Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Men's Basketball: UIS’ Longmeyer makes all-conference team

University of Illinois Springfield senior guard Eddie Longmeyer was named to the Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s basketball second team Tuesday.

He led the Prairie Stars in several categories, including scoring, rebounds, steals and minutes.

His 2.9 assists per game rank second on the team.

In his senior season, Longmeyer posted eight double-doubles and scored 20 or more points in 12 games, including 28 against Missouri St. Louis earlier this month.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 27, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Women's Basketball: UIS duo earn all-GLVC honors

University of Illinois Springfield senior guard Shelbi Patterson and senior forward Destiny Ramsey received second-team honors in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Both players previously appeared on all-conference teams.

Ramsey was a third-team pick last year.

Patterson was named to the third team in the 2015-16 season. Patterson was first this season in points , 3-pointers, assists and minutes. She was third in blocks and steals.

Patterson started every UIS game for four seasons. Her 1,098 points rank third on the program’s all-time list.

Ramsey played two years at UIS after transferring from Illinois Central College. She was second this season in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 27, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Men's Baseball: Stars sweep weekly GLVC honors

University of Illinois Springfield senior outfielder Nick Stokowski was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week and freshman teammate Colton Hale received the conference’s weekly pitching award.

Hale was named Pitcher of the Week after allowing one hit and two walks in a 9-1 win against Malone.

The lefty also struck out four batters in four innings out of the bullpen. He limited Malone to .091 batting average. He is the first UIS pitcher to win the award since 2014.

Stokowski hit .583 last week. He was 7-for-12 with two home runs, one double, six RBIs and scored eight runs in four wins. He had 14 total bases and a .706 on-base percentage.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 27, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Women's Softball: UIS’ Haesele GLVC Pitcher of the Week

University of Illinois Springfield senior right-handed softball pitcher Ali Haesele was the Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Pitcher of the Week after going 3-0 with a 0.00 earned run average in three complete-games.

Haesele, of Minier, threw a no-hitter Sunday in a 3-0 win over Findlay. She allowed just one runner — the batter reached on a dropped third strike.

On Friday against Lindenwood, she struck out 19 and walked three as the Prairie Stars won 5-0. The award is Haesele’s first and is the first for UIS since Jaycee Craver won the award on May 2.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 26, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Women's Softball: UIS beats No. 15 Wayne State

Bree Derhake hit the game-winning RBI single in the fourth inning and the University of Illinois Springfield upset No. 15 Wayne State 1-0 at the Lewis Flyers Dome Invitational.

The Sacred Heart-Griffin High School graduate scored Erin Stroup. It was one of six hits for the Prairie Stars.

UIS pitcher Ali Haesele threw a one-hitter. She struck out five and walked two in seven innings.

In the next game, the Stars beat Grand Valley State 5-2.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 24, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Free after 22 years: Man visits UIS to thank those who exonerated him

A 61-year-old man who spent more than 22 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit said he doesn’t see any reason to be angry.

“I’m overwhelmed. I don’t think being bitter is going to help me,” William “Bill” Amor said Friday during an interview at the University of Illinois Springfield, home of the Illinois Innocence Project. 

Amor was convicted of arson and murder in connection with a Sept. 10, 1995, fire in Naperville that killed his mother-in-law.

The fire occurred in an apartment that Amor and his wife shared with his wife’s mother.

Attorneys at the Illinois Innocence Project say Amor gave a false confession after 15 hours of questioning.

Larry Golden, founding director of the Innocence Project, said that in the false confession, Amor said he poured vodka on newspapers and then used a cigarette to light the fire. “At that time, the investigators just concluded that was accurate because that was the confession,” Golden said. “And it turns out, the arson science just conclusively proved that was impossible. Even the state’s science witnesses refuted that as a possible occurrence.”

The scientific testimony resulted in a DuPage County judge vacating Amor’s conviction in April 2017. He was released from custody, but charges were re-filed and he had to sit through another trial. 

Amor was found innocent Wednesday. On Friday, he was at the UIS campus to thank the members of the Illinois Innocence Project for winning his freedom.

“I’m grateful for all the help from everybody. It’s just been wonderful. I wouldn’t be free without their help,” Amor said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 23, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Susan Koch: Good teachers are always working to be better teachers

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 February 24, 2018.

A few weeks ago, a headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a widely respected weekly publication for college and university personnel, caught my eye. “What Makes a Good Teacher?” the headline read.

The writer, himself a well-known author and professor of English, went on to describe key characteristics of teachers who (though not necessarily liked best) had the greatest impact on their students’ learning.

The list included several familiar observations about effective teachers: “They are professional without being aloof. They have a good sense of humor. They are demanding without being unkind. They seem to enjoy what they do. They are tremendously creative.”

The author closes the piece by acknowledging that some professors seem to be “born teachers” because they possess the above traits in abundance; but every professor can work to develop and enhance their own teaching expertise. 

That’s exactly what the Teaching Fellows Program at UIS is all about! 

The program is the brainchild of Dr. Layne Morsch, a professor in the UIS Chemistry Department. Himself a distinguished teacher, Morsch was selected a few years ago by Apple (the world’s largest information technology company) as an Apple Distinguished Educator. 

With the support and encouragement of UIS Vice Chancellor and Provost Dennis Papini, Morsch has developed a professional development program that brings faculty together from across campus throughout the year to discuss educational psychology and research-based teaching practices, to experiment in their own courses and to share and learn with colleagues. 

“When you do your doctorate, it’s not focused on teaching. It’s about the research,” says Morsch. 

“The Teaching Fellows Program creates opportunities for faculty to engage together with high impact practices that can transform their teaching and improve student learning.” 

One of this year’s Teaching Fellows is Dr. Tiffany Nielson, an Assistant Professor in the Human Development Counseling program. 

Nielson, an Idaho native, completed her Ph.D. at Idaho State University and joined the UIS faculty three years ago. “I chose UIS because it is a teaching-focused university,” she says. “The Teaching Fellows Program has been a unique opportunity and perfect way to jump start my career.” 

Nielson recently taught her students about fixed vs. growth mindset, a concept the Teaching Fellows had studied and discussed in a recent session. “A fixed mindset means you believe your intelligence is set and cannot be changed while a growth mindset means you believe that, with effort and action, you have the capacity to grow,” says Nielson. She was delighted when a struggling student told her she had been thinking about how adopting a growth mindset could help her to be more successful. 

The Teaching Fellows Program’s impact on student success at UIS might best be illustrated by Morsch, who reflects: “Two of my students in the last week have told me the medical schools they’ve gotten admission into. That’s what I’m most excited to hear about – where my students are going and what they’ll be doing. Our graduates do amazing things!”

Read the entire column online.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Star Parties to resume at UIS in March

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Friday Night Star Parties will resume for three Fridays in March The dates include: March 9, 16, and 23.

The parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m., weather permitting, at the UIS Observatory on the roof of Brookens Library.

Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, UIS associate professor of Astronomy/Physics. 

The observatory’s telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including the moon, the Great Nebula in Orion and other double stars and star clusters when visible.

Friday Night Star Parties are free and open to the public.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 22, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

UIS prepares campus with active shooter training

The University of Illinois Springfield will be training students and faculty how to react to an active shooter.

The campus police department is holding an active shooter training class on March 2.

The class includes a video plus a question and answer session with University Police.

UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp said the campus must be prepared for anything. "I think that as many workshops and training that our staff and our police do, I think that every situation can be different and unique, so you do your best to plan and prepare," said Schnapp.

Later in the spring semester, UIS is planning an active shooter drill.

This story aired on Fox Illinois on February 21, 2018.

Watch the story online.

Man acquitted in retrial for murder, arson in mother-in-law’s 1995 death

A former Naperville man who spent 22 years in prison for the 1995 death of his mother-in-law was found not guilty in a retrial Wednesday.

Following a seven-day bench trial, DuPage County Judge Liam C. Brennan found 61-year-old William Amor not guilty of murder and aggravated arson in connection with the death of Marianne Miceli, according to a statement from the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“This is the end of a nightmare for me,” Amor said in a statement released by the Illinois Innocence Project, which represented him. “I have fought to clear my name for the last 22 years and I am so grateful that I was able to have my day in court for the truth to be heard,” Amor said. “I am looking forward to starting the next phase of my life as a free man, no longer labeled as a murderer, for the first time in a long time.”

The Illinois Innocence Project is located at the University of Illinois Springfield.

This story appeared in The Chicago Sun-Times on February 21, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Democratic candidates for governor debate Wednesday at UIS

The six Democratic candidates for Illinois governor will meet in Springfield Wednesday night for a debate that will be broadcast live on the Internet and radio.

The debate featuring state Sen. Daniel Biss, Bob Daiber, Tio Hardiman, Chris Kennedy, Dr. Robert Marshall and J.B. Pritzker is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The event is sponsored by The State Journal-Register, News/Talk 94.7 and 970 WMAY, and UIS.

Moderators will be the SJ-R’s Bernard Schoenburg, WMAY’s Jim Leach and NPR Illinois’ Daisy Contreras.

The debate can be heard on WMAY radio or watched on or

The newspaper, radio station and UIS extended invitations to the two Republican candidates for governor — incumbent Bruce Rauner and state Rep. Jeanne Ives — to debate at UIS prior to the March 20 primary election. Ives accepted the invitation, but Rauner declined, so no debate will be held.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 20, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Women's Softball: Stars split 1-1 on opening day

Lakyn Wagoner’s two-run single in the second inning helped the University of Illinois Springfield to a 10-7 win against Missouri Southern.

The Prairie Stars fell behind 5-0. They took the lead with a six-run second inning.

Wagoner’s RBIs tied it at 5-all. Calla Wickenhauser’s sacrifice made it 6-5.

Wagoner and teammate Erin Stroup had two hits and a stolen base each.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 17, 2018.

Men's Baseball: Stars’ Rothmund, Taylor hit homers

Michael Rothmund spotted the University of Illinois Springfield leads by hitting a home run in the sixth inning and scoring on a wild pitch in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough and Missouri Southern rallied to a 3-2 win.

Rothmund’s homer put UIS ahead 1-0. He put the Stars up 2-1 in the eighth.

The Prairie Stars’ Justin Revels struck out eight batters, gave up three hits and allowed one run in six innings.

Earlier in the day, UIS opened the season with a 6-2 loss to Maryville. Mason Coon hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and UIS closed the gap to 3-1. Cole Taylor’s home run in the eighth got the Stars within 6-2. Taylor hit 2-for-3 and has a stolen base.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 17, 2018.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hundreds look for new careers at UIS

Over 125 businesses and organizations were at Thursday's Career Connection Expo at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The expo was co-hosted by Benedictine and Lincoln Land Community College, plus the community was invited.

Organizers said they expected over 500 job seekers to come through Thursday.

“It's important to have these types of events because it allows a number of employers to connect in one place that way job seekers don't have to run all over the county and all over the state, here you have 125 employers in one spot that you can talk to on the spot,” director of career development Kathyy Battee-Freeman said.

This is the 20th year UIS has held the career fair.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on February 15, 2018.

Watch the story online.

Women's Basketball: Stars, Sangster swoop win from Hawks

University of Illinois Springfield’s Jasmine Sangster, Shelbi Patterson and Destiny Ramsey took control of the offense, leading the Prairie Stars to a 73-64 victory over Quincy on Thursday at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The three combined for 51 of the Stars’ points.

UIS is 12-11 on the season and 6-9 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 15, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Women's Softball: A look at the Prairie Stars

Last season, University of Illinois Springfield closed the regular season on an 11-0 win streak. The Stars went 0-2 at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. They finished 31-23 overall and 17-11 in the GLVC. The 31 wins was the third most in NCAA Division II history, five shy of the program-record 36 in 2012.

In the polls, the Stars are voted to finish seventh out of 15 team in the GLVC preseason coaches poll.

All-conference returners Junior pitcher Jaycee Craver and senior utility player Katie Wooldridge received all-GLVC honors last year. Craver was named to the second team. Wooldridge made the third team.

The top four in the Stars’ batting order are back: senior infielder/pitcher Ali Haesele, junior centerfielder Madi Torry, sophomore outfielder Lakyn Wagoner and junior first baseman/outfielder Morgan Edwards.

Edwards led the team with six home runs, had a .303 average and 31 RBIs. UIS fourth-year Shannon Nicholson Guthrie said, “We return a bunch a bats. Those are the top four that I see bringing the bulk of our power.”

The Stars have lots of experience in returning pitchers senior Rachel Goff, Haesele and Craver.
Guthrie said, “All of our predominant pitchers from last year came back, which is exciting. It is the first year since I’ve been here where we return our pitching staff like that. Our biggest depth is in the pitching circle and in the outfield. I think this is truly one of the most talented teams that we’ve had. It’s going to be a matter of putting it all together once you get out on the field.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 10, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Men's Baseball: Michael Rothmund, Cole Taylor wield big bats for UIS baseball team

First baseman Michael Rothmund estimates he smashed a home run 430 feet during the University of Illinois Springfield baseball team’s spring break trip to Georgia last March.

“That was probably the farthest ball I’ve ever hit,” he said. “I got all of it.”

That’s not out of the ordinary for Rothmund. He was the national leader in home runs last season. “He has hit plenty well over 400 feet,” UIS baseball coach Chris Ramirez said. He was first in NCAA Division II with 24 home runs. He also ranked fifth nationally in slugging percentage. He was ninth in RBIs (68) and total bases (161).

Not to be outdone by Rothmund, Cole Taylor also wielded a big bat. It earned him a spot on the NCAA Division II All-America Third Team in his first season with the Prairie Stars. Taylor, who transferred from Parkland College, became the first UIS player to receive all-American honors.

The infielder from Fairmount, near Danville, ranked third in the nation in doubles. He ranked among the Great Lakes Valley Conference leaders in several offensive categories. He was first in doubles, second in hits and third in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and triples. He ranked fourth in home runs and sixth in RBIs.

Ramirez has a front row seat to one of the top offensive duos in the nation.

In January, Taylor and Rothmund were named Division II preseason All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as they head into their senior seasons. They were both all-conference and all-region last year. “Those guys are baseball rats,” he said. “They talk hitting. They think hitting. They’re in the cage. They’re looking at video. They’re always trying to find their swing. I think that shows.”

The Stars have been known for their offensive firepower under Ramirez. Their .319 team batting average was first in the GLVC last season. They ranked 15th in the nation in home runs with 70. “Our team offense was top 25 in five or six offensive categories nationally, including home runs, runs scores, runs per game and doubles,” Ramirez said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 10, 2018.

Read the entire story online.

Men's Basketball: UIS upsets Southern Indiana

The University of Illinois Springfield scored a big win as it beat Southern Indiana 79-70 in Great Lakes Valley Conference game Thursday at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

UIS ended a two-game losing streak.

Freshman starter Collin Stallworth’s 3-pointer gave UIS its first lead. Freshman starter Aundrae Williams knocked down a jumper at the buzzer and UIS owned a 34-33 lead at the break. Two minutes into the second half, senior Eddie Longmeyer sank a 3-pointer.

UIS went ahead 39-37 and it led the rest of the way.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 8, 2018.

Read the entire article online.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Black History Month celebrated in Springfield

February marks the beginning of Black History Month. Springfield started the month with a number of celebrations, Thursday an event was held at the Illinois State Library.

Another celebration was also held at the University of Illinois Springfield where students put together a candlelight vigil in honor of those who have passed away.

"To pay homage to those who came before them. Those who sacrificed for them to be in the position that they are today," UIS student Justin Rose said.

Participants were encouraged to say some words and light a candle in someone’s memory. "I look at it as a deeper connection to reach back and never forget where you came from,” Rose said.

Black History Month is the annual celebration of achievements by African Americans.

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on February 1, 2018.

Watch the story online.

Mendota student an integral part of Mock Trial Club

The University of Illinois Springfield Mock Trial Club recently finished fifth among 28 teams during the 2018 Jayhawk Invitational hosted by the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

In achieving the fifth place finish, the team also broke all previous school records in mock trial competition.

The group of seven UIS students, which included 2014 Mendota High School graduate Jayde Schlesinger, Chance Austin of Rochester; Andrew Jarmer of Garden City, Kan. and Springfield; Courtney Johnson of Pewaukee, Wis.; Christopher Marbaniang of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Shillong, India; Joseph Partain of Luka; and Mario Saucedo of Colima, Mexico, defeated four nationally-ranked teams to win the fifth-place title.

A total of 19 nationally-ranked teams took part in the invitational.

UIS had the highest CS score of any ranked team in the tournament, which means UIS faced some of the toughest competition in the tournament.

The team is coached by UIS alumnus Nathan Hoffman and attorney-coach Rex Gradeless, a UIS adjunct assistant professor.

This story appeared in the Mendota Reporter on February 1, 2018.

Read the entire article online.