Friday, August 26, 2016

UIS students give back to the community during the first week of classes

University of Illinois Springfield students volunteered at nine Springfield locations on Friday, August 26, 2016, as part of the annual Welcome Week Service-A-Thon.

“Over the last three years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of students participating in this event, in our first-year service project and our MLK Day project,” said Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

Nearly 130 students were deployed to service projects at the Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County ReStore, M.E.R.C.Y Communities, the Springfield Urban League, Family Service Center, Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, Central Illinois Foodbank and the St. John’s Breadline.

“I just wanted to come out and help the community,” said UIS freshman Mariah Rodriguez. “I saw the Family Service Center listing and I wanted to get to know more about it. We’re going to be painting a white wall blue, so it makes it friendlier.”

Like Rodriguez, first-year students Amanda Greenan and Tori Covington are just starting to explore their new home of Springfield.

“You get thrown into a new town and you should definitely get to know your community and go and volunteer to make sure you help out,” said Covington.

Dochterman hopes many of the students participating in the Service-A-Thon will get involved in the year-round service projects at the Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

“We hope that if this is the first time a student has served, it encourages them to do it again and get involved with something over a longer period of time.”

This is the eighth year that UIS has held a Service-A-Thon during the first week of classes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chancellor’s Picnic helps start the 2016-17 academic year

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan J. Koch helped kick off the 2016-17 academic year by hosting her annual Welcome Week picnic on August 23, 2016.

“The Chancellor’s Picnic is a chance for students, faculty and staff to come together and have some social time together and look ahead to the new academic year,” said Koch.

Students have an opportunity to meet Chancellor Koch and make new friends at the picnic.

“It’s fun because you get to see a lot of people you don’t usually see for the rest of the school year,” said Donae Gordon, a communication major.

International student Karan Rikke, from India, came to the picnic for similar reasons.

“You get to know a lot of people here, otherwise you end up staying in your community with your own friends,” he said.

This year, students were also given the chance to sign a steel beam that will be used in the construction of the new UIS Student Union.

“I wish the beam could be exposed, unfortunately that won’t be the case, but all of us who have signed it are going to know that our names are going to be in that student union forever,” said Koch.

It’s estimated that more than 700 people attended this year’s picnic.

“I think what I appreciate the most is just the opportunity to be part of this wonderful academic community,” said Koch. “It’s just a great community and I’m honored to be part of it.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hundreds of new UIS students arrive on Freshman Move-In Day

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed approximately 250 new students during Freshman Move-In Day on August 17, 2016.

“There is incredible energy and just a sense of starting something new and opening a door," said John Ringle, UIS director of Residence Life.

On Move-In Day, students are assigned arrival times in an effort to avoid congestion. Volunteers help direct parents to parking spaces, unload and carry items and help students find their rooms.

“I chose the dorm experience just to get the full college life,” said incoming freshman Jacqueline Johnson of Sherman, Illinois. “I wanted to be part of this university and to join a ton of clubs, so that’s why I decided to live on campus.”

Fellow student Royce Hill of Chatham, Illinois also decided UIS was the right choice because of the academic opportunities and proximity to home.

“I definitely wanted to get out of the house, so that was a priority, but I like still being close to home, but not living at home,” said Hill.

Chancellor Susan Koch visited with students and parents as they moved into Lincoln and Founders Residence Halls, offering advice and reassuring parents.

“Move-In Day is really one of the most exciting times of the year,” said Koch. “One of the things I enjoy about it is not only meeting new students, but meeting their parents.”

Fall 2016 semester classes begin on Monday, August 22, 2016.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

UIS students and faculty take part in a national collaboration studying super-users of healthcare

UIS students Regina Bolin and Sicely Nicholas joined seven other student researchers in Camden, New Jersey in July to begin the collaboration.

Five University of Illinois Springfield students and two faculty member are part of a national collaborative that aims to better understand super-users of healthcare services in the United States.

Over the next six months, UIS students will partner with team members from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, St. John's College of Nursing and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to engage three to four high-utilizing patients.

The teams of five to six students, will learn about the barriers that medically and socially complex patients face to obtaining high-quality care and maintaining their health.

“Beyond the student opportunities, this program makes a huge difference in patients' lives and in the local community,” said Brittany Carls, a UIS graduate student taking part in the collaboration.

“By working directly with patients, we are able to provide social support, help patients navigate the healthcare system, get patients on track to reaching their health goals, and lower the economic burden that often occurs with super-utilizers," she added.

Through online curriculum and accompanying monthly case conferencing, the students will learn the key aspects of high-utilizer interventions: obtaining and using data for patient identification and selection, engaging patient and communities, motivational interviewing, transitioning patients to their primary care providers, and recording patient outcomes.

UIS Associate Professor of Business Administration Jorge Villegas and UIS Social Work Fieldwork Director and Advisor Vincent Flammini will assist the students.

UIS students taking part in the collaboration include Brittany Carls (MBA), Regina Bolin and Colleen McMahon (BBA), and Sicely Nicholas and Katherine Selway (Social Work).

The central Illinois team is one of 30 teams across the nation engaging with high-utilizing patients during the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative. Findings will be reviewed during a wrap-up meeting in January 2017 in Camden, New Jersey.

The collaboration is being held in conjunction with the Camden Coalition, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and Primary Care Progress (PCP).