Sunday, May 14, 2017

UIS graduates a record number of students during the 46th annual commencement

The University of Illinois Springfield held two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in downtown Springfield. A record 1,270 students took part in the ceremonies, making it the largest commencement in the university’s history.

UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch presided over the ceremonies, welcoming thousands of guests. She reminded graduates about the importance of earning a college degree.

“Graduates, this is your day and you are participating in an important rite of passage that universities have honored for centuries,” said Koch. “All that you have strived for culminates today with this milestone.”

Koch also congratulated first generation college graduates and thanked family and friends for supporting their students and encouraging them to succeed.

“Whatever your path has been to this day, you should be very proud of your accomplishment. I am proud of you,” said Koch.

During the second ceremony, Koch was joined on stage by University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen who spoke to the students about being engaged citizens who stand up for inclusion, diversity and the first amendment.

“Think every issue through and search for the truth,” said Killeen. “Evaluate, analyze and then speak up, speak out and lead with the integrity that your time here has instilled.”

Also during the second ceremony, Edgar J. Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System, was honored with an honorary doctor of humane letters. Curtis was nominated by the UIS Department of Allied Health for his outstanding and innovative leadership in health care administration as well as his sustained and exceptional community service.

“As a lifelong citizen of the community of Springfield, I have seen firsthand the growth and development of this incredible academic institution, the University of Illinois Springfield, and the significant contributions that your graduates of the past have made to our community, our region and beyond,” Curtis told the audience.

He added that the University of Illinois “has been the training ground for thousands of capable, committed, and compassionate individuals, many of whom went on to pursue their careers with Memorial Health System.”

“As the President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial, I can tell you that we are a stronger, more educated, and community focused organization because of the high caliber of graduates that matriculated from the University of Illinois System and became a part of the Memorial team,” he said.

Curtis has led Memorial Health System and its seven affiliates since January of 2008, providing senior-level administrative leadership for the overall strategic direction of the health system. He serves on numerous community and healthcare boards and is currently chair of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association Board.

The student commencement address was delivered by Alexander William Camp who graduated with a master’s degree in public affairs reporting. Camp told the audience about the wonderful faculty members he’s had at UIS, the friends he has made on campus and about the obstacles he has overcome to earn his degree.

“If anything this four-year (or longer) odyssey should teach us, we are battle tested not to survive, but to master the moments that lie ahead, for we are the living embodiment of what this school prides itself on, Leadership lived,” said Camp.

Camp congratulated his fellow graduates for earning their degrees, reflecting on all of the all-nighters before exam day and other hard work that went into earning a degree.

“It’s that kind of commitment that has not been in vain as it has led us to this moment in time, bringing us all together and for that, you will always have my undoubted admiration. We did it,” he said.

University of Illinois Board of Trustee member Edward McMillian, UIS Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost James Ermatinger and UIS Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Clarice Ford also spoke at the ceremony.

Photos and more video are available at the commencement website:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

UIS to hold two commencement ceremonies in downtown Springfield on May 13

The University of Illinois Springfield will hold two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Ninth and Adams Streets in downtown Springfield. Of the 1,836 UIS students eligible to graduate, 1,270 will participate in the ceremony.

The first ceremony for students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will begin at 12:30 p.m. The second ceremony for students in the College of Business and Management, College of Education and Human Services and College of Public Affairs and Administration will start at 5:30 p.m.

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 will open an hour before each ceremony. Overflow seating will be provided in the lower level of The Center.

Memorial CEO Edgar J. Curtis to receive honorary degree 

During the second ceremony at 5:30 p.m., Edgar J. Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System, will be honored with an honorary doctor of humane letters. Curtis was nominated by the UIS Department of Allied Health for his outstanding and innovative leadership in health care administration as well as his sustained and exceptional community service.

“Mr. Curtis’ strategic direction has made the Memorial Health System of central Illinois a premium healthcare destination,” the award states. “Mr. Curtis’ outstanding and innovative leadership at both MHS and in the civic arena has raised the quality of life for the Springfield area and surrounding regions.”

Curtis has led Memorial Health System and its seven affiliates since January of 2008, providing senior-level administrative leadership for the overall strategic direction of the health system. Under his leadership, the health system’s annual revenue has grown from $500 million to $1 billion.

In 2014, Memorial contributed $2 million and entered into a partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield and the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing to bring UIC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to the UIS campus. In 2016, Memorial Medical Center was the only hospital in the nation, and the first in Illinois, to receive the American Hospital Association Quest for Quality award. Also in 2016, Memorial Medical Center received two of four Illinois Health and Hospital Association Quality Excellence Achievement Awards.

Curtis serves on numerous healthcare boards and is currently chair of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association Board. He has served Springfield in leadership roles with several community organizations, including the Springfield Urban League, United Way of Central Illinois and Central Illinois Foodbank.

Curtis received his masters of business administration degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his bachelors of science degree in nursing from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He began his career as a registered nurse.

Faculty & student marshals announced 

Kristi Barnwell, assistant professor of history, has been chosen to serve as grand marshal. The student speaker will be Alexander William Camp, who will graduate with a master’s degree in public affairs reporting.

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: Deborah A. Stratton – B.A. (Peoria), Diane Marie Boyle – B.A., Binqian Shi – M.A. 

Biology: Jack Henry Zinnen – B.S., Jessica Michelle Souther – M.S.  

Biochemistry: Jarrett Matthew Lindsay – B.S.  

Business Administration: Shane Michael Clarke – B.B.A. (Peoria), Wei Jin – B.B.A., Damon Eugene McFall – M.B.A., Emery P. Halverson – M.B.A. (Peoria)  

Chemistry: Carolyn D. Mazzuca – B.S.  

Clinical Laboratory Science: Lindsay Rajeanne Stevens – B.S.

Communication: Laura Elise Troxel – B.A., Allyssa J. Brown – M.A.

Computer Science: Alex C. Ginglen – B.S., Janasha Prabhu – M.S.

Criminology and Criminal Justice: Kinsey Storm Weikel – B.A.

Economics: Jocelyn A. Matsen – B.A.

Education: Kari Lynn Caldwell – M.A.

Educational Leadership: Christian Devon Mahone – M.A.

Elementary Education: Makinzie J. Yoho – B.A.

English: Alaina A. Beaird – B.A., Courtney E. Cox – M.A.

Environmental Sciences: Timothy John Mayer – M.S.

Environmental Studies: Lindsay Ann Frisk – B.A., Sydney Renee Rubenstein – M.A.

Global Studies: Alexandra Nicole Madden – B.A.

History: Kendra D. Baber – B.A., Kathryn M. Suits – M.A.

Human Development Counseling: Alexa B. Kaufmann – M.A.

Human Services: Kelly Ann Herd – M.A.

Information Systems Security: Romillo K. Holloway – B.S.

Legal Studies: Kaitlyn Aurora Murphy – B.A., Chevaughn Latoya Starling – M.A.

Liberal and Integrative Studies: Pamela Jean Reed – M.A.

Liberal Studies: Alisha Marie Funkhouser-Walker – B.A.

Management Information Systems: Dale Gene Daily – B.S., Tara Stacy Sadler – M.S.

Mathematical Sciences: Amanda Jean Gosbeth – B.A.

Political Science: John C. Coultas – B.A., Dustin Baragiola – M.A.

Psychology: Sara L. Stutzman – B.A.

Public Administration: Terri Renae Miller – M.P.A.

Public Affairs Reporting: Haley M. Bemiller – M.A.

Public Health: Veenu Khubnani – M.P.H.

Social Work: Sean N. Blackwell – B.S.W.

Sociology/Anthropology: Rona A. Taylor – B.A.

Visual Arts: Grace Katalinich – B.A.

A number of events are planned for graduates, their families and guests, including a reception for Peoria-area students on Friday, April 28. Separate brunches for CAP Honors graduates and online degree graduates are scheduled for the morning of Saturday, May 13.

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

The ceremonies will be webcast live at DVD copies of the ceremonies can be purchased from the Office of Electronic Media for $25. Orders can be placed by phone at 217/206-6799 or at

For more information, go to the UIS Commencement website at

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

UIS Child Advocacy Studies certificate program wins approval from national training center

The Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) certification program at the University of Illinois Springfield has been named one of only three Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center approved programs in the United States.

The UIS CAST certification program was started in the spring semester of 2015 and utilizes a Residential Simulation Lab and the mock courtroom on campus to teach students how to better protect at-risk children and families.

“Many of our graduates pursue careers in professions where they are statutorily required to report child maltreatment,” said Betsy Goulet, a UIS clinical assistant professor and CAST coordinator. “The Child Advocacy Studies curriculum was developed to insure that our students begin their careers prepared to identify, report and respond to allegations of child maltreatment.”

The Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center, located at Winona State University in Minnesota, first developed the CAST curriculum in 2004 as a collaborative approach to training and educating the next generation child welfare practitioners.

“The University of Illinois Springfield has quickly established itself as a pioneer in educating future child protection professionals,” said Victor Vieth, founder and senior director of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center. “Equally impressive, the university is taking a leadership role in implementing similar reforms around the nation, even the world. It is increasingly clear that the future of child protection runs through the University of Illinois Springfield.”

In order to achieve Gundersen’s approval, the UIS CAST certification program had to complete a site visit, show that faculty had completed Gundersen’s training program and that course content closely models the original training program.

There are currently 92 students enrolled in the CAST program at UIS for the spring semester of 2017. The certification consists of three elective courses offered most semesters online and on ground. Students who complete the program are eligible for a certification from the National Child Protection Training Center.

“The demand for this training has been so high that we are working with the Psychology Department to develop a Child Advocacy Studies minor,” said Goulet.

The Residential Simulation Lab and the mock courtroom on campus are also utilized to train Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigators and other first responders. The Child Protection Training Academy has already trained nearly 200 DCFS investigators.

Founded in 2003, the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center has been recognized as a national leader in child abuse prevention education. Besides UIS, other Gunderson approved training facilities are located at the University of South Carolina Upstate and Pennsylvania State University.

For more information on the CAST certificate program, contact Betsy Goulet at 217/206-8523 or

Thursday, April 06, 2017

UIS Illinois Innocence Project client granted new trial in DuPage County arson murder case

Today a DuPage County judge vacated the 1997 conviction of William (Bill) Amor, a client of the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield, and ordered a new trial in the arson murder case. The victory comes after a week-long post-conviction hearing was held the week of December 12, 2016, in DuPage County, where attorneys presented new arson-related scientific evidence in the 1995 Naperville arson case.

The Amor case is believed to be the first of its kind in the state of Illinois regarding changes in fire investigation.

Bill Amor was represented by four attorneys: Lauren Kaeseberg, Illinois Innocence Project legal director, Chicago office; Erica Nichols Cook, formerly of the Illinois Innocence Project, now pro bono counsel for Amor and currently Director of the Wrongful Conviction Division for the Iowa State Public Defender; Tara Thompson, staff attorney, the Exoneration Project; and Kevin Caraher, of the law firm Cozen O’Connor and pro bono attorney for Amor.

On the evening of September 10, 1995, Amor and his wife left their Naperville apartment (which they shared with Bill’s mother-in-law, Marianne Miceli) to go to a drive-in movie. They were gone for several hours and when they returned, they found that a fire had broken out at the apartment and Miceli had died from smoke inhalation.

Amor would be convicted two years later, on September 17, 1997, of murder and aggravated arson for setting the fire that caused Miceli’s death. Amor was convicted based upon a confession (which has been proven false) and arson findings that are no longer scientifically reliable. What stands out in this case is that Amor’s confession was the basis for the fire investigators in 1995 to change their initial finding of an “undetermined” cause of fire to an arson. With the exception of giving a false confession in this case, Amor has maintained his innocence from day one. He was ultimately sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The alleged false confession in this case was given to police after two weeks in jail after 15 hours of questioning and immediately following Amor being served divorce papers at the station. The confession included details as to how Amor purportedly started the fire with vodka and a lit cigarette – which, at the December hearing, all experts, including the State’s own witness, testified is not possible.  

“It is undisputed by the experts in this case that fire science has evolved, and it has changed to such an extent that the original findings in this case are unreliable,” said Lauren Kaeseberg, legal director of the Illinois Innocence Project Chicago office, who represents Bill Amor. “In fact, the evidence points to an accidental fire – which is what we believe occurred here. Bill Amor did not murder anyone and the science finally supports that which he has claimed for 22 years – he is innocent.”

At the December 2016 hearing, evidence was presented that showed the original arson findings are no longer reliable when analyzed under modern fire science techniques. Nationally recognized arson experts testified about the new science that undercuts the conviction in this case, including: Doug Carpenter, of Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland, and John DeHaan of Fire-Ex Forensics in Vallejo, California. Further, ATF Senior Special Agent John Golder, called by the State at the hearing, conceded that the manner in which Amor’s confession claims the fire started is impossible and that Amor was not in the apartment when the fire started.

“Today this Court followed the law and finally gave Bill a chance at the justice he has been seeking for so long," said Erica Nichols Cook, who also represents Amor as pro bono “of counsel” for the Illinois Innocence Project, and is currently Director of the Wrongful Conviction Division for the Iowa State Public Defender. “We are confident that a jury hearing all of this new evidence would acquit Bill, and we look forward to the State’s Attorney’s Office considering today's ruling and allowing Bill to go home.”

“False confessions and faulty forensic science are two of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in this country,” said Tara Thompson, staff attorney at the Exoneration Project, who also represents Amor. “We hope that the Amor case can set a new standard in this state for how old, unreliable evidence is to be viewed in light of modern advancements. We know of too many other innocent people in this state and around the country who are suffering from wrongful arson convictions.”

The Illinois Innocence Project will honor Amor co-counsel Kevin Caraher of Cozen O’Connor for his and his firm’s exceptional pro bono representation of Amor at the Project’s annual Defenders of the Innocent award dinner in Springfield on April 29, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Springfield.

A hearing to determine whether Amor will be released, retired or his case appealed by the prosecution will be held on April 13 in DuPage County court.

Clarice Ford selected as the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Illinois Springfield

Clarice Ford has been named the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Illinois Springfield, pending formal University of Illinois Board of Trustees approval. Ford has been serving as interim vice chancellor for student affairs since 2014.

Since joining UIS in 2008, she has served as executive director of the UIS Diversity Center, associate dean of students and associate vice chancellor of student services. Ford brings more than 20 years of professional experience in student affairs as well as notable record of public service to UIS.

The UIS Student Affairs Division is comprised of many units that are critical to student recruitment and success, including admissions, records & registration and financial assistance. Ford leads with a forward-thinking, student first philosophy to enhance the co-curricular experience and promote student success.

“Ford received strong support from the Vice Chancellor Student Affairs Search Committee whose members were appreciative of her considerable expertise working in student affairs and her sincere commitment to improving and enhancing student life and opportunities,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch.

Ford earned her doctorate in educational leadership and change from the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, California. She holds a master’s degree in religious education and theology from Lincoln Christian Seminary and a master’s degree in adult education/multi-cultural education from Antioch University. She also received her bachelor’s degree in human services from Antioch University.

Ford’s broad experiences are complemented by leadership positions in various professional associations and community service.

For more information, contact Derek Schnapp, UIS director of public relations, at 217-206-6716 or

Monday, April 03, 2017

Robert Smith named the new dean of the UIS College of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert Smith, professor of political science and public affairs at Savannah State University, has been named the new dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield. He will start on July 16, 2017, pending formal University of Illinois Board of Trustees approval.

“I am thrilled to be joining the faculty, staff and students of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at UIS,” said Smith. “I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to provide leadership for one of the outstanding Colleges at UIS. I look forward to working with the UIS Administration to position the College for growth and excellence in the years ahead. Most important, I am enthusiastic about working closely with all of the faculty, staff and students to enhance and strengthen the profile and reputation and significance of the College beginning on day one.”

“Robert brings a wealth of administrative experience and a passion for helping faculty and students attain their educational goals,” said James Ermatinger, UIS interim vice chancellor for academic affairs & provost.

Smith has served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Savannah State University, chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at Kennesaw State University and program director for the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) Program at Clemson University where he taught for 11 years.

Prior to his academic career, Smith served as a senior budget official in the Executive Department of the New York State Division of the Budget working under Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki. Before that, Smith served as regional director for Upstate and Central New York for United States Senator and former United Nations Ambassador Daniel Moynihan.

Smith holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from the University at Albany, part of the State University of New York System (SUNY), and a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York.

Smith’s research interests and published academic works focus on public budgeting and financial management, government ethics, citizen participation and organization design and theory.

Smith will replace Hanfu Mi, who has been serving as interim dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Dennis Papini named UIS provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs

Photo Courtesy: South Dakota State University.

Dennis Papini has been selected to become the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS). The provost is the university’s chief academic officer, the second highest administrative position in the university, and is responsible to the chancellor for the implementation of the academic priorities of the institution.

Papini has served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at South Dakota State University (SDSU) since 2012 where he oversees 15 academic departments. In that role, he helped the university create a new strategic plan and added four new degree programs. He helped raise funds for four capital construction projects totaling $86 million and launched an Underrepresented Dissertation Fellows Program to bring minority faculty to teach at SDSU.

“Dr. Papini received strong support from the Provost search committee, whose members were appreciative of the depth and breadth of his experience as it relates to the Provost position as well as his strong listening skills, budgeting background, and results-oriented planning experience,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch.

A native of Orion, Illinois, Papini holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in life-span developmental psychology from West Virginia University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Illinois University in Macomb.

“I look forward to working with Chancellor Koch and faculty colleagues at UIS as we continue efforts to provide our students with rigorous and appropriately challenging academic experiences both in and out of the classroom,” said Papini. “Characterized by a commitment to Leadership Lived, UIS is uniquely located to couple classroom teaching and learning with opportunities to apply these knowledge, skills, and competencies within the broader community and region.”

Prior to his appointment at SDSU, Papini was a professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). While at MTSU, Papini directed 43 faculty and more than 1,000 undergraduate student majors and 200 graduate students pursuing degrees in six graduate programs.

Papini started his career teaching psychology at Southeast Missouri State University from 1983-1986, followed by the University of Arkansas from 1987-1990. He taught at Western Illinois University as a professor of psychology from 1990-2004.

“As an Illinois native and beneficiary of Illinois public higher education, I am delighted to return to my home state and to serve those who aspire to improve the quality of their lives through the many opportunities made possible by institutions that are based on both affordability, accessibility, and inclusion,” said Papini.

Papini is an accomplished scholar who specializes in adolescent development, research methodology and statistics and family relations. He has received more than 20 awards, multiple research grants, and has had his research published numerous times. He has presented his research at national and international conferences, served as a professional reviewer for journal articles and was on the editorial board of the Journal of Early Adolescence (1995-2016).

He has also been active on his campuses, advising student organizations and serving as a board member for community organizations.

“I’m grateful to all the members of the search committee for their dedicated service to bring this search to a successful conclusion,” said Chancellor Koch. “Special thanks to Dr. Jorge Villegas, associate professor and chair of business administration, and Dr. Jeff Lorber, vice chancellor for advancement, who co-chaired the search committee and to Pat Sanchez, executive assistant to the chancellor, who provided outstanding support and coordination throughout the search process.”

Papini replaces Lynn Pardie who retired as UIS provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs in May 2016 after four years on the job. He will start on July 1, 2017, pending formal University of Illinois Board of Trustees approval.

The University of Illinois Springfield serves approximately 5,500 students in 52 undergraduate and graduate programs in four colleges, with 220 full-time faculty, 514 full-time staff and an annual operating budget of $88.8 million.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

UIS Chancellor Susan Koch honored for her leadership during challenging budget times in Illinois

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Susan J. Koch was honored with the 11th Hour Award for Leadership by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) on March 23 for her efforts to support students, faculty and staff during challenging budget times in Illinois.

The award is given to an individual, team or unit in recognition of exemplary character, ethics, and decisive action in times of dire circumstances or emergencies.

“This award represents outstanding teamwork by our faculty and staff during challenging budget times,” said Chancellor Koch. “I am honored to accept the award on behalf of all of the people who are helping UIS to succeed.”

The award was presented during UPCEA’s annual conference in Chicago. Koch was nominated for the award by Vickie Cook, director of the UIS Center for Online Learning, Research and Service.

“Chancellor Koch has led efforts to grow enrollments, fight for budget dollars, and support students by providing MAP (Monetary Assistance Program) grant dollars promised to students by the state of Illinois,” said Cook.

In fiscal year 2016, UIS along with all of the other state universities in Illinois were dealt a nearly 70% cut in state funding; again this fiscal year, the university’s state appropriation has been cut by approximately 50%.

“Massive budget cuts have dealt near-death blows to many state sister institutions, yet UIS’s enrollments were only three short of the record for the university, and programs at UIS continue to thrive under Chancellor Koch’s exemplary leadership,” said Robert Hansen, Ph.D., chief executive officer of UPCEA.

In order to grow and maintain enrollment, Chancellor Koch has supported initiatives for a transfer and international student marketing campaign targeting online students. Online students make up about one third of the total UIS enrollment.

“Chancellor Koch is a tremendous student advocate and in the face of the unknown on the Illinois state budget talks, she continues to show perseverance and willingness to encourage innovation at the University of Illinois Springfield,” said Cook.

UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves more than 400 institutions, including most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA also builds greater awareness of the vital link between contemporary learners and public policy issues.

For more information, contact Blake Wood, UIS assistant director of public relations, at 217/206-6716 or

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

UIS partners with local art community to offer summer residency and exhibition

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery is partnering with the Springfield Art Association and Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists to offer a funded residency and art exhibition for the summer of 2017.

The four to eight week residency is open to new artists, those mid-career and established contemporary artists, who work in all types of media.

Allison Lacher, manager of the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, said the community partnership between the Springfield Art Association, Enos Park and UIS could have a rippling effect on the local community.

“The Springfield Art Association has a vision to grow a true artists community and hopefully in the process, contribute to the redevelopment of the Enos Park neighborhood. The idea is that the program will draw artists to Springfield, and ideally, over time, some of them will stay,” said Lacher.

The Enos Park Residency for Visual Artists will provide studio facilities as well as living quarters. There will be a $1,000 stipend for expenses. The residency will culminate with an exhibition at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, opening June 30 and running through July 28.

Applications for the residency and art exhibition are due by April 7 and need to include a detailed proposal, dates, artist statement, work samples, image list, resume and references. Artists from across the country are encouraged to apply by emailing

For more information, contact Allison Lacher, UIS Visual Arts Gallery manager, at 217/206-6506 or

Thursday, March 16, 2017

UIS students spend Alternative Spring Break volunteering on the Florida Gulf Coast

A group of students from the University of Illinois Springfield are spending their spring break helping with outdoor eco-restoration projects along the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast.

A total of 25 students and 2 staff members left Springfield on Sunday, March 12, and will return to campus on Saturday, March 18, as part of the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip.

The group is partnering with Community Collaborations International (CCI). Some of the tasks they are doing include shoreline restoration, native plant propagation, sea grass restoration, wild-life habitat improvement, dune restoration, storm water treatment, public land restoration and invasive species removal. Students are also volunteering with children from the Boys and Girls Club. The group is staying at the CCI campgrounds near DuFuniak Springs.

"ASB decided to go to the Florida Gulf Coast this year because there was a large interest from students in doing eco-restoration projects and volunteering outdoors, making Florida a great choice,” said Hailey Hawkins, student president of UIS Alternative Spring Break. “We are excited to be working with CCI once again and be able to have a positive impact on the environment in a new community."

UIS Alternative Spring Break previously worked with CCI to help prevent coastal erosion in Mississippi in 2015.

“Having lived in the Gulf Coast region prior to returning to Illinois, I know about the need for this type of work and I know that our efforts will mean a lot to the people that live there” said Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed in 2009 when students took their first trip to Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina. In following years, students have helped clean up damage from Hurricane Ike in Texas, cleaned up portions of the Mississippi river in Tennessee, helped rebuild homes damaged by hurricanes in New Orleans, helped with revitalization efforts in the Florida Everglades and worked with the homeless at soup kitchens in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

For more information on Alternative Spring Break, contact Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center at

Monday, February 13, 2017

UIS researchers combine science and art to capture images of some of the world’s smallest organisms

Researchers at the University of Illinois Springfield are using a new method of digital photography to help us view microorganisms on a larger scale.

The technique, called focus stacking, uses computer software to combine multiple photographs taken at different focus distances. The result is a single picture with greater sharpness or depth of field throughout the image.

The microbial images were captured using high resolution Olympus microscope cameras and focus stacked with the Zerene Focus software program.

“The science-art aspect is simply excellent,” said UIS Biology Professor Michael Lemke. “We hoped to create an experience that would stimulate your imagination.”

Lemke joined forces with Mike Miller, UIS associate professor of art, and his brother Tom Lemke, a photographer, to help produce the images. A number of UIS undergraduate students including Jack Zinnen, Christina Hanula and Alex Cross also assisted with the project.

So far, the team has photographed a number of insects, flowers, algae and zooplankton. However, they hope to use the technique to capture images of even smaller objects in the future.

“The world of protozoa, which range in size from 10 to 500 micrometers, are my next challenge,” said Lemke. “It is a question of getting the light intensity, lighting angle, the absolute non-movement of the specimen all to come together.”

In December 2016, the team was asked to present their scientific artwork at the Saint Louis Science Center with the help of Keith Miller, a UIS emeritus professor and current professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

During the exhibition, they showed off high resolution “flat” printouts of the images they captured and 3D models of the focus stacked images. Visitors also got the chance to use a microscope to capture their own images, which they could print and take home.

“Seeing how the public responded at the Science Center helps me as a scientist to observe more closely and think more deeply about what is an image,” said Lemke.

Lemke also plans to use the images in the classroom to help his students better understand microorganisms. He believes the images will help enhance the student’s learning experience.

“It helps me as teacher to better communicate through image (i.e., effective nonverbal teaching),” he said. “I wish to combine the two aspects (showing the public and teaching through images) in a magazine article, which I hope to produce during my sabbatical.”

The focus stacking project was made possible by a 2001 National Science Foundation Grant, funds from the UIS Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and a grant from the UIS College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Michael Lemke, UIS biology professor, at 217/206-7339 or

UIS announces Fall Semester 2016 Dean's List

The University of Illinois Springfield has released the Dean’s List for Fall Semester 2016.

A total of 580 students were selected; 85 are students in the College of Business and Management, 39 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 384 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 54 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 18 are non-degree seeking or undecided.

In order to qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours and maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester.

Below you'll find a printable list of student's names listed by the city of residence on file with UIS Records and Registration.

Fall 2016 Dean's List PDF

Thursday, February 09, 2017

UIS College of Business and Management earns prestigious AACSB reaccreditation

The College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois Springfield has been reaccredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

“We are honored to receive AACSB reaccreditation, considered the gold standard for colleges of business around the world,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “This award reaffirms the high-quality and teaching-focused academic experience UIS students are receiving from exceptional College of Business and Management faculty.”

AACSB accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 5 percent of the more than 16,000 schools worldwide granting business degrees have earned AACSB accreditation. AACSB-accredited schools produce graduates who are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools.

“Employers are increasingly seeking graduates from AACSB accredited business schools knowing that students’ education has developed competencies that will support a competitive edge in today’s complex global markets,” said Ron McNeil, dean of the UIS College of Business and Management.

The accreditation assures student and employers that the UIS College of Business and Management delivers relevant and high quality classes and programs; employs first rate teachers, and faculty who are engaged in their discipline and relevant research.

Reaffirmation of AACSB International accreditation occurs every five years. The UIS College of Business and Management was first accredited by AACSB International in 2007 and the last reaccreditation took place in 2012. AACSB is known for advancing quality management education worldwide.

The UIS College of Business and Management offers undergraduate programs in accountancy, business administration, economics and management information systems. Graduate degrees offered include accountancy, management information systems and the MBA. Fully online undergraduate degree completion programs are offered in business administration and management information systems.

For more on the AACSB International accreditation, visit the accreditation section of the AACSB International website at

Thursday, January 19, 2017

UIS in-state freshmen tuition rate frozen for third straight year

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday approved tuition rates for next fall with no increase in base tuition for in-state freshmen, extending a tuition freeze at its three universities to a third straight year.

The freeze is the longest since tuition rates held steady for four years in the mid-1970s – from 1974-77 – and was approved despite a budget impasse that has significantly reduced state funding for the U of I System for the last two years.

President Tim Killeen said the extended tuition freeze reflects a commitment to access and affordability that has helped increase System-wide enrollment to record highs for the last two years, topping 81,000 students last fall.

“Our affordability efforts serve both students and the public good – providing the high-quality education that transforms students’ lives and collectively supplying the next-generation workforce that is essential to drive progress for our state and nation,” Killeen said.

Base tuition for in-state undergraduates next fall will match rates for the 2014-15 academic year at $9,405 in Springfield. Out-of-state and international tuition rates will stay at current levels in Springfield, with a $20 per credit hour increase in administration fees for online programs.

Tuition rates for incoming students will remain unchanged for four years under the state’s guaranteed tuition law, launched in 2004 to help students and families plan for the cost of a public university education by fixing tuition rates for the four years required to complete most undergraduate degree programs.

The U of I System also has proposed holding the line on future tuition rates through a groundbreaking bill introduced in the Illinois legislature last November. The proposed U of I Investment, Performance, and Accountability Commitment (IPAC) would provide predictable state funding for university operations over the next five years in exchange for tangible performance goals that support Illinois students and serve the needs of the state. If approved, the measure would hold tuition increases to the rate of inflation or less for the five years of the agreement, while also providing high levels of student financial aid.

Over the last decade, the University has ramped up internal efforts to protect the most financially vulnerable students, increasing institutional financial aid more than fourfold to $84 million annually. Through state, federal, University and donor-provided financial aid, half of undergraduates pay less than full sticker price across the System’s three universities.

Undergraduate fees/Housing 

The board also approved mandatory student fees and room-and-board rates for the 2017-18 academic year.

Student fees exclude optional student health insurance rates, which are typically established in March. Fees approved Thursday help fund costs such as operating campus recreational facilities, student unions, career services, athletics, counseling centers and libraries, and also help with facility maintenance, renovations and utilities.

Mandatory fees in Springfield will increase 10.4 percent, or $210, to $2,226 annually, through an increase that will take effect in the spring 2018 semester to support student-approved fees for a new student union and environmental sustainability projects.

In Springfield, a standard housing and gold meal plan will increase 0.6 percent, or $60, to $10,810 per year.

Monday, January 16, 2017

UIS students volunteer at ten locations during the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Over 100 students from the University of Illinois Springfield participated in the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 16, 2017. Students volunteered at ten Springfield locations.

Students packaged over 10,000 meals as part of the Stop Hunger Now event held in the Student Life Building at UIS. Stop Hunger Now gets food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, and works to end global hunger in our lifetime. Established in 1998, the organization has provided over 225 million meals in 74 countries. Based in Raleigh, N.C., Stop Hunger Now operates throughout the U.S. and through affiliates in developing countries.

In the Springfield community, students arranged storage space at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, worked with residents at Concordia Village, assisted with house duties at the Ronald McDonald House, prepared for an upcoming food giveaway at Serving Jesus Willingly Urban Ministry and sorted donated medical supplies at Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach.

Students also prepared stuffed toys and craft kits for patients at St. John’s Children’s Hospital, painted Head Start areas for the Springfield Urban League, sorted donations at the Hope Thrift Store and helped refurbish computers at the Computer Banc.

Earlier in the day, students watched the documentary “The Line”, which tells the story of people below the poverty line, and heard from Christine Westerlund of the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies. They also participated in the NAACP Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March and town hall meeting in downtown Springfield before starting service activities.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

UIS extends office hours at Illinois Central College, East Peoria campus

The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and Illinois Central College (ICC) in East Peoria are partnering to make it easier for students to continue their college education after earning their associate’s degree.

Beginning in February, UIS will offer additional office hours for advising and counseling for ICC students considering transferring to UIS.

“The more than 30-year partnership between ICC and UIS has proven very beneficial as a baccalaureate completion option for ICC graduates. ICC is very fortunate to have UIS in close proximity to current students so they can readily and easily understand the transfer opportunities UIS presents to them,” said ICC Interim Provost Margaret Swanson, Ph.D.

In addition to regular Wednesday hours from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., UIS will maintain office hours from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in room 238C on the following dates: February 6 and 20, March 6 and 20, April 3, 10, 17 and 24 and May 1.

"I am pleased to see this partnership enhanced even more as UIS will hold office hours at the ICC East Peoria Campus twice a week rather than only once a week in order to allow ICC students more accessibility to meet with a representative from UIS to ensure a smooth transition when transferring from ICC to UIS,” said Rhonda Bussell, admissions and records officer at the UIS Peoria campus.

“UIS has maintained a campus at Peoria for decades. Illinois Central College is reliably the second largest contributing transfer partner to U of I Springfield. It is only logical that we should maintain a reliable periodic presence at ICC as a way to provide convenience and guidance to our friends in the Peoria area. I’m looking forward to this,” said Raymond Barnett, UIS undergraduate transfer admissions coordinator.

For more information on transferring to UIS, contact Raymond Barnett at 217/206-6626 or