Monday, April 10, 2017

Susan Koch: STARS symposium to present sustainability theme

The following is an excerpt from a column by University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch. This column appeared in The State Journal-Register on April 9, 2017.

Less than a year ago, the University of Illinois board of trustees approved a new strategic framework for the three universities in the UI system with the goal to reaffirm the central role that higher education plays in promoting the public good in Illinois and beyond.

One of four strategic pillars of our framework is “Research and Scholarship with Global Impact.” 

Research and scholarship, including creative work in the humanities and the arts, not only generate new knowledge of great value to our state and to society but also provide students with valuable opportunities to enrich their educational experiences.

Providing opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty one-to-one is a particularly strong feature of the University of Illinois Springfield student experience, and the results of those opportunities will be “front and center” this month at the STARS Symposium.

STARS stands for Student Arts and Research Symposium, and this annual event offers a rich array of presentations and performances by UIS students, each of whom has worked closely throughout the year with a faculty mentor to complete an individual research or creative project.

With a special symposium theme of “Sustainability,” this year’s event, co-chaired by Mike Miller, associate professor of visual arts, and Carolee Rigsbee, assistant professor of management, promises to be especially intriguing.

The program includes student presentations of more than 80 projects representing the natural sciences, the social sciences, the arts, business, the humanities and technology.

A special addition to the symposium this year is a field trip (by charter bus) to the Emiquon Nature Preserve floodplain restoration project on the Illinois River near Havana, where participants will be hosted by Field Station Director Dr. Tom Rothfus for a tour of the preserve and opportunities to learn about research that faculty and their students are conducting at the UIS Therkildsen Field Station. 

“STARS represents so much of what we try to do and be as UIS faculty,” says Rigsbee. “It is a community of faculty, students and staff supporting student scholarship. Having the opportunity to help students strengthen their skills and abilities so they can be more successful in their careers while at the same time advancing work in your own area of study is a win-win proposition.”

Read the entire column online.