Tuesday, May 25, 2010

UIS graduates more than 1,190 students

UIS celebrated the graduation of 1,196 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students on Saturday, May 15 during the 39th annual Commencement Ceremony.

See a printable list of graduates' names and degrees listed by hometown below.

PDF: Download the full graduate list

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hundreds of UIS graduates fulfill their dream of a higher education

Watch the entire UIS Commencement Ceremony online

University of Illinois Springfield
graduates, families and friends packed the Prairie Capital Convention Center in downtown Springfield on Saturday, May 15 to celebrate the 39th UIS Commencement Ceremony.

Almost 700 UIS graduates walked across the stage, receiving their diplomas after years of studying and hard work in the classroom. They leave knowing the knowledge and experience they’ve gained at UIS will serve them for a lifetime.

“You have earned your ‘University of Illinois’ degree, here at UIS, the public university in the state capitol; it is something that you should be proud of the rest of your life, as we will be of you,” said Richard Ringeisen, UIS Chancellor.

Karen Hasara, an alumnus from the first graduating class at Sangamon State University delivered the 2010 Commencement address. Hasara became the first woman to be elected Springfield mayor in 1995 and was appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees by Governor Pat Quinn in September 2009.

Hasara told the audience how she was the second person in line to sign up for classes at SSU in 1970. Her life would change forever as the education she received helped her launch a career as an elementary school teacher and later enter politics.

“I truly believe this school has changed our community for the better more than any other event of our time,” said Hasara.

Hasara talked about coming full circle, from a student at the university to a member of the Board of Trustees.

“I feel blessed to be, so personally, somehow connected to almost every step of the development of UIS in the past forty years. I am one of you, and I take great pride in saying that,” Hasara told the graduates.

Hasara closed her remarks with some advice for students asking them to stay active in the world. She told students to avoid being cynics and talked about the importance of the presumption of decency when working with others.

Priyanka Deo, the student speaker who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology also talked about how her education has changed her life.

“Being born and brought up in India, my attitude has always been to make the most of every prospect that comes my way,” said Deo.

Deo told the audience due to the fierce competition among students in her country, the only way to distinguish herself from the crowd was to be well-rounded and affect the community in a positive light.

She told the story about how a friend in India saw her resume and stated “Wow, I wish I had all of these activities available to me when I was growing up.”

“After she said that, it really made me realize just how enriching an education at UIS as well as the countless opportunities at this college have been in helping me grow and shaping me into what I am today along with my academics,” Deo reflected.

A total of 1,198 students were eligible to graduate, with 694 taking part in the ceremony.

Photos and more video are available at the commencement website: www.uis.edu/commencement/

Record number attend UIS online student graduation brunch

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed more than 250 guests, including 48 online students for its annual pre-graduation brunch and celebration in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby on Saturday, May 15.

Online students from 13 different states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas attended the event. The graduates and their families, online coordinators and program faculty were all recognized during the brunch.

For many of the students it was the first time they’ve stepped foot on the UIS campus, but for others they chose online learning for the convenience factor.

Mother and daughter team Phyllis West of Chatham and Jenna Harlow of Springfield are both graduating with a master's degree in Teacher Leadership.

“We would help each other out when we signed up. You know, what class are you going to take? What homework is due at the end of the week? Sometimes she’d call me up on Saturday and say you realize that assignment is due tomorrow,” said West, Jenna’s mother.

UIS has been recognized as a national leader in online education, having received multiple awards for online excellence and achievement.

“We have 1,300 students who complete their programs at a distance, so some of these students are coming from all over the country,” said Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS).

A group photo of the online graduates was taken and each of them was presented with a gift from the university.

For more information on online programs at UIS visit www.uis.edu/online/

Photos, video, and more stories are available at the UIS Commencement website: www.uis.edu/commencement/

Thursday, May 13, 2010

UIS welcomes president-designate Michael J. Hogan during ceremony

UIS welcomed the 18th president of the University of Illinois during an announcement ceremony in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby on May 13, 2010.

Michael J. Hogan has been the president of the University of Connecticut since September 2007 and brings the experience of a four-decade career in public higher education to Illinois.

“This is a challenging time, but for me it’s a terrific opportunity because the University of Illinois is one of the world's jewels of public higher education at every single level,” said Hogan.

Hogan is an acclaimed historian who served as dean of the arts and sciences at The Ohio State University before becoming executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa.

“I was very impressed that Dr. Hogan had done his homework relative to UIS. He came in impressed. The first thing he said to me was what a run you’ve had here,” said Richard Ringeisen, UIS chancellor.

Ringeisen showed Hogan around the campus and presented him with a UIS necktie that he wore during the ceremony. Hogan says he realizes the importance of the liberal arts education UIS offers, because he’s benefited from one himself.

“Standing here at this wonderful liberal arts college I know exactly how it touches you, what it means to you and I look forward to continuing and building on that tradition,” said Hogan.

As UConn president, Hogan successfully managed financial strains similar to those he will confront in Illinois.

“I’m looking forward, very much looking forward to addressing these challenges and mostly addressing them in partnership with the faculty, staff, students and the board of trustees,” he said.

Hogan was selected from a field of 208 candidates for the University of Illinois presidency and emerged as the top choice in the seven-month search because of his uncommon combination of scholarship, university leadership experience and achievement.

Read the official University press release on Hogan’s appointment

Watch the entire ceremony on UIS video on demand

Monday, May 10, 2010

UIS cancer researchers seeing positive results using plant extracts

A student and faculty team at the University of Illinois Springfield has been using seven crude plant extracts to determine if they possess anti-cancer properties when testing human cervical carcinoma cells.

So far the results are promising, but more testing still needs to be done.

“Plant extracts of several species have been able to stop the cancer growth in the laboratory under specific conditions,” said Associate Professor Lucia Vazquez, chair of the Department of Biology.

The team is studying the effects of the plants thyme, clove, garlic, cumin, turmeric, oregano and coriander on cancer. Vazquez says at this point they aren’t ready to say drinking plant extracts could cure cancer, but the results are encouraging.

“It’s kind of a very initial phase of the research,” said Vazquez.

UIS senior biology major Angela McCauley volunteered to take on the project at the beginning of the semester. She’s been doing hands on research alongside faculty members.

“I don’t think a lot of people know that UIS is doing research like this. I grew up in Springfield and knew I wanted to go to UIS, but I had no idea what they were doing out here,” said McCauley.

McCauley will be graduating this month, but plans to return to UIS to pursue her master’s degree. She hopes to continue her research or hand the project over to another undergraduate student.

“These are one of the first human cell lines that have been put into cultures. Angela’s been really nicely handling them all semester long and introducing the plant extracts,” said Rebecca Landsberg, assistant professor of biology.

Landsberg has also been helping with the project. She says at larger universities, students like Angela wouldn’t have the opportunity they’re getting at UIS.

“We’ve really shown how many wonderful things undergraduate students can do in the lab,” said Landsberg.

Like many, McCauley was touched by the disease when a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now she finds comfort in her research as she fights for a cure.

“Since then it’s been a touchy subject for me, so I think it helps me understand the topic and explain to other people why it happened,” she said.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

UIS launches a four-step program to increase employability for disabled students

The University of Illinois Springfield Office of Disability Services is launching a program to improve the transition from college to employment for disabled graduates called “Journey2Jobs”.

The program will include a mentoring program, instruction on issues related to employability, and job-related volunteer service and internship opportunities. During development, the program will include 8 to 10 students each year starting in the fall semester 2010. Students will sign up for the program after their first year on campus.

The mentoring program will bring together disabled students with disabled graduates who have successfully negotiated job seeking, the application process, and employment. During the first year, mentors and project staff will develop a mentoring handbook to help community members. The ultimate goal is to give students a much more willing, motivated, and optimistic attitude toward future employment.

“Such a mentoring program helps students think about what jobs they might like and succeed at, learn to articulate their skills, gain self-confidence in their abilities, and market themselves,” said Suzanne Woods, visiting director of the Office of Disability Services.

The program will also provide workshops, seminars, and discussion groups on topics that relate to employment—when to disclose disabilities, dealing with employers’ and co-workers concerns related to a disability, proving their value on the job, getting along with co-workers, interview skills, their legal rights, and much more. Disabled students are frequently behind their peers in job-seeking skills and need targeted workshops to help them gain confidence.

Disabled students need more experience in a job setting. They frequently have not had the same job experiences that their peers have had and therefore look less attractive to employers. Job-related volunteer opportunities and internships that provide experience in the kind of work students want to do after graduation build their resume and add experience, making applicants more attractive to employers. These opportunities also build confidence in the students and help students make informed choices about their ultimate career choices.

In February 2009, according to the U.S. Office of Disability Policy, “the percent of people with disabilities in the labor force was 23.0, compared with 70.9 for persons with no disability”. The Center for an Accessible Society found “For graduates of 4-year colleges, the employment rate, both men and women, has been 89.9%. For college graduates with disabilities, the employment rate is 50.6%.”

“These dismal disparities offer universities a tremendous opportunity to improve disabled college graduates’ transition into employment. At UIS, we would like to take up this challenge,” said Woods.

Following graduation, the Office of Disability Services will track students’ progress to learn about their job searching and employment experiences to give insight into how to improve the program. Eventually, if they stay local, students who were involved in the program will be invited to participate as mentors themselves.

The Journey2Jobs program was made possible by funding from an anonymous private donor. For more information contact Suzanne Woods in the Office of Disability Services at 217/206-6666 or swood06s@uis.edu.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

UIS to hold 39th commencement ceremony at downtown Springfield convention center

Commencement ceremonies for the University of Illinois Springfield will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Ninth and Adams streets in downtown Springfield. Of the 1,198 students eligible to graduate, 694 will participate in the ceremony.

Tickets are not required for admission and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reserved seating except for special needs such as interpretive services and wheelchairs. The doors to the main floor of the center will open at 1 p.m.

The commencement speaker will be Karen Hasara, who graduated from SSU/UIS in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and again in 1992 with a master’s degree in Legal Studies. The former Springfield mayor was appointed to the U of I Board of Trustees by Governor Pat Quinn in September 2009.

Hasara started her career as an elementary school teacher and became the first woman to be elected Springfield mayor in 1995. Before her time in city government Hasara was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1986 and the Illinois Senate in 1993. She also serves on the Chancellor's Community Advisory Board, Alumni Leadership Roundtable, and is a founding member of the Alumni SAGE Society.

Mary Bohlen, Associate Professor of Communication and Chair of the Communication Department at UIS, has been chosen to serve as grand marshal. The student speaker will be Priyanka Deo, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology.

Faculty and students in each academic program select one graduating student who best exemplifies the goals and spirit of that program to serve as student marshal for the ceremony.

This year’s marshals are:

Accountancy: Brian A. Fiddes – B.A. (Peoria), Rhonda R. Neubauer – B.A., Heidi E. Nance – M.A.

Biology: Aubrey L. Calvert – B.S., Sarah S. Popovich – M.S.

Business Administration: Joseph L. Bordewick – B.B.A, Daniel S. Hunt – M.B.A. (Peoria), Kathryn E. Martin – M.B.A.

Chemistry: Stephanie Gorsuch – B.S.

Clinical Laboratory Science: Sarah K. Barrett – B.S.

Communication: Valeree C. Dunn – B.A., James K. Anderson – M.A.

Computer Science: Timothy W. Robert – B.S., Derek N. Murray – M.S.

Criminal Justice: Leslie N. Reutter – B.A.

Economics: Jeremy T. Downin – B.A.

Educational Leadership: Sharon E. Mann – M.A.

English: Amelia K. Maddox – B.A., Michael A. Gammon – M.A.

Environmental Studies: Scott W. Hicks – M.A.

History: Matthew E. Parbs – B.A., Justin A. Blandford – M.A.

Human Development Counseling: Yolanda S. Six – M.A.

Human Services: Rebecca Wendle – M.A.

Legal Studies: Brett A. Walker – B.A., Ryan Charles Reese – M.A.

Liberal Studies: William L. Paulsen – B.A.

Liberal and Integrative Studies: Solomon D. Roberts-Lieb – M.A.

Management: Jan D. Sampson – B.A., Richard L. Smith – B.A. (Peoria)

Management Information Systems: Eric William Penegor – M.S.

Mathematical Sciences: Karen Bradley – B.A.

Philosophy: Thomas J. Farmer – B.A.

Political Studies: Priyanka N. Deo – B.A., Joshua A. Blessman – M.A.

Psychology: Amy J. Quarton – B.A.

Public Administration: Nicholas J. Conklin – M.P.A., John Phillips – D.P.A.

Public Affairs Reporting: Kathleen N. Foody – M.A.

Public Health: Ajay A. Myneni – M.P.H.

Social Work: Cassidy E. Crossman – B.S.W.

Sociology/Anthropology: Nina Tangman – B.A.

Teacher Leadership: Nicole Frye – M.A.

Visual Arts: Sara D. Lubeno – B.A

A number of events are planned for graduates, their families and guests, beginning with a reception for Peoria-area students on Friday, May 7. Separate brunches for CAP Honors graduates and online degree graduates are scheduled for Saturday morning, May 15.

Admission to some commencement events is by invitation only. Updated information, including a complete list of events, is available from the commencement website at www.uis.edu/commencement/.

The ceremony will be webcast live at www.uis.edu/technology/uislive.html. DVDs ($25) can also be ordered from the Office of Electronic Media, phone 217/206-6799.

For more information, go to the UIS Commencement website at www.uis.edu/commencement/.