Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Styx coming to Sangamon Auditorium

Classic rock band Styx will perform at Sangamon Auditorium this summer at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Styx draws from more than four decades of music, and the current incarnation of the band has performed together for more than a decade. They were the first group to have four triple-platinum albums in a row, “The Grand Illusion”, “Pieces of Eight”, “Cornerstone”, and “Paradise Theater”.

Styx last played in Springfield at the Illinois State Fair with Tesla in 2015.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb/ 24. 2020.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Innocence Project’s Hanlon named to governor’s task force

John Hanlon, the executive director of the University of Illinois Springfield’s Illinois Innocence Project, was one of 15 members named to the Governor’s Task Force on Forensic Science.

The task force was created by Gov. JB Pritzker in August. The group is tasked with analyzing the operations and oversight of critical Illinois State Police laboratories, ensuring they use the latest forensic technologies to solve crimes and protect the public, and make recommendations to the legislature and other stakeholders as forensic science continues to evolve.

 UIS is one of just two higher education institutions represented on the task force. “John Hanlon’s input on this task force will help to bolster the important work already being done by the Illinois Innocence Project,” UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said. “The project is an important part of UIS’s commitment to providing students with real-world experiences and to serving the public good.” Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Brendan Kelly will chair the task force.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 19, 2020.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Springfield runner looking to complete comeback at U.S. Olympic trials marathon

Springfield native Tyler Pence will be running at the U.S. Olympic trials marathon on Feb. 29 in Atlanta alongside the fastest marathoners in the country.

The top three finishers will represent the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Pence qualified for the Olympic trials by running 2:15:36 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento in December 2018.

The 26-year-old had what could have been a career-ending injury in high school, and after battling injuries during a successful college career, he thought he was done competing. But Pence said he doesn’t want to look back when he’s older and think, what if?

“A big thing for me is knowing that I’ve given it everything I have,” he said. “I don’t want to leave any regrets. You’re only young once. I want to see what I can do with it.”

Pence is in his fourth year of coaching, and his first year as head coach, for the cross country and track teams at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He encourages his athletes to chase their dreams, work hard and live a lifestyle of no excuses. It made him think about his own running.

“I think I have a lot more left in me. I needed to start practicing what I’m preaching,” Pence said. His mentality of giving 100 percent in training and racing is the result of a serious injury.

Right now, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in by far,” he said. Pence coaches himself, and he has been following an 18-week training plan for the Olympic Trials.

“My plan is to put myself in the mix and be in the front group and give 100 percent,” he said. “I’m going to give it everything I’ve got on that day. I’ll leave there knowing I gave it my all.” Whatever happens in Atlanta, Pence plans to attempt to qualify for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

This article appeared in The News-Gazette on Feb. 18, 2020..

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Mike Bloomberg's 'elitist' farming comments could be the Hillary Clinton 'deplorables' moment that poses the biggest threat to his campaign

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg takes the stage for his first nationally televised debate with fellow Democratic presidential candidates amid new controversy over a one-minute video in which the billionaire describes farming in overly simplistic and, some say, insulting terms.

The development, many pundits believe, could pose the biggest threat to Bloomberg's nascent campaign yet, on par with Hillary Clinton's 2016 comments dismissing some Trump supporters as "deplorables"—remarks that have been described as a "political gift" to her opponent.

Even more than a recent stampede of negative headlines about Bloomberg—which include tales of sexual harassment lawsuits, insults about black people and women and criticism about allegedly racist stop-and-frisk police policies during his three terms in office—the farming remarks could prove devastating, observers say.

The reason: They provide a powerful visual Trump can use to paint Bloomberg as a condescending coastal elitist to working-class swing voters in the heartland who might otherwise reject the incumbent.

"This is very damning because it'll fit neatly into a commercial where Bloomberg will look uninformed and patronizing compared to Trump, who says he's the man of the people—the people who do the real work in the country," says Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus at University of Illinois at Springfield, who has long studied the politics of agriculture.

The viral 58-second clip, seen more than 3.5 million times on Twitter alone since Friday, was lifted from a 2016 appearance at the University of Oxford in England in which Bloomberg, speaking to a group at the Said Business School, offered this succinct description of agriculture: "I could teach anybody—even people in this room so no offense intended—to be a farmer. It's a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn."

In a political world often driven by sound bites, the video clip could prove tough to live down.

"If you've got an hour to sit down and talk about the evolution of work and the role of technology in modern society, you could explain your way out of this," Redfield notes. "But in politics, if you're explaining, you're losing." Redfield and others say Bloomfield's remarks are of a piece with the way other presidential contenders' comments have become emblematic of alleged disdain for average voters.

This story appeared online in Newsweek on Feb. 19, 2020..

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States across U.S. still cling to outdated gay marriage bans

Following years of failed attempts under Republican control, Virginia’s newly empowered Democrats finally passed bills repealing two outdated state laws that prohibited same-sex marriage.

States have two types of bans on same-sex marriage: statutory and constitutional. Statutory bans appear in state family law, while constitutional bans are embedded in states’ constitutions. “Most of them are still on the books, though they are not enforceable,” Jason Pierceson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois Springfield, told NBC News.

“Democratic control of legislatures has created opportunities to get rid of some bans,” Pierceson said. “That’s the big difference between Indiana and Virginia.”

There were two phases of same-sex marriage bans, according to Pierceson. The first one began in the 1970s, when gay couples would apply for marriage licenses and many state judges at the time ruled that these unions were not prohibited. This prompted lawmakers to explicitly outlaw same-sex marriage.

The second phase followed a 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court decision that found denying same-sex couples the right to marry may violate the equal protection clause of the state’s constitution. That ruling prompted state and federal lawmakers to take action.

Utah was first to enact a statutory ban in response to that decision in 1995, and then a year later, Congress passed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Several states adopted their own “mini-DOMAs” after that, according to Pierceson, and by the year 2000, he said “virtually every state,” with the exception of New Mexico, had a “statutory ban on same-sex marriage.”

These “mini-DOMAs,” he noted, banned gay marriage in family codes and state law, not the constitution.

Since the legalization of same-sex marriage federally, hundreds of state bills have been introduced that poke holes in gay marriage in various ways.

“I think in the short term marriage is fairly safe. It’s hard to see the Supreme Court overturn itself in the next couple of years,” he said, though he added that he is less confident about its long-term safety.
“The religious right, conservative movements and the Republican Party are hoping for an overturning of Obergefell with a more conservative judiciary,” Pierceson said. “The religious right has not said, ‘We lost same-sex marriage, and we are moving on,’” Pierceson said. “They are still fighting same-sex marriage, both politically and legally.”

This story appeared online on NBC News.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Men's Baseball: UIS crushes Newman in season-opener

Chris Monroe, Kal Youngquist and Zion Pettigrew each hit home runs and combined for 11 RBIs to lead the University of Illinois Springfield baseball team to a season-opening 17-2 victory over Newman on Saturday.

UIS led 3-2 after five innings and then scored seven runs each in the seventh and eighth innings. Bobby Barnard went 3-for-4, drove in five runs and scored twice for the Prairie Stars.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 15, 2020.

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Women's Softball: Wagoner, Bryant lift UIS to sweep

Lakyn Wagoner belted a walk-off three-run home run in Game 1, and pitcher Addison Bryant threw a complete game in the nightcap as the University of Illinois Springfield softball team defeated Ferris State 7-6 and 8-2 in its season-opening games on Saturday.

Wagoner’s homer came in the bottom of the seventh inning. Carly Chovance and Bree Derhake both singled with two outs for UIS, leading to Wagoner’s heroics. In addition to throwing a complete game, Bryant also homered for UIS in Game 2.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 15, 2020.

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UIS discussion will focus on race riot site, Cahokia Mounds

The University of Illinois Springfield Lunch & Learn Series at the Student Union Ballroom on March 3 will focus on two historic archeological sites.

The discussion begins at 11:30 a.m. and will explore the unearthing of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot site and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

UIS student Katie Brethorst, a senior history major, will discuss her experience as an intern helping to unearth important historical artifacts from the site of the race riot, located along the 10th Street railroad tracks and Madison Street in Springfield.

William Iseminger, archaeologist, author and retired assistant site manager of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, will discuss the prehistoric mysteries of the largest, most complex archaeological site north of Mexico, considered America’s first city.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 17, 2020.

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Two UIS athletes earn GLVC player of the week awards

Daniel Soetan, a senior guard for the University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team, was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday.

The Prairie Stars won both games last week: an 87-74 win against former UIS coach Bill Walker and Missouri S&T on Feb. 13 and then an 82-79 win over Maryville on Saturday.

In those wins, Soetan averaged 30.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals and he shot 57.6 percent (19 of 33), knocked down 58.3 of his 3-point attempts (7 of 12) and was 88.2 percent of his free throws (15 for 17).

University of Illinois Springfield softball player Lakyn Wagoner was named Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday for the second time in her career.

In the Prairie Stars’ first week of action, Wagoner went 7 for 13 with three doubles and a walk-off, three-run home run in the season-opening 7-6 win over Ferris State. Her batting average through four games is .538, she has a 1.000 slugging percentage and knocked in 10 runs, scored four times and stole a pair of bases. She also became the Prairie Stars’ career doubles leader on Sunday.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 17, 2020.

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Women's Basketball: Rosner lifts UIS to GLVC win

Katelyn Rosner went 3-for-3 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the University of Illinois Springfield past Maryville 85-80 on Saturday in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game on senior night at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

UIS, which shot 48.1 percent from the floor, made a season-high 10 3-pointers on 10 of 18 shooting and put four players in double figures.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 15, 2020..

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Men's Basketball: Matt Wendling hits winner for UIS

Matt Wendling drilled a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds remaining in regulation and the University of Illinois Springfield mens basketball team celebrated senior night with an 82-79 victory over Maryville on Saturday in Great Lakes Valley Conference play at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Wendling’s game-winner was one of 15 3-pointers made by the Prairie Stars. UIS senior Daniel Soetan tied the game at 77-apiece when he converted a 3-point play with 1 minute 54 seconds left. That set up Wendling’s shot after Soetan grabbed an offensive rebound and UIS called a timeout on its last possession.

UIS concludes its home season with a game against Southern Indiana on Thursday.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 15, 2020.

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Women's Softball: Lakyn Wagoner, among Division II National Player of the Year watch list

Fifty student-athletes from across the country have been selected to the “Watch List” for the 2020 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year award.

The Top 25 finalists for the 2020 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year awards will be announced on April 23. The top 10 finalists will be announced on May 12 and the winners will be recognized on May 28 following the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Lakyn Wagoner, University of Illinois at Springfield, Junior, Outfield.

This complete story and list can be found online at nfca.org.

Women's Basketball: Stars rally past Missouri S&T

The University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball team rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to knock off Missouri S&T 83-76 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game on Thursday at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

UIS trailed by as much as 14 points in the second quarter and fell behind 40-29 at halftime.

UIS turned things around in the fourth quarter, outscoring Missouri S&T 35-20 in the period.

The Prairie Stars shot 10 of 14 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the final 10 minutes. Jasmine Sangster and Makenna Fee had 15 points apiece for UIS. Malea Jackson and Lauren Ladowski each had 12 points while Katelyn Rosner and Tehya Fortune added 10 apiece.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 13, 2020.

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Men's Basketball: UIS men’s basketball tops former coach Bill Walker, Missouri S&T

University of Illinois Springfield senior guard Daniel Soetan recorded 33 points and sabotaged Missouri S&T coach Bill Walker’s return to the Recreation and Athletic Center in the Stars’ 87-74 Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s basketball victory on Thursday.

Walker previously coached at UIS before he was let go following the end of last season, going 59-80 over five seasons in blue and gold.

UIS, which won the fourth of its last seven games, shot 52.7 percent from the floor, spearheaded by Soetan. He went 10 of 16 from the floor and 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Matt Wendling chipped in 15 points with a couple of treys while Chase Robinson and Keymonta Johnson added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

UIS pulled ahead 23-13 midway through the first half and led comfortably ahead by double digits through most of the second half.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 13, 2020.

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How Online Education Helps Career Changers in the Automation Age

The mention of artificial intelligence (AI) elicits varying reactions. We have seen sensational headlines for years about its potential, typically propagating two extreme outcomes: a doomsday in which AI turns against humanity or a utopian future where the hardships and drudgery of the pre-automation days are distant memories.

With the growing adoption of AI across the globe, we can see that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The McKinsey Global Institute recently found that a whopping 16 million to 54 million workers in the United States may need to switch occupations by 2030, learning new skills or increasing their level of education in order to find work.

The National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES) said that between 2001 and 2015, there was a 35 percent increase in college students between ages 25 and 34, and that between 2015 and 2026, enrollment in that age group was projected to increase another 11 percent.

These days, distance-based learning is more widely accepted and offers several unique advantages. Online education gives students the freedom to fit their school work around their existing obligations.

We asked Vickie Cook, executive director of online professional and engaged learning at the University of Illinois Springfield, to help us weigh the pros and cons of pursuing online learning later on in life.

“What I’ve seen is that more and more students who are older are coming back and getting advanced degrees, certificates, or taking a course, “Cook said. “A lot of these students are caregivers for parents, as well as having children of their own, so the online option is really convenient,” she said, adding that she believes there is “more acceptance by employers today for students who have been in the workforce for a while and want to go back to school.”

This story appeared on Online Education.

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Central IL Rep. wants to ban mechanical restraints, add new DCFS child investigators

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is facing backlash from the Governor and children's rights advocates after a child was shackled in a transport vehicle Monday.

Gov. JB Pritzker says he is furious another child was subject to hard restraints, as DCFS banned the practice last fall. DCFS Spokesman Jassen Strokosch says the agency has fired the contract employee responsible for the incident. The group has also terminated their contract with the transport company, Jim Stewart Transportation.

Rep. Sue Scherer filed a bill in November to make it illegal to use mechanical restraints on children in foster care. That was just days after DCFS officials admitted two teenagers were put in handcuffs and shackled at their ankles during a transport. She says these situations have to stop.

The downstate Democrat is also trying to help add staff for the department.

House Bill 3959 would add criminal justice as an accepted degree for child protective investigator applicants. Currently, DCFS looks for applicants with a bachelor's degree in a human services area such as law enforcement, early childhood development, etc.

Dr. Betsy Goulet runs the Child Advocacy Studies Program - or CAST - at the University of Illinois Springfield. The program has helped over 750 graduates become new investigators over the last four years.

Goulet says this bill is great for students interested in investigation and child protection. "We have seen a wide range of people coming to this work. It's very important that the pool is a little bit broader, that there's more people interested in this because it's so hard," said Goulet. "It's a very complex job."

She hopes DCFS will look to her criminal justice students from the CAST program to fill some of their vacancies. "These are students who understand mandated reporting," said Goulet. "They understand what an investigation entails, what happens when a child discloses, who usually responds and more important than anything it's all trauma-informed."

This story appeared on WGEM TV on February 12, 2020.

Watch the entire story online.

What's wrong with roses? Springfield author explores the dark side of valentines

Roses are an enduring Valentine's gift.

Aphrodite was the goddess of love in Greek mythology. According to some stories, the falling of her blood led to the first red rose.

The modern story of rose production also comes with a dark side. In Kenya, conditions for workers, the majority of them women, have long been a concern of human-rights activists. Sexual harassment, underpayment and overwork are reported as common problems.

Megan Styles, a Springfield native and professor at University of Illinois Springfield, explores the ethics, ecology and economy of rose production in her book recently released by University of Washington Press, Roses from Kenya.

In addition to an exploration of controversial labor practices, the book is also about a lake and the confluence of wildlife, commerce, power and politics surrounding it.

Styles became interested in the issue while a graduate student at the University of Washington where she was working toward her doctorate and came upon the topic, which combined her interests in Eastern Africa, ecology and ethnography.

"I literally Googled Kenya, environment and agriculture. And I came up with all of these really sensational articles in the BBC News and mainly the U.K. newspapers about Kenyan flower farming and the horrible labor conditions." She realized there was potential for a lesser-explored area of research on the environmental impacts of the industry.

In the U.S. market, many flowers sold come from South America. Styles suggests consumers ask questions about their origins if they harbor concerns about the ethical implications of the flowers they buy. As her book points out, consumer activism has been a key to bettering conditions and shining a spotlight on the practices in Kenya.

This story appeared in the Illinois Times on Feb. 13, 2020.

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State releases $500M for statewide technology innovation network, about $15M for UIS innovation center

Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday touted statewide benefits he said will result from a $500 million state investment in 15 hubs of a University of Illinois-led research institute network.

Officials at the University of Illinois Springfield said the announcement was “great news” that gets the Springfield campus “one step closer to realizing our vision for a downtown innovation center.” 

The Springfield campus is slated to receive about $15 million from that $500 million for construction of the center, which will include an expanded Innovate Springfield, a social innovation and business incubator.

“We look forward to the release of a portion of those funds relatively soon so we can move forward on the design phase of our plan in Springfield,” said UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp.

The university will also seek additional funds from the state capital construction program as part of a larger downtown innovation district that is expected to be shared with Southern Illinois University. 

Pritzker, a Democrat, announced at a Chicago news conference on the site of one of the future developments that the state would release the funding, which was originally approved under former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and reauthorized in last year’s state operating budget.

“Today’s announcement is so exciting. It will fast-track construction planning and we hope to break ground for DPI in a few months,” said UI President Timothy Killeen.

The IIN is a network of DPI and another 14 regional hubs which will receive portions of the other $270 million in state funding. Those hubs include partnerships with all of the state’s public universities, which will each create specific programs and facilities that fall in line with the IIN’s and DPI’s innovation, workforce development and economic growth goals. The stated goal of the program is to train the state’s workforce for in-demand technology jobs.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 12, 2020.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Georgetown student will share story of slave ancestors at UIS

Mélisande Short-Colomb started her freshman year at Georgetown University in the fall of 2017. But Short-Colomb’s college path isn’t an ordinary one.

While doing ancestry work, Short-Colomb found that two of her of her maternal ancestors were owned and sold by a Catholic order of priests in Washington, D.C. They were sold in 1838 to keep Georgetown financially afloat. The university gave Short-Colomb “legacy status” and she enrolled as a 63-year-old.

Short-Colomb will speak at the University of Illinois Springfield as part of its Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series at Brookens Auditorium on Feb. 24.

As a freshman, Short-Colomb joined other activist students in documenting the university’s slavery history, grappling with the question of reparations, organizing and voting for a restitution fee and debating how to best use the fees. Over the past several years, Georgetown has taken several steps to make amends for its participation in the slave trade, including creating a Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. Georgetown also issued a formal apology for its slave trading.

The Jesuits of the Maryland Province sold 272 slaves to plantations in Louisiana for what would be about $3.3 million today. Short-Colomb’s ancestors were 16 and 17 years old at the time. “It’s bold for us to have her,” said Justin Rose, director of diversity and inclusion at UIS. “I think it will be a great, sobering discussion.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on Feb. 11, 2020.

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Chancellor of University of Illinois Springfield Retiring

The leader of the University of Illinois Springfield plans to retire this year.

Chancellor Susan Koch announced Friday that she will retire on June 30, leaving the post she was appointed to in 2011.

She also served as vice president of the University of Illinois system.

Koch said working with the university's faculty, staff and students for nine years was “a privilege." “I love the university and the community my husband Dennis and I have called home for nearly a decade, and I am so proud of everything this young university has achieved," Koch said in a statement.

System President Tim Killeen said Koch's work will affect students for years. “Susan’s leadership and persistence have enriched UIS’s academic excellence, provided new opportunities for students, expanded and beautified the campus and laid the groundwork to do even more,” Killeen said.

Plans about the search for Koch's replacement have not been released yet.

This story appeared in U.S. News & World Report on February 8, 2020.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Men's Basketball: Stars named NCAA Division II Team of the Week

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball team notched back-to-back victories over ranked opponents and on Tuesday earned NCAA Division II Team of the Week honors by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The Prairie Stars upset No. 8 Bellarmine 77-75 on Thursday thanks to a game-winning 3-pointer by Jesus Castillo with 0.7 seconds remaining at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

UIS then took down No. 22 Indianapolis 89-86 in overtime at home on Saturday.

Daniel Soetan leads the Stars with 17.9 points per game, followed by Chase Robinson (14.9), Keymonta Johnson (13.9) and Castillo (11.5).

UIS, led by first-year head coach Matt Brock, is tied for 10th place in the GLVC standings with Quincy and Lewis and is one game out of the eighth and final spot for the GLVC tournament, which the Stars last appeared in 2016.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 4, 2020.

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Monday, February 3, 2020

The University of Illinois Springfield opens the Sangamon Experience

The University of Illinois Springfield has held a grand opening for the Sangamon Experience.

The experience is a new on-campus exhibition which will tell the history of the Sangamon Region of central Illinois.

Chancellor Susan J. Koch was present at the ceremony as she welcomed about more than 300 people to the exhibit.

The exhibit was held on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center. The exhibition is a multifaceted initiative that includes space of about 5,300-square-foot. The exhibition includes multimedia and interactive exhibits, historical maps, and photographs and a small theater. The exhibition will also include an interpretive text which was developed by teams of UIS students, faculty and community partners.

An anonymous, major gift to the University of Illinois Springfield helped made this possible.

This story appeared in the Chicago Morning Star on February 2, 2020.

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Former UIS baseball player John Sechen signs with Rockies

One of the top players in University of Illinois Springfield baseball history has earned his shot at the professional level. John Sechen signed a free agent contract with the Colorado Rockies organizations on Thursday.

Sechen was a member of the UIS baseball program from 2016-19, and was a three-time all-GLVC selection. He is the school’s career leader with 156 runs, a .485 on-base percentage, nine triples, 115 walks, 40 stolen bases, and 37 hit-by-pitches.

In 2018 and 2019, UIS won one GLVC regular season championship, advanced to two GLVC Tournaments, including being finalist in 2019, hosted two NCAA Regional Tournaments, and advanced to last year’s NCAA Division II Super Regional.

Sechen is the third Prairie Stars player to sign with a MLB affiliate over the last two years, including Andrew Dean being selected 18th in the 2019 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres.

This story appeared on WICS Newschannel 20 on January 31, 2020.

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Men's Basketball: Johnson lifts UIS past No. 22 Indy

Keymonta Johnson made two free throws with 7.1 seconds remaining in overtime, and the University of Illinois Springfield’s men’s basketball team defeated its second straight NCAA Division II ranked opponent with an 89-86 win over Indianapolis in a Great Lakes Valley Conference mens basketball game on Saturday at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

On Thursday, UIS beat No. 8 Bellarmine 77-75 at TRAC. Indianapolis, ranked No. 22, led 86-85 when Johnson made his two free throws to give the Prairie Stars the lead.

The Greyhounds missed a shot on their following possession and Kaj Days grabbed the rebound and was fouled. His two free throws sealed the victory.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 1, 2020.

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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Black History Month in Springfield opens with candlelight vigil

February marks Black History Month, a federally recognized celebration of African American history and culture.

Events are scheduled in the Springfield area especially at the University of Illinois Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College highlighting the observance that begins Saturday.

UIS The theme of this year’s celebration is “We Are Deeply Rooted.”

UIS director of diversity and inclusion Justin Rose said the students had a significant say in forming the statement, which he said is meant to be a “simple, yet powerful” reminder that they “are the building blocks” of America. “And so we thought to turn it on its head and call it what it is, that we are deeply rooted in every phase of America and that our presence matters,” Rose said.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on January 31, 2020.

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