Monday, April 2, 2018

Prairie Stars shine on the playing field and in the classroom

The following is a portion of a guest opinion column written by University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch. It was published in the April 1, 2018, edition of The State Journal-Register.

"Spring’s arrival at the University of Illinois Springfield brings a collective sense of anticipation — trees and flowers coming to life across a beautiful campus, the countdown steadily ticking toward commencement, and (this year for the first time) Starbucks aficionados of all sorts enjoying their favorite beverage on the outdoor plaza at the new Student Union.

On this first day of April 2018 there may be nowhere on campus where that sense of anticipation is more evident (or more intense) than at The Recreation and Athletics Center. TRAC is home to the Prairie Stars, one of about 300 NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs. The program provides more than 250 UIS student-athletes the opportunity to compete at a high level of scholarship athletics at the same time they can earn a University of Illinois degree and contribute in a variety of ways to campus and community life.

At the helm of the Prairie Stars is Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jim Sarra who, along with talented coaches and staff, has implemented a “BLUEprint for excellence” to advance the young Prairie Stars program. Their mission is to center the student-athlete experience on academic achievement, competitive excellence and community engagement."

Read the full article online.