Thursday, December 31, 2015

UIS men's basketball team uses balance to roll past Governors State

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team shot 54.5 percent from the field and put five players in double figures Wednesday in a 98-68 rout of Governors State at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The Prairie Stars shot 61.7 percent (21-for-34) in the first half and staked out a 51-31 lead at halftime. Zach Steinberg led UIS (5-6) with a team-high 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting. He also pulled down 12 rebounds.

JJ Cravatta added 15 points, hitting all six of his shots, including going 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Richard Freeman, Bahari Amaya and Paxton Harmon added 10 points apiece for the Prairie Stars. UIS outrebounded Governors State 50-32.

Jamall Millison finished with nine points and became UIS’ all-time Division II leading scorer with 875 points.

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 31, 2015.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

UIS women finish 2015 with victory

Meredith Marti had 22 points and Shelbi Patterson scored 17 as the University of Illinois Springfield defeated non-conference opponent Oakland City 71-61 Saturday to finish 2015 on a high note.

UIS (5-5) fell behind 12-0 at The Recreation and Athletic Center but regained its footing and put together a 29-point second quarter, including a 16-0 run that launched the Stars into the lead for good.

Caroline Kelty had a double-double for UIS, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

UIS’ next game is Jan. 7 at Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent Quincy.

The win was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 20, 2015.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

UIS students gathering clothes for Syrian refugees

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield are pitching in to help refugees fleeing the war in Syria.

The Muslim Student Organization, the International Student Association and other campus groups have organized a clothing drive to help Syrian people who have been displaced by the ongoing hostilities.

Asad Sohail, a graduate student who is president of the Muslim Student Organization, said he's been amazed at the school's response to the clothing drive. They've already filled 20 to 25 large garbage bags with donated clothes, he said.

"(The refugees) are stuck in the middle," Sohail said. "People think they are migrating because they are cowards. They really don't understand what the situation is."

The clothing drive was Sohail's idea. It got started after he talked to Maricela Arce, a graduate student who is president of the International Student Association.

Arce, who's also the Resident Housing Association's sustainability director, said that at the end of the spring semester, they have a program that collects items students no longer want when they move out of the residence halls. Those items are distributed to charities.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 17, 2015.

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Men's Cross Country: Senators' Moore signs with UIS

Springfield High School senior Jack Moore is among three cross country runners who have signed with the University of Illinois Springfield for the 2016 season.

Moore placed 64th at the Peoria Invitational and won the junior varsity race at the Springfield Invite in the fall.

Washington’s Alex Phelps and Jerseyville’s Nick Reynolds will also run for UIS. Phelps placed 22nd at the Class 1A Peoria Regional and was a sectional qualifier. Reynolds finished fourth at the Carlinville Early Bird Meet and was fifth at the Mississippi Valley Conference Meet.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 17, 2015.

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Women's Cross Country: UIS adds four runners

Litchfield High School senior Alexandria Quarton and Chatham Glenwood High School graduate Rachel Crowley have signed with the University of Illinois Springfield women’s cross country program.

Quarton placed 66th at the Class 1A state cross country meet in November. She won Litchfield Invitational, placed fourth at the Shelbyville Regional and was 28th at the Decatur St. Teresa Sectional.

Crowley will join the team in the spring semester. She placed 80th for the Titans at the Class 2A state meet as a senior.

Decatur St. Teresa’s Kelsey Cleary and East Alton-Wood River’s Haley Kerpan also signed with UIS.

Cleary finished 22nd at the Class 2A Decatur MacArthur Sectional and was 153rd at state.

Kerpan was the individual champion at the Class 1A New Athens Regional and won the Madison County Meet. She placed 71st at state. Last track season, she was the conference champion in the 400 and 1,600 and ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 17, 2015.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Scaled-back student housing complex breaks ground in downtown Springfield

A four-story, 72-unit housing complex geared toward graduate students broke ground in downtown Springfield Monday, but its size has been scaled back from the original proposal earlier this year.

Iowa-based Bluffstone LLC first proposed a five-story building for the southwest corner of Fourth and Madison streets and requested $700,000 in tax increment financing funds from the city. But aldermen rejected the TIF payment in June.

The project, coined the Villas Downtown Springfield, is now planned without TIF dollars as a four-story building on the same site, with 6,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

The apartments are targeted for University of Illinois Springfield students who are working downtown.

While UIS has supported the downtown housing project, it won’t be university-owned housing. The Villas Downtown Springfield will own the property.

UIS can have up to 300 graduate students in a given school year working at the Capitol or with other state governmental agencies, said Clarice Ford, UIS interim vice chancellor for student affairs.

“Apartment housing is pretty limited in Springfield, especially for our graduate students,” Ford said. “They may have families. They come in all different varieties.”

For UIS to recommend that students live at the Villas, it would need to go through the process of becoming a certified student housing apartment, which could begin when the project is still in the building phase, Ford said.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 16, 2015.

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Employers sought for UIS career expo

University of Illinois Springfield is seeking businesses and other organizations for the 2016 Career Connections Expo.

The expo is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

UIS, Lincoln Land Community College and ITT Technical Institute co-sponsor the expo, which allows alumni and graduates of the schools to meet with prospective employers from the area.

Employer booth assignments are first-come, first served and early registration is encouraged at The registration deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 5. Additional information is available from the UIS Career Development Center, 206-6508 or

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on December 16, 2015.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

No money, mo' problems

Thousands of college students in Illinois are starting to feel the effects of the budget impasse that has left many state government agencies with limited funding. Included in that group is the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which distributes MAP grants to help college students.

At the University of Illinois Springfield, the administration applied the MAP grants to students’ accounts and has made a commitment to also apply funds for the spring semester, said Carolyn Schloemann, acting director of the Office of Financial Assistance at UIS.

“Our students, at this time, are not feeling any adverse consequences to the fact that the budget hasn’t been passed,” she said.

So far, UIS has done what they do with the MAP grants every year. Money is applied to eligible students’ financial aid accounts at the beginning of the semester. Then, in October, the school begins billing the state for what they paid out for the fall semester; billing would continue until the deadline in December. Finally, in late December or early January, the state would begin reimbursing the school.

Except this year, they aren’t expecting any money from the state.

“That’s the different piece now,” Schloemann said.

UIS is seeing the budget impasse affect them in other ways, said UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp. UIS has limited spending, and hiring for vacant positions has temporarily stopped. Additionally, a new public safety building has been put on hold.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register's Voice Section on December 15, 2015.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

UIS routs Cumberland in men's basketball

Davi Austin went 10-for-13 from the field, scored 22 points and handed out five assists to lead the University of Illinois Springfield past Cumberland 83-63 Friday night in a non-conference men's basketball game.

Jamall Millison added 21 points for the Prairie Stars, who shot 55.4 percent from the field and hit nine of 16 3-pointers.

This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on December 12, 2015.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

State considering switch from ACT to SAT testing

The college entrance exam for students in Illinois could soon change. After more than a decade of offering the ACT, the State Board of Education is now considering the SAT.

The University of Illinois Springfield accepts both SAT and ACT scores.

The university says Illinois switching to the SAT shouldn't affect future students, but could affect the school's employees.

"I think the people that work with the scores will have to get used to the new SAT scoring. For a while I think they will rely on what that means in a ACT kind of language as opposed to looking straight at the SAT score," said Assistant Director of Admissions at UIS, Kathryn Kleeman.

Currently, if a student applies to UIS with an SAT score, it is converted to an ACT score.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on December 9, 2015.

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Spartans softball standout signs with UIS

Allison Rose knew she wanted to go to the University of Illinois Springfield after visiting.

“I really liked the campus,” she said. “It was a small campus with a homey feel.”

The St. Joseph-Ogden senior will not only attend UIS next fall, but she will also play softball for the Prairie Stars, recently signing with the Division II school.

Rose, an outfielder for the Spartans, missed most of her junior season last year with a knee injury. She returned in time to hit safely in six of her 10 at-bats during the Spartans’ run to a fourth-place finish in Class 2A last June.

As a sophomore, Rose hit .530 with four home runs and 38 RBI to go along with 33 stolen bases.

Rose was featured by Champaign News-Gazette on December 10, 2015.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

First-year UIS women's track team opens indoor season Saturday

University of Illinois Springfield women’s track coach Mike De Witt has high expectations for the upcoming indoor season.

“I think we’ll have more success on the track than we did in cross country,” said De Witt, who also coaches cross country.

The Prairie Stars’ first women’s track team will participate in six indoor meets beginning with Saturday’s Titan First Chance Meet at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

UIS doesn’t have a full track and field team; instead the Stars are focusing on middle-distance events such as the 800-meter run and mile. They’ll also compete in the 400, 4x400 relay and 4,000-meter distance medley relay.

UIS kicked off its running program during its inaugural cross country season in the fall. The team had more short-sprint runners than long-distance ones. “They’re going to be training for the 400 and 800 rather than the 200 and 400,” De Witt said.

The Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships are Feb. 27-28 in Kenosha, Wis.

This story appeared online in The State Journal-Register on December 3, 2015.

Read the entire story here.