Tuesday, September 25, 2012

UIS 16th annual Homecoming Weekend events announced

SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois Springfield invites the local community to celebrate our 16th annual Homecoming Weekend on October 5 & 6. The theme of Homecoming 2012 is “Bright Lights, Blue City”. The following is a partial list of events. To view a full list of Homecoming activities, visit www.uis.edu/homecoming.

UIS Homecoming Parade 

WHAT: The parade is an annual tradition of Homecoming at UIS. We hope you come out to enjoy the festivities, the UIS band and much more!

WHEN: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Campus – The parade will start in parking lot C-north and end in parking lot G south of the University Hall Building. The best place to view the parade is along Eliza Farnham Drive, near Founders Residence Hall.

DETAILS: Community members are encouraged to attend to watch the parade, enjoy, and learn more about the many student organizations, athletics teams, campus departments, businesses, and nonprofits that participate in the parade.

UIS Homecoming BBQ 

WHAT: The UIS Student Activities Committee (SAC) will host its annual BBQ following the parade. This will coincide with the soccer games.

WHEN: Friday, October 5, 2012 from 4:45 to 7:15 p.m.

WHERE: South Quad near the University Hall Building

DETAILS: Come join us for food, drinks, and fun. The cost for non-students is $10, which also includes admission to the UIS soccer games. UIS students are free with a valid iCard.

UIS Prairie Stars Men’s and Women’s Soccer 

WHAT: The NCAA Division II men’s and women’s soccer teams will play St. Joseph’s College during the annual homecoming game.

WHEN: Friday, October 5, 2012 – The women’s game begins at 5 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Kiwanis Stadium at UIS

DETAILS: Admission to the games is $6 for adults, who are not attending the BBQ. Children and UIS students are FREE. Student must show valid ID. Following the men’s soccer game, there will be a free fireworks display.

Homecoming 5K Run/Walk 

WHAT: The Department of Recreational Sports at UIS is hosting the 4th annual Homecoming 5K Run/Walk. The race is open to all UIS students, faculty, staff and community members.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2012 with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the race starting at 9 a.m.

WHERE: The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) at UIS

DETAILS: The cost to enter the 5K is $28 for the general public prior to the event or $33 the day of the event. Registration forms can be found at the Rec Sports office in TRAC or can be downloaded from the Rec Sports website at www.uis.edu/recsports/.

Saturday Family Activities 

WHAT: A variety of family activities are planned for Saturday.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 1-3 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Quad, unless otherwise noted.

DETAILS: Kid’s Corner/Kid’s Crafts/Spirit Wear Contest from 1-3 p.m. on the quad; Chemistry Presentation (ages 5-12) from 1-3 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building (HSB); Jenga Tournament (ages 12-18) on the quad from 1-3 p.m.; Solar Telescope Showcase from 1-3 p.m. on the quad; Tech Tools and Gadgets presented by Kara McElwrath from 1-2 p.m. in University Hall (UHB), room 2027.

UIS Students vs. UIS Alumni/Faculty/Staff Basketball Game 

WHAT: Students will face off against Alumni/Faculty/Staff in a basketball game designed to foster teamwork.

WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2011 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) at UIS

DETAILS: Admission is free

To view a full list of Homecoming activities visit www.uis.edu/homecoming.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Student government Fall 2012 election results

Election results from the Fall 2012 Student Government Association elections have been certified. Voting took place on Wednesday, September 19 and Thursday, September 20.

The following students are the winners of their respective races:

Senator: Education & Human Services - Blake Johnson

Senator: Transfer Students - Dane Vincent

Senator: Undergraduate Students - Justin Keenan

Senator: Freshman Students - Brian Geiger

Senator: Online Students - Barbara Matthews

Senator: Graduate Students - Ying Liu

Senator: At-Large (2 positions) - Samia Ahmad, Joseph McGee

As in every election, not all candidates were successful in obtaining their desired position. There are numerous other leadership opportunities on SGA committees that students may wish to pursue and they are highly encouraged to do so.

Congratulations to all candidates as they demonstrated leadership through their willingness to assume the responsibility associated with these important positions!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lorber named UIS Vice Chancellor for Development and Senior Vice President of the U of I Foundation

Jeff Lorber has been named Vice Chancellor for Development at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and Senior Vice President of the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). As Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President, he will provide leadership for the strategy development and management of fundraising plans, priorities, and activities at UIS. Lorber will work in close collaboration with UIS Chancellor Susan Koch and UIF President Sidney Micek.

“Jeff is a seasoned development professional with an exceptional background in higher education and community engagement,” said Chancellor Koch. “He brings an outstanding record of successful fundraising to the Vice Chancellor position and I am looking forward to the many contributions he will make to the advancement of UIS as one of the top regional public universities in the Midwest.”

Lorber comes to UIS from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he currently serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of Development for the SIU Foundation. He has been at SIU Carbondale since 2005 and served as the Campaign Director for SIU’s first comprehensive campaign, a successful $106 million effort.

“I look forward to working with Chancellor Koch, Dr. Micek and the University family to attract and secure external support needed to enhance the already outstanding educational experiences and opportunities available at UIS,” said Lorber. “I am excited about becoming involved in Springfield and the surrounding areas to help demonstrate the commitment and benefit UIS provides to the greater community at large.”

Lorber is a native of Muscatine, Iowa, and has also held development positions at Indiana University Northwest, the University of Tennessee, Northern Illinois University, Butler University, the University of Northern Iowa, and Washington University in St. Louis.

“We are very pleased and fortunate to have hired Jeff Lorber and have him join the senior leadership team at the University of Illinois Springfield and the University of Illinois Foundation,” said Micek. “We had many excellent candidates and he emerged as the right choice--at the right time--as we move forward. Jeff has had a significant amount of experience in higher education advancement and fundraising at different types of universities and that experience and background should be beneficial. He and his family will be great additions to UIS, the Foundation and the Springfield community.”

Lorber earned his doctorate in educational administration and policy studies from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He has a master's degree in college student personnel from Western Illinois University and a bachelor's degree in communications/public relations from the University of Northern Iowa.

UIS is a premier public university that provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education, exceptional public affairs opportunities, and outstanding professional preparation programs. The campus offers 24 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 master’s programs and 1 doctoral program. UIS has four core strengths: (1) a teaching-focused academic experience; (2) an abundance of opportunities to collaborate; (3) a right-sized supportive community; and (4) a tradition of educating public servants and leaders. UIS has four colleges: business and management; education and human services; liberal arts and sciences; and public affairs and administration.

For more information contact Derek Schnapp, director of public relations at 217/206-6716 or email dschn3@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

U.S. News & World Report ranks UIS second among public regional universities in the Midwest

U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 Edition of America’s Best Colleges released today ranks the University of Illinois Springfield second among public regional universities in the Midwest, a two spot increase from the 2012 rankings when UIS was fourth.

For the fifth straight year, UIS was ranked as the top regional public university in the state of Illinois.

“This prestigious ranking reflects the strength of our student body as well as high quality, teaching-focused experience provided at the University of Illinois Springfield,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “Our class sizes allow that personal interaction between professors and students in an environment where leadership is lived every day. Our faculty and staff know that ongoing excellence is about keeping the educational experience challenging, fresh and transformative in the best sense of the word for our students.”

The 12-state Midwest region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The rankings are based on several key measures of quality including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

“Great things can happen when students have the opportunity to engage in active learning and to collaborate with accomplished scholars who are as passionate about teaching and mentoring and student success as they are about the subjects they teach,” said UIS Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Lynn Pardie. “That’s what happens here at UIS, and it’s gratifying to see that quality recognized.”

UIS is a premier public university that provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education, exceptional public affairs opportunities, and outstanding professional preparation programs. The campus offers 24 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 master’s programs and 1 doctoral program. UIS has four core strengths: (1) a teaching-focused academic experience; (2) an abundance of opportunities to collaborate; (3) a right-sized supportive community; and (4) a tradition of educating public servants and leaders. UIS has four colleges: business and management; education and human services; liberal arts and sciences; and public affairs and administration.

For more information contact Derek Schnapp, director of public relations at 217/206-6716 or email dschn3@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

UIS enrollment tops 5,000 students for third year

The University of Illinois Springfield’s fall 2012 enrollment has topped 5,000 students for the third year in a row. The total number of enrolled students at UIS after the first 10 days of classes is 5,048.

“Students choose the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois (and parents encourage them to come to UIS) because of the personalized, high quality experience that we provide every day. It is a right-sized, supportive community,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch.

There are 3,054 undergraduates at UIS this fall, compared to 3,112 last fall semester. However, the number of freshmen attending UIS increased by nearly 16% this semester. A total of 283 freshmen are enrolled compared to 244 in fall 2011.

“UIS provides an exceptional undergraduate experience with an abundance of opportunities for leadership and I am especially pleased with the increase in the number of freshmen on our campus this year,” said Koch.

Overall, the diversity of the student body is also growing. African American students make up 11.5% percent (578) of the population this year compared to 9.9% (508) last year. There is also a similar increase in the number of Hispanic students this year (239 at 4.7%) compared to last year (187 at 3.6%).

“I am also pleased that we continue to make progress in recruiting a qualified and more diverse student population,” said Koch. “Diversity is important to the overall university experience for all students because it helps prepare them to live and work in an increasingly diverse and global environment.”

There are 1,994 graduate students enrolled at UIS, a 1.5% decrease from the preceding fall semester’s total of 2,025 students.

Growth in online learning continues, with a total of 1,527 students enrolled in online degree or certificate programs, a 7.15% increase over fall 2011. This semester, online students reside in 48 of the 50 states (not North Dakota or Vermont), 75 counties in Illinois, and 9 foreign countries. Online students make up 38% of total credit hours generated at UIS this term, with 61% of all UIS students taking at least one online class.

“Because of our nationally-recognized expertise in high-quality online learning; online enrollments at UIS continue to increase,” said Koch. “Online opportunities provide flexibility and make college more accessible for students who, for whatever reason, may not be able to attend college face-to-face.”

UIS is a premier public university that provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education, exceptional public affairs opportunities, and outstanding professional preparation programs.

UIS has four core strengths: (1) a teaching-focused academic experience; (2) an abundance of opportunities to collaborate; (3) a right-sized supportive community; and (4) a tradition of educating public servants and leaders.

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UIS-based Illinois Innocence Project awarded second half-million dollar post-conviction DNA testing grant

The Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been awarded $589,638 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to be used for post-conviction DNA testing. The grant, which will be administered by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, was announced on September 10 by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

The Illinois Innocence Project has previously focused on cases in downstate Illinois, and will use this funding to expand its efforts to cases in the northern part of the state. This grant will allow the Illinois Innocence Project to identify, review, and investigate cases in northern Illinois to determine the strength of DNA evidence and to arrange for DNA testing when it appears crucial to verifying a claim of actual innocence. The grant was made available through the Post-Conviction DNA Testing Assistance Program.

This is the second federal post-conviction DNA testing grant awarded to the Illinois Innocence Project. In November 2010, the project was awarded a $687,448 Department of Justice Bloodsworth Grant to clear downstate Illinois innocence cases where DNA testing might decide the outcome.

For more information, contact Larry Golden at lgold1@uis.edu. More information about the Innocence Project can be found on their website at www.uis.edu/innocenceproject/.

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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Students work with UIS-based Innocence Project to overturn conviction of innocent man

As a new academic year begins, students at the University of Illinois Springfield based Illinois Innocence Project have already seen the results of their work with a judge’s ruling that inmate Anthony Murray be granted a new trial. Murray was wrongfully convicted of the June 1998 murder of Seneca Jones in Centralia, Ill. and sentenced to 45 years in the Menard Correctional Center.

Over the past two years, UIS students have helped review the case and assisted Innocence Project lawyer John Hanlon. The students searched for new evidence, interviewed Murray, and attended a June 2012 hearing challenging his conviction.

“We spent a lot of time going through trial transcript and contacting witnesses,” said Rebecca Jo Luke, a senior UIS legal studies major completing an applied study term with the Innocence Project. “I think it was clear to everyone that there had been a miscarriage of justice.”

The student efforts contributed to an August 2012 decision by Marion County Associate Judge Marc Kelly that Murray’s conviction be vacated due to the ineffective representation that Murray received at his initial trial. The judge ruled Murray’s attorney was ineffective because of his decision to call a witness who he knew would unreliably implicate his client in the crime. Kelly found that the lawyer’s decision was so prejudicial to Murray that the outcome at the trial likely would have been different given what he knew about the jury’s deliberations. The judge has ordered a new trial for Murray.

The Illinois Innocence Project is currently reviewing 25 cases with assistance from students at UIS, the University of Illinois College of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law, and Northern Illinois University College of Law.

Founded in 2000, the Illinois Innocence Project is part of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership and has a three-part mission: to (1) evaluate and investigate cases for credible claims of an Illinois inmate's actual innocence, and, when appropriate, provide legal representation and/or other assistance toward proving the inmate's actual innocence; to (2) encourage meaningful reforms toward preventing the conviction of innocent persons in the future; and to (3) educate the public and provide important educational and experiential opportunities for students about wrongful convictions.

For more information, contact Larry Golden, Illinois Innocence Project Executive Director at lgold1@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Environmental Challenge Grant from the Lumpkin Foundation to support Emiquon efforts

The Lumpkin Family Foundation of Mattoon, Illinois will match gifts that support education at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon. The dollar-for-dollar offer, up to a total of $5,000, lasts through November 30, 2012.

"We see in the Field Station a great opportunity for education that takes a learner out of the classroom and into the field, whether that learner is a child looking at microbes from a nearby lake, or an adult touring a wetlands restoration with an environmental scholar,” said Bruce Karmazin, executive director of the Lumpkin Foundation.

The Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, under the direction of UIS professor Michael Lemke, takes advantage of the unique living laboratory for aquatic ecology related to The Nature Conservancy's floodplain restoration along the Illinois River. UIS students and community groups use the facility to learn about the environment.

To contribute, visit www.uis.edu/development or call the UIS Office of Development at 217/206-6058.

Educational activities for the community include the following:
  • Monthly Second Sunday Science Series (4S), a program for the public, students, and others featuring Emiquon's scientific, historical, and future significance. Gifts would help bring regional and national experts on the environment to the series.
  • Field trips for K-12 students, local clubs, and organizations, at which participants use microscopes, collect samples, create Winogradsky column to take home, complete a camera scavenger hunt, and much more. Gifts would help provide learning modules for new activities. 
  • Environmental academies, at which high school students learn about careers in the environment and contribute as volunteers to restoration activities. Gifts would help provide new equipment and supplies. 
For more information, contact Sarah Jennings, Interim Associate Chancellor for Development and Interim Sr. VP University of Illinois Foundation at 217/206-6058 or sjenn02s@uis.edu.

Thirty nine new faculty members join UIS for fall 2012

Thirty nine new faculty members have joined the University of Illinois Springfield for the 2012 Fall Semester. Thirteen will teach in programs within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; seven will teach in the College of Public Affairs and Administration; five in the College of Education and Human Services; six in the College of Business and Management; four will teach in the library, and four in the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

Kevin Beeson, visiting clinical instructor of Experiential and Service Learning in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a M.A in History from the University of Illinois Springfield. Beeson’s research and professional interests include history, political science, and continuing education. He also appreciates civil war & local history, rock collecting, and reading.

Travis Bland, assistant professor of Public Administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs from Virginia Tech. Bland’s research and professional interests include social welfare, normative and ethical foundations of our constitutional democratic republic, network approach to governance, and political philosophy. He also enjoys baseball, golf, and teaching/ leading small groups at church, and working with youth groups.

Robert Blankenberger, assistant professor of Public Administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis and Administration from Saint Louis University. His research and professional interest include higher education policy and federalism as well as history and athletics.

Dorine Brand, assistant professor of Public Health in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Brand’s research and professional interests include health disparities and the role of faith-based organizations in facilitating health programming within the African American community. She is also interested in reading, relaxing, and spending time with family and friends.

Mark Buxton, assistant professor of Accountancy in the College of Business and Management, holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration/ Accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His research and professional interests include behavioral/ decision-making in business situations, spending time with family and friends, sports, and traveling.

Jesús Canelón, assistant professor of Management Information Systems in the College of Business Administration and Management, holds a Ph.D. in Information Systems and Technology from Claremount Graduate University. Canelón’s research and professional interests include online learning, face, facework, online conflicts, and intercultural communication. He enjoys baseball, tennis, running, and cycling.

Sarah Collins, clinical instructor and writing specialist in the Center for Teaching and Learning, earned her M.A from the University of Illinois Springfield in English. Collins’ research and professional interests includes English studies, composition, tutoring, graphic novel, theatre, film, Shakespeare, and 21st century fiction. She also loves the arts, especially theatre, film, and photography. She enjoys reading and writing for pleasure.

Sarah Dennis, visiting assistant professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her research and professional interests include material culture studies, early American visual arts and literature. She also enjoys gardening, training for her first race, and spending time with friends and family.

Myrto Drizou, instructor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from State University of New York at Buffalo. Drizou research and professional interests include 19th and 20th century American literature, continental theory, gender studies, rhetoric and composition. She also loves to travel, bike, and cook for friends.

Betsy Goulet, visiting lecturer of Public Administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a M.A in Child, Family, and Community Services from the University of Illinois Springfield. Her research and professional interests include the public sector/nonprofit collaboration for social change and child abuse policy development. She also enjoys writing music, musical theater, and reading.

Dorothy Hemmo, clinical assistant professor of Library Instructional Services, holds a M.S. in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona. Her research and professional interests include online learning, information literacy, and emerging technologies. She also enjoys gardening, music, and the opera.

Michael Hogan, distinguished professor of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Iowa. His research and professional interests include U.S political history, diplomatic history, and national security studies.

Carol Jessup, visiting associate professor of Accountancy in the College of Business and Management, received her Ph.D. in Business Aministration/ Management and Public Policy Analysis from Saint Louis University. Jessup’s research and professional interests include governmental and nonprofit accounting (state and local government financial reporting issues), auditing and fraud topics, and online teaching, including technology tools. She enjoys movies, pets, collecting sheet music, traveling, and aquacise.

John Laubersheimer, clinical assistant professor of Library Instructional Services, holds a M.S. in Library and information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and professional interests include librarianship, instruction, information seeking behaviors, and general information science. He also enjoys painting, history, pop culture, and gaming.

Geoffrey Lea, visiting associate professor of Accountancy in the College of Business and Management, earned a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University. His research and professional interests include Austrian economics, political economy, public choice, property right, and the history of economic thought. He also enjoys coaching rugby, mixology, and gastronomy.

Karen Lee, visiting clinical instructor of Human Development Counseling in the College of Education and Human Services, holds a M.A in Individual Option Program/ Non-Traditional Approaches to Medical Education from the University of Illinois Springfield. Her research and professional interests include art therapy, trauma, schizophrenia, assertive community treatment, and neurobiology of psychotherapy. She also enjoys painting, sailing, and rescuing animals.

Ronald Loui, assistant professor of Computer Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a M.S in Computer Science and Philosophy/Cognitive Science from the University of Rochester. Loui’s research and professional interests include cyberwarfare, egovernment, data analytics, artificial intelligence and legal reasoning, political and behavioral economics, and personality-based engineering education.

Kathy Massey, visiting assistant professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education and Human Services, holds an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Illinois State University. Massey’s research and professional interest include educational technology, student achievement, online learning, and the administrative role. She also enjoys reading, gardening, traveling, and playing golf.

Peggy Mayfield, visiting instructor of Human Services in the College of Education and Human Services, earned a M.A in Human Development Counseling from the University of Illinois Springfield. Mayfield’s research and professional interests include resilience, capacity building, compassion fatigue, traumatic stress, and cultural competence. She also enjoys photography, painting, family, and friends.

Stephen Mcminn, clinical assistant and director of collections and scholarly communications in Library Instructional Services, holds a M.S. in Library Science from Indiana University. His research and professional interests includes analyzing library collections and use of bibliographic management applications emphasizing how information is used to further research and scholarship. He also enjoys family activities, movies, and sports.

Michele Miller, assistant professor of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her research and professional interests include individual difference in temperament, social-emotional development, risk for psychopathology, and readiness for preschool. Miller also enjoys spending time with family, live music or comedy, watching sports, running, and reading.

Nicole Overcash, instructor for the Capital Scholars Honors Program, holds a M.A. in English from the University of Illinois Springfield. Her research and professional interests include contemporary literature, postmodern theory, Asian studies, and interdisciplinarity. She also enjoys antiquing/thrifting, sewing, and traveling.

Kenneth Owen, assistant professor of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a Ph.D. in Modern History from the University of Oxford. Owen’s research and professional interests include political ideology in Colonial and Revolutionary America.

Vicki Perkins, instructor for the Capital Honors Scholars Program, holds a M.A. in English from New York University.

 




Jaclyn Peterson, instructor for the Capital Honors Scholars Program, holds a M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University. Her research and professional interests includes increasing accessibility of individuals on the autism spectrum to higher education and meaningful career paths. She also enjoys traveling, running, writing, speaking French, and spending time with family and friends.

Dathan Powell, assistant professor of Theatre in the College of Liberal Arts, earned his M.A. in Fine Arts and Scenic Design from Indiana University. His research and professional interests include producing live performance events, creating tools to help theatre artists, and using theatre as a collaboration tool that can be applied across scholarly disciplines. Powell also enjoys family, woodworking, furniture design, architectural history, music, and pop culture.

Hua Qin, assistant professor of Environmental Studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Ecology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Qin’s research and professional interests include environmental and resource sociology, population and the environment (climate change), community and natural resource management, and research methods and statistics. He also enjoys movies, sports, and spending time with his family.

Maria Elena Rivera-Beckstrom, visiting assistant professor of Legal Studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York. Beckstrom’s research and professional interests include Philippine constitutional politics and American colonialism, comparative constitution-making and comparative-historical sociology. She also enjoys food and cooking, movies, especially foreign films, and taking care of her shamrock and basil plants.

Jeffrey Robinson, instructor of Art in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned his M.A. in Fine Arts and Painting from Illinois State University. Robinson’s research and professional interest include the investigation of drawing, painting and mixed –media processes; and the study of theory pertaining to design, color and art. He also enjoys reading, music, watching football, playing video games, and relaxing with family and friends.

Sarah Sagmoen, clinical assistant and director of learning commons and user services in Library Instructional Services, holds a M.S. in Library and Information Sciences from Dominican University. Her research and professional interests include exploring ways in which academic libraries can collaborate with student activities to bridge the curricular and co-curricular environments. Her personal interests include reading, cooking, tech gadgets, and social media.

Bruce Sommer, visiting instructor of Management in the College of Business and Management, holds a M.B.A in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. His research and professional interests include emerging business start-ups and early-stage venture investing.

Yona Stamatis, assistant professor of Music in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan. Stamatis’ research and professional interests involve Rebetika, traditional Greek music, music and social justice, musical nationalism, music and European integration, and music and resistance. She also enjoys playing the violin and bouzouki, reading modern Greek literature, cooking, and fishing.

Justin Stearns, assistant professor of Accountancy in the College of Business and Management, earned his Ph.D. in Accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Stearns research and professional interest involves decision making in managerial/cost accounting, particularly relating to budgeting and planning. He also enjoys spending time with family, baseball, current events, technology, and science fiction books.

Grace Sweatt, visiting instructor of Social Works in the College of Education and Human Services, earned a M.S.W in Social Work-Health and Mental Health from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Her research and professional interest include best practices for long-term care ombudsmen, intersection of personal and professional values, creative solutions to new economic realities, and community-building. In addition, Sweatt appreciates reading, writing, 19th century American history, bicycling, traveling, and is designing a small “green” home for retirement.

Lucas Vespa, assistant professor of Computer Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Vespa’s research and professional interest includes network security analysis, sensor networks, and applications for SIMD processing. He also indulges in classical guitar and rock climbing.

Donna Weinstein, assistant professor of Human Services in the College of Education and Human Services, holds a Ph.D in Educational Counseling from Oakland University. Her research and professional interests includes perception – we may speak the same language, but we rarely mean the same thing – as well as fostering healthy parent/teen relationships. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, cooking, reading scrapbooking, and learning new things.

Brett Werner, assistant professor of Environmental Studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. Werner’s research and professional interest include sustainability, environmental humanities/ human dimensions (ethics, history, literature, policy, and rhetoric), ecology (wetlands, modeling, riparian), agriculture and food. He also enjoys paddling, hiking, gardening, photography, and writing.

Clifford White, instructor in the Capital Honors Scholars Program, holds a M.A. in Communication from the University of Illinois Springfield. He has many research and professional interests, but his highest priority is focusing on how media contextualizes reality for the audience that engages it. He describes himself as an “unabashed cinefile” who enjoys a diverse swath of films and genres. He also appreciates literature, music, philosophy, tennis, and politics.

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