston Southern and worked primarily with the perimeter players. The previous season, he was an assistant at Morehead State. The Indiana native has spent the bulk of his career at Coastal Carolina. He was on staff there for 10 seasons.

Kost served as the interim head coach in the 2012-13 season and collected six wins during the stint. He was an associate head coach for his final two seasons. “It gives me some hands on experience of being a head coach,” Kost said. “I was thrust into a situation a couple of years ago where a coach had a medical situation and had to take a leave of absence. I did that for a few months. Even though it wasn’t for a whole season, it gave me training in being a decision maker for the whole program. I learned more that three months than I did the previous 8-10 years before.”

Kost starts at UIS May 18.

UIS was 6-20 overall and 2-16 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the 2014-15 season.

Kost graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1995 with a business administration degree.

Topping the list of importance for Kost is getting to know the current UIS players. “I didn’t get to meet with all of them, but I met with the vast majority of them during the interview process,” Kost said.

We’re going to figure out what they do well and play to those strengths.”

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on May 11, 2015.

Read the entire article online.

UIS welcomes dogs as stress relief for students

Meghan Milewski worked like a dog preparing for her microeconomics final. After all that, it was time to relax with one.

Milewski, a University of Illinois Springfield sophomore from Lake Villa, took a break from her textbooks on Monday morning and curled up with Eve, a 5-year-old Labrador and Great Dane mix.

The Animal Protective League of Springfield brought seven adoptable dogs to campus to ease the end-of-year stress for students.

Milewski had just a few hours left before her most difficult final this year, and Eve helped put her mind at ease. “I studied for at least nine hours yesterday,” she said. “There was just so much to study for and so much to go over. I just needed to get out of my room and out of the library, so I came here.”

Alexandria Cosner, assistant director of fitness and wellness for UIS, said this was the first time that the school had invited the APL’s dogs to campus as a coping mechanism for finals, and she expected it may become a tradition each semester.

The APL dogs make regular visits to nursing homes and elementary schools, and she hoped bringing a few to campus could offer comfort for students during the most hectic time of their academic year.

“It’s to help reduce stress levels," Cosner said. “There’s a lot of research behind that. Pet interactions increase happy hormones and decrease the stress.”

The APL brought seven dogs to campus on Monday, and Anne Sobala, volunteer coordinator for APL, said they were scheduled to return with a few more on Wednesday.

Three UIS students had volunteered to received training and become dog handlers for the event later this week.

Sobala said the visit to campus did as much good for the dogs as it did for the students. Socializing the dogs, she said, increases their adoptability.

The organization facilitates about 2,000 dog and cat adoptions per year, and families are looking to take home dogs with good manners. “If we can say that they were at an event with all kinds of people and all kinds of dogs, and they were getting pets and love, and they still did great — it helps a lot,” she said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 11, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, May 8, 2015

UIS students use park oil spill to teach conservation

A group of University of Illinois Springfield students were using last year's oil spill in Washington Park as a teaching tool Wednesday at the 24th annual Earth Stewardship Day.

More than 900 fourth-graders from across Sangamon County attended the event, which was held a the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The UIS students were among the many groups who presented 20-minute hands-on lessons for the kids.

"They are so enthusiastic," UIS junior Salina English said. "That's what's been so amazing about it. We don't want this day to end because it's been so amazing. These kids are so much smarter than people give them credit for. They want to learn, and they want to help in any way possible."

On Sept. 8, a fire tore through the Merlin 200,000 Mile Shop at 1430 Wabash Ave. During the fire, state-approved plastic containers of oil melted, which released 500 to 1,000 gallons of oil into the city's stormwater drain system.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 8, 2015.

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Softball: Titans' Torry signs with Prairie Stars

Chatham Glenwood High School left-handed outfielder Madi Torry and Tremont High School pitcher Jaycee Craver have signed letters of intent to play softball for the University of Illinois Springfield.

Torry is hitting .398 for the Titans. She hit .389 with 30 RBIs for Glenwood’s Class 3A state championship team last year.

Craver helped Tremont place second at the Class 2A state tournament in 2013 with a 0.47 earned run average and a 29-1 record. She had a 0.42 ERA and 30-5 record as a junior.

The players were featured by The State Journal-Register on May 8, 2015.

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Baseball: UIS’ Warda named 1st-team All-GLVC

University of Illinois Springfield sophomore second baseman Adam Warda has been named first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division.

Warda led the Prairie Stars with a .318 batting average, 14 doubles and 11 stolen bases.

The second team included UIS freshman first baseman Michael Rothmund, sophomore designated hitter John Schram and senior pitcher Kyle Schildroth.

Warda was featured by The State Journal-Register on May 8, 2015.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Serafin to speak at May 16 UIS commencement

The founder and CEO of a leading Chicago public relations firm will be the featured speaker at the University of Illinois Springfield’s spring commencement ceremonies later this month.

Thom Serafin, a UIS alum and head of Serafin & Associates Inc., will deliver the address at ceremonies beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

Of the 1,606 students eligible to graduate, more than 950 are expected to participate in the ceremony. The number of graduates is the most in the history of the university.

Before establishing Serafin and Associates in the late 1980s, Serafin enjoyed a successful career as a political/legislative correspondent, which began when he covered the Illinois General Assembly for network radio. He has advised numerous high-profile national and state policymakers. Serafin served as press secretary for U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon and U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski and was the Illinois campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential bid.

UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said she's delighted that Serafin will address the graduates. “His outstanding record of achievement in public affairs and communications is a testament, not only to Thom’s exceptional abilities, but also to the great value that his two UIS degrees have brought to his career and his community,” she said.

Serafin received a bachelor’s degree in communication from UIS in 1973 and a master’s degree in public affairs reporting in 1993. As an undergraduate, he assisted his professor and mentor, future U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, in launching the UIS Public Affairs Reporting program (PAR).

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 5, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Delay in plans for UIS Student Union blamed on budget crisis

Groundbreaking for the University of Illinois Student Union, a building students approved in 2012, won’t occur this month as originally planned. But UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said Tuesday the 50,000-square-foot building will go up.

“It’s a great project, and we’re going to get it done,” she said. Koch said the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved the concept several months ago, and the university has been working on the design for two years.

Groundbreaking was tentatively scheduled for May, and it was hoped the building could open sometime in 2016. But the ongoing budget crisis in higher education is causing the university to take a step back from its original timetable.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s current budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1 calls for a 31.5 percent across-the-board cut in higher-education funding.

“That has caused us all to be much more cautious, especially where new construction is concerned,” Koch said. “We’ve been asked by the university administration to alter our original timetable and postpone the groundbreaking to a later time.”

She said she’s hoping now for a fall groundbreaking, assuming finances are more settled. That would allow for the building to open in spring or summer of 2017.

“We consider it an essential element to our growth strategy,” said Koch, noting the university will have a record number of graduates this spring.

"Having a Student Union will help attract more students and at the same time enhance campus life for everyone,” she said.

Student fees and private donations will pay the bulk of the $21.75 million cost for the building, which will be on the south end of the UIS Quad, north of the soccer fields and along Richard Wright Drive.

Koch said student fees won't increase until the building opens. She said well over $3 million in private donations have been pledged, with a goal of $8 million. “We have a way to go yet,” she said, but expressed confidence the goal will be met. “The Springfield community really understands the great value of the university.”

UIS will go back to the board of trustees for final approval, likely in July or September, she said. After that, construction bids will be sought.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 5, 2015.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

UIS men's basketball team signs junior college transfer Paxton Harmon

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball program has added to its recruiting class with the signing of 6-foot-5 guard-forward Paxton Harmon.

The Warsaw native signed a letter of intent Monday to play for the Prairie Stars.

Harmon was the No. 3 scorer on the John Wood Community College team last season with 14.2 points per game as a sophomore. He ranked second with 5.7 rebounds per game. He should bring versatility to the Stars’ lineup.

“At the beginning of the season, I played a little guard,” Harmon said. “At the end of the season, I played a forward position. I played a little bit of guard in every game, too.” Harmon helped John Wood to a runner-up finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Tournament.

“The UIS campus and facilities are a lot nicer than any other schools that I went to,” Harmon said.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on May 4, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

150 years later, Springfield honors its favorite son with funeral procession

Opening ceremonies featured a keynote speech by Michael Burlingame, noted Lincoln expert and author and the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Burlingame's speech centered on abolitionist Frederick Douglass' views on his friend Lincoln and how Douglass' speeches show that he eventually came to the conclusion that Lincoln despised slavery.

In a speech given on April 11, 1865, only three days before he was shot, Lincoln called for voting rights for blacks who had served in the Union Army and who were "highly intelligent," which historians take to mean those who were literate.

Douglass was at first dismayed by the narrow approach to black suffrage taken by Lincoln, but he later said it was a rail-splitter's approach — start with a thin wedge, then later drive it home with a maul.

Burlingame was featured by The State Journal-Register on May 4, 2015.

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Tennis star is heading stateside to boost game

Sam Clarke is swapping the South Lakes for the Great Lakes after signing a tennis scholarship in America.

The 17-year-old, a pupil at Kirkbie Kendal School, has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the University of Illinois Springfield.

Clarke, who is also a member of both Kendal and Heversham tennis clubs, opted to commit to the 'Prairie Stars' of UIS as it offers him both the best developmental pathway for his tennis, while also providing him with a highly regarded degree from the world ranked University of Illinois.

Clarke was featured by The Westmorland Gazette (UK) on May 1, 2015.

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UIS softball team splits in conference tournament

The University of Illinois Springfield shut out No. 10-ranked Indianapolis 3-0 in its opener but lost to Lewis 8-6 Friday to fall into the losers’ bracket of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament at EastSide Centre.

UIS (32-21 overall) plays Rockhurst in an elimination game at 11 a.m. today.

In Friday’s first game, UIS’ Brittany Miller had two run-scoring hits and scored a run herself.

Miller went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. She also came around to score on a ground-rule double by teammate Rachel Goff in the top of the fifth inning. Goff’s heroics didn’t start there. The UIS left fielder saved a run in the bottom of the first by throwing out the Greyhounds’ Sydney Russell at home after a two-out single.

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 1, 2015.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

U Of I Students Showcase Research To State Leader

University of Illinois students were at the capitol Thursday, showcasing their work to state leaders. It was U of I Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.

The three U of I campuses, Springfield, Chicago and Champaign were all represented. There were about 10 students from each school there explaining the research project they've been working on.

A representative from UIS says the exhibit is also a way to show lawmakers why funding is important.

The students major in varying fields. They were each selected in a competitive process by the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee.

This story appeared online on on April 30, 2015.

Watch the story here.

UIS women's soccer team wins national community service award

Putting their talent to good use off the field has scored the University of Illinois Springfield women's soccer team a huge victory.

The Prairie Stars were recognized this week for their community service. UIS is the winner of the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative's year-long Touching Lives Campaign. It is a competition for women's college teams throughout the nation. They are judged on how many lives they can "touch" or affect in their communities through service projects.

“The whole team was pretty shocked we won it," UIS freshman midfielder Madisyn Coudriet said. "Being collegiate athletes, we have a lot of younger eyes on us at all times. We want to make sure we’re setting a good example as leaders of the community, so they can look up to us, then one day they can maybe become an athlete that gives back to the community.”

UIS finished first and the Texas Christian University women’s basketball team was runner-up.

“I’m not having to beg them to do any of this stuff,” UIS women’s soccer coach Molly Grisham said. “They’re coming to me and saying ‘We want to do this.”

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 1, 2015.

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Softball: Stars' King named to GLVC third team

University of Illinois Springfield junior catcher Ashli King was awarded Great Lakes Valley Conference third team softball honors Thursday.

She leads UIS with a .363 batting average, 49 hits, 32 RBIs and eight home runs. She set the Prairie Stars’ record for home runs in a season since UIS became an NCAA Division II program.

The Prairie Stars moved up one spot to No. 9 in this week’s NCAA Division II Midwest Regional rankings. The top eight teams qualify for the Midwest Regional. The selection show is Monday.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 1, 2015.

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