Wednesday, November 14, 2018

More high-achieving students can attend UIS tuition-free thanks to new program

More high-achieving students will be able to attend the University of Illinois Springfield tuition-free thanks to a new program that will provide more than $1 million in additional scholarship dollars for first-year and transfer students starting the 2019-20 academic year.

Illinois’ AIM HIGH grant pilot program is designed to keep students in Illinois for their college education, increase overall Illinois college student enrollment and retention, improve Illinois college affordability and reduce student loan debt.

To attend UIS tuition-free through the Capital Scholars Honors Program, a student must be a first-time incoming freshman or transfer student, have maintained a high school GPA of 3.50 or higher and have earned at least a 32 ACT or 1450 SAT score. High-performing students outside of the honors program will be eligible for up to $12,000 a year in Lincoln Merit Scholarships. Additionally, the grant program will allow UIS for the first time to offer tuition assistance to students at various academic levels who meet the AIM HIGH program’s financial requirements.

“The AIM HIGH grant will give more students access to a high-quality UIS education,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “We hope this additional financial support will keep more Illinois students living and working in Illinois and encourage them to come to UIS.”

The additional financial support provided by the AIM HIGH grant is made possible thanks to $25 million in state funding designated for all of the state’s public universities to share. UIS was allocated $543,000 for this program, and public universities statewide have pledged to match what they receive. For UIS, that amounts to nearly $1.1 million in additional scholarship dollars for students.

“We know the value UIS can offer students and families through our personalized learning experience, 52 academic programs, safe campus and variety of housing options,” said Natalie Herring, UIS associate provost for enrollment management. “We’re constantly working to make college more affordable for our students. In addition to University scholarships, UIS has also awarded 311 students with donor scholarships this academic year totaling more than $600,000.”

Overall, UIS is one of the most affordable public universities in Illinois. The average tuition cost at UIS per academic year is $9,405 for Illinois residents. According to an August 2018 University of Illinois System Economic Impact report, the annual return on investment for a UIS degree is 20.1 percent, which translates to a return of $6.30 in higher future earnings for every dollar that students invest in their education.

For more information on the AIM HIGH grant program at UIS, prospective students and parents are encouraged to visit or call UIS Financial Assistance at 217/206-6724.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Students thank donors at the 22nd annual UIS Scholarship Luncheon

The University of Illinois Springfield recognized scholarship donors during the 22nd annual Scholarship Luncheon on November 7, 2018. More than 270 people participated in the luncheon.

During the event, students got a chance to personally thank their donors and tell them about impact scholarships have made in helping them reach their educational goals.

“It’s a pretty exciting day,” said Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement. “For some of us, it’s the most exciting day of the year on campus.”

UIS student Rebecca Smith qualified for two institutional scholarships this academic year. She came to the luncheon to meet her donors for the first time and to say thank you.

“Both of my scholarships are situational and beyond just the financial help, which is a miracle, the vote of confidence from someone who feels like you can succeed is huge when you’re a non-traditional student,” she said.

Scholarship donors Frank and Linda Kopecky started a scholarship to help English and legal studies majors. Frank is a UIS emeritus professor of legal studies and Linda earned her master’s degree in English from UIS. She taught English for several years at Springfield College.

“We’re both educators and we feel that our education has been a powerful, positive force in our life,” said Linda. “I was helped greatly by scholarships going through school, so this seemed perfectly natural and just the right thing to do.”

UIS student Thomas Rivera receives financial support from the Ted Mims Scholarship Fund, which was created by UIS alumnus Bill Hoffman in honor of a former professor who had an impact on his life. Hoffman recently retired following a 16-year career at Microsoft and more than 40 years working in information technology.

“It’s important for me because it helps me out a lot,” said Rivera. “This scholarship here helped pay for a lot of my books, online sources and things I needed for the coursework this year.”

Hoffman, who attended the event, has been looking forward to meeting Rivera for the first time.

“Probably, whether he’s interested or not, I’m going to give him some career advice and maybe save him a step or two,” said Hoffman.

Thanks to the support of donors, UIS currently offers approximately 630 institutional scholarships worth more than $636,000. Students may apply for the scholarships on the Financial Aid website.

Scholarships are one of the top goals of Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of Illinois Springfield, which is currently underway.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

UIS Student Union wins excellence in design award from the American Institute of Architects

The University of Illinois Springfield’s new Student Union building was honored with an excellence in design award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) during the Prairie Chapter Design Meeting and Awards Program in Bloomington, Illinois on Nov. 1, 2018.

The building was designed by Workshop Architects of Milwaukee, Wisconsin & Dewberry of Peoria, Illinois to LEED® Gold guidelines, with sustainable features which include a green roof, energy efficient lighting, rainwater reclamation system and radiant flooring in select areas.

The two-story, 50,000-square-foot student union anchors the campus’s south quad, providing campus dining services, a Starbucks coffee shop, a ballroom with seating for up to 450 people and a Student Leadership Center that houses student government, volunteer offices and workspaces for student organizations.

Since the building’s opening in January 2018, the Student Union has helped to energize campus life, creating a vibrant social environment in the heart of campus.

In evaluating the Student Union’s design, the nationally-renowned design jury commented, “The project offers a modern, fresh and spacious interactive space. The proposed program with flexible work spaces and overlapped activities seems very appropriate as a social catalyst for students on campus. The goals of the project are noble, to create a central place for what’s otherwise a commuter campus. I think they have done a great job. The building is a striking, inviting sculptural form. Its plan is well organized and the volumes within the building – for student government and the Starbucks pavilion, are nicely scaled and inviting.”

According to AIA, projects were judged by measuring the architect’s performance against each project’s potential and not against other projects. Decisions were based upon the overall excellence of design in various categories.

For more information on the 2018 Prairie Chapter Design Awards, visit

Thursday, November 01, 2018

UIS students collect 18,095 pounds of food to help fight hunger on Halloween night

More than 200 University of Illinois Springfield students helped to collect 18,095 pounds of food to help fight hunger in central Illinois on Halloween night. The majority of the food, 17,171 pounds, will be donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank, while 924 pounds will go to the on campus UIS Cares Food Pantry.

A total of 16 teams, consisting of 262 students, went door-to-door in several Springfield neighborhoods collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food items.

Last week, the teams canvassed the neighborhoods and distributed door hangers that explained the project. Collected items were returned and weighed on campus. Prizes were awarded to the teams that collected the most food.

Students in the Tri-Sigma Sorority collected 3,032 pounds of food in the Westwood Forum and Mill Creek subdivisions. Leadership for Life Program students collected 2,070 pounds of food in the Country Club Estates subdivision.

For a third year, the UIS Cox Children’s Center participated in the fun by having the children in costume Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods at on campus departments. The children collected 924 pounds of food for the UIS Cares Food Pantry.

The Central Illinois Foodbank, established in 1982, distributes 9 million pounds of food annually to over 160 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21 county region.

The UIS Cares Food Pantry, located in the Student Affairs Building, was started in 2016 as a way to help students with food insecurity on campus.

For more information, or if you have food that was not collected, please contact the UIS Volunteer Center at 217/206-7716 or

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

UIS Cox Children’s Center receives Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois

The University of Illinois Springfield Cox Children’s Center has received the Gold Circle of Quality designation, the highest rating possible, from ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s quality rating and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

“Every early learning and development provider who participates in ExceleRate Illinois makes quality a priority,” said Cynthia L. Tate, executive director, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development. “The higher the designation, the higher the program demonstrated quality and comprehensiveness in meeting children's early learning needs,” she said.

“We are proud to receive the Gold Circle of Quality,” said Stacey Gilmore, director of the UIS Cox Children's Center. “Providing quality in early learning and development will help our children be better prepared for success in school and in life.”

ExceleRate Illinois helps families make more informed choices about their children's early learning. It establishes standards to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. Additionally, it provides a framework for early learning and development professionals to identify opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Research in science and brain development shows that children who are more meaningfully engaged in early learning experiences from infancy through the first five years of life are more likely to be successful in school and in life. With the right engagement, children can form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain, which impact their ability to think, react, process and grow.

ExceleRate Illinois is a comprehensive system that includes Licensed Child Care Centers, Licensed Family Child Care, Preschool for All and Center-Based Prevention Initiative Programs, Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies under the joint direction of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois State Board of Education.

The UIS Cox Children’s Center was established in 1970. The center is a resource for university students, faculty, staff, alumni and community clients. The programs are designed to provide early childhood care and education for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age. The center also serves as a site for practicum experiences for university students seeking hands-on learning in the field of early childhood education.

The center’s early childhood program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The UIS Cox Children’s Center has received the ExceleRate Gold Circle Quality Designation every year since the program began in 2014.

For more information contact Stacey Gilmore, director of the UIS Cox Children’s Center, at 217/206-6610 or

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

UIS Performing Arts Center awarded a $20,200 grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency

The University of Illinois Springfield Performing Arts Center, home of Sangamon Auditorium, has been awarded a $20,200 grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) for operational support.

The August 24, 2018 grant will be utilized to support the UIS Performing Arts Education Connections Program, in addition to providing support for artistic programming that may not be able to rely on ticket sales to cover costs.

According to IACA, the grant is designed to provide support to established not-for-profit organizations that make a significant local, regional or statewide impact on the quality of life in Illinois. Grants recognize arts programming of high quality that is appropriate to and reflective of the communities served and that broaden opportunities for the public to participate in the arts.

“It is a wonderful statement of support from the Illinois Arts Council,” said Bryan Rives, director of UIS performing arts services. “These prestigious grants are reviewed and awarded by a committee of peers in the field of arts presenting, so it is an affirmation of the work we are doing in our community.”

One of the educational components the grant will support is the Class Acts Program, a series of daytime performances for preK-12 grade students in central Illinois. Last season, nearly 15,000 students attended ten artistic, educational and high quality performances put on by national touring companies at Sangamon Auditorium.

Overall, more than 72,000 people attended UIS Performing Arts Center events during the 2017-2018 season in the 2,005 seat Sangamon Auditorium and 350 seat Studio Theatre. The Performing Arts Center hosts nearly 150 events each year, including Broadway shows, and is home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Ballet Company and the UIS Theatre and Music Programs.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor.

For more information, contact Jen Tibbs, UIS Performing Arts Center coordinator of public information and marketing, at 217/206-8284 or

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

UIS/NPR Illinois survey shows J.B. Pritzker leads Governor Bruce Rauner by 12 percentage points in November election

A new statewide survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield’s Center for State Policy and Leadership and NPR Illinois shows Democrat J.B. Pritzker leads Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in the race for Illinois Governor by 12 percentage points ahead of the November 6, 2018 general election.

The July-August telephone survey (cell phone and landline) received responses from a representative sample of 717 registered voters, with a ± 3.66% margin of error.

Thirty-five percent of those who answered the Illinois Issues Survey said they would vote for Pritzker compared to 23 percent for Rauner. However, another 15 percent indicated they would vote for someone else, and 27 percent said they were still undecided at the time the poll was taken, a number which will shrink as the election nears in November.

The survey found that 35 percent of respondents identify as Democrats and 23 percent as Republicans. Downstate, Republicans (31 percent) outnumber Democrats (24 percent) while in Chicagoland, Democrats (40 percent) are much more numerous than Republicans (18 percent). Republicans are more likely to identify as conservative (63 percent) than Democrats are as to identify as liberal (53 percent).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the large majority of respondents (75 percent), regardless of party or ideology, think Illinois is on the wrong track. When asked if they have considered leaving the state in the past year, 53 percent of all respondents said yes. Voters under 35 years of age were more likely (67 percent) to say this than those 35 and older (51 percent).

One of the hot issues in the current gubernatorial election is whether to move from the current flat income tax, where everyone pays the same rate, to a graduated income tax, where those with more income pay a higher rate. The survey found that 57 percent of respondents favor a graduated income tax, with support strongest among Democrats at 69 percent and somewhat less among Independents at 56 percent. However, even a substantial minority of Republicans (41 percent) indicated a preference for a graduated tax compared to the current flat rate.

Over three times as many respondents said they believe immigrants help (63 percent) rather than hurt (20 percent) Illinois. But, opinion was sharply divided on this question by partisan affiliation. Whereas 83 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Independents see immigration as a help, only 36 percent of Republicans share this view.

Respondents gave strong support to increasing state funding for public higher education in order to hold down the costs of tuition. Three-fourths said this should be a high priority for the state. Regarding the tendency of high school graduates to attend college outside the state, 40 percent of respondents said individuals go elsewhere because Illinois is too expensive and 37 percent point to uncertain state funding as the cause.

Other policy topics covered by the survey include term limits, undocumented immigrant children, school vouchers, gun rights, healthcare access, drug abuse, social trust and trust in the media, and today’s political and racial divisions.

The 2018 Illinois Issues Survey is the first in a planned long-term project which examines the policy preferences of Illinoisans. The study examines policy issues relevant both at the state and national levels across a wide variety of areas.

Read the full report on the NPR Illinois website. Questions about the report may be directed to Matthew Case, visiting research manager, at 217/206-6293 or

Friday, September 21, 2018

UIS Reaching Stellar campaign has impressive year totaling more than $5.1 million

On June 30, the University of Illinois Springfield marked the end of fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) with more than 16,000 gifts and commitments in new business totaling more than $5.1 million. New business is comprised of new gifts, grants, pledges and deferred commitments. The University also registered $3.2 million in outright cash gifts, pledge payments, annuity/life income gifts and estate distributions. Both the new business and cash gift totals are among the best in university history.

“The core mission of the University of Illinois is to transform lives and serve society,” said Susan J. Koch, chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield. “Our donors, community leaders and supporters are taking UIS toward greater excellence and impact for our students, our University, our state and beyond.”

The University launched the public phase of its largest philanthropic campaign on October 10, 2017. The campaign, Reaching Stellar, has a $40-million goal through 2022 to benefit students, faculty and the Springfield community. This is the largest fundraising campaign in the Springfield community's history. The campaign is at its half way point and as of June 30 over $22.1 million has been secured toward the five campaign priorities:
  • Scholarships: Affirming the aspirations, energy and diversity of our students
  • Academic Excellence : Learning that empowers the future
  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies : To instruct, inspire and elevate us all
  • The Public Good : Engagement. Collaboration. Impact.
  • Facilities and Technology : Building tomorrow’s University today 
“The Reaching Stellar campaign is off to a great start due to our donors and the leadership of our UIS Campaign Committee led by co-chairs are Hy Bunn, president and CEO of Bunn-O-Matic Corporation, and Saul Morse, of counsel at Brown, Hay & Stephens LLC,” stated Jeff Lorber, vice chancellor for advancement, University of Illinois Springfield and senior vice president, University of Illinois Foundation. UIS Campaign Committee members include Micah Bartlett, Bob Felker, Julie Kellner, Pam McClelland, Larry Shiner, Janice Spears, Julie Staley and Guerry Suggs.

The campaign has numerous areas which have received support such as UIS Student Union, UIS Center for Lincoln Studies, NPR Illinois, UIS Athletics, the Illinois Innocence Project, Brookens Library, and the new Field Station on Lake Springfield to name a few.

Campaigns can transform a university and its community. This past January, the UIS Student Union was officially dedicated and overnight it became the heartbeat of campus. With a new 50,000-square-foot facility on the UIS quad, the UIS Student Union serves as the center of students’ social and organizational activities with its conference rooms, lounges, booths and nooks to encourage discussion, collaboration, and study. Today, a large dining hall and coffee shop serve as gathering places to attract students and serve as a central meeting site for numerous campus organizations. This $21-million investment was made possible through the commitment of student fees and private gifts.

Richard Osborne, an alumnus and lead donor, is excited to consider the opportunities for future success that exist at UIS. "When I received my master’s degree from UIS, the school had just started its migration to the current campus. Since then the school has grown dramatically and is developing into a full scope university. Building a first-class student union is an important and needed step, allowing students to connect and create lifelong relationships. My wife Charlene and I are very pleased to support the UIS Student Union project as well as endowed scholarships in the College of Business and Management."

Giving to the campaign, Reaching Stellar, is a key priority of the University of Illinois Springfield, Sangamon County and the Springfield community. Giving to this campaign will help enrich the University of Illinois Springfield, accelerate economic development, enhance innovation and increase fundamental research in our community, region and state. The response in the first year after the public announcement of the Reaching Stellar campaign has demonstrated that the communities supporting UIS are rallying. The top three sources of support are from UIS alumni (39%), corporations (17%) and friends/ non alumni (24%).

“I have long considered UIS a true asset to the Springfield community," said Saul Morse, co-chair of the UIS Campaign Committee. “The University adds millions in revenue to Springfield and thousands of UIS alumni work in our community. Now only a couple years from the University’s 50th anniversary, the prospects for this institution of higher education and its effect upon our community are limitless.”

More information about the Reaching Stellar campaign for the University of Illinois Springfield is available at Please contact Jeff Lorber, vice chancellor for advancement, University of Illinois Springfield (217) 206.6058;

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sangamon Auditorium and the Studio Theatre are now known as the UIS Performing Arts Center

Sunday night’s performance by famed comedian and television star Jay Leno at Sangamon Auditorium brought not only laughs but news. Bryan Rives, new director of UIS Performing Arts Services announced to the 1,500 attendees the creation of the University of Illinois Springfield Performing Arts Center. The UIS Performing Arts Center encompasses a variety of venues and programs including Sangamon Auditorium, the intimate UIS Studio Theatre, the UIS Ticket Office and the UIS Performing Arts Education Connections program.

With the new name comes some other changes including a new web site,, a new name for the active donor support group currently comprised of over 600 households, Friends of UIS Performing Arts Center, and a new logo. The logo features not only the new name but a graphic representation of searchlights. “The searchlights are real,” says Rives. “We now have five powerful search lights on our roof which each put out 1.7 billion beam candlepower and rotate 360 degrees. All made in the USA. Every night when there is a show occurring at one of our venues, the search lights will sweep the night sky as a beacon to the community to come join us. We like to say ‘When you see the lights, come see the show’!”

When asked why the changes were made, Rives said “It was time for a refresh and to celebrate all of the accomplishments our organization has had over the years. Last year we had over 72,000 visitors to our performance venues with over $2.2 million in ticket sales. We anticipate those numbers to grow as we continue to present more popular entertainers such as Jerry Seinfeld, Gordon Lightfoot and Diana Krall.”

Rives also pointed out Sangamon Auditorium has been in operation for about 37 years, and its 40th anniversary is quickly approaching in 2021. “UIS is currently in the planning stages for a major facelift of the lobby area and UIS Studio Theatre along with other improvements in store for Sangamon Auditorium,” he said. At Jay Leno’s performance, select donors and supporters of Sangamon Auditorium were treated to a sneak peak of these plans which include a new concession stand for the lobby to be completed by this spring. Donors were also shown architectural concepts for a major redesign of the main lobby including the addition of a new grand staircase to the third-floor landing and a new ticket office.

Rives went on to add, “With the recent opening of the UIS Student Union and its versatile ballroom and banquet space, our lobby area no longer serves as the main location for campus gathering and luncheons. This is allowing us to repurpose the space as a dedicated lobby area with amenities patrons expect of a world-class performance facility.”

Plans for the intimate UIS Studio Theatre include all new seating and modernizing the stage equipment. “We also need to renovate all of our dressing rooms,” Rives commented. “They are very antiquated and need to be completely redone. It is important to us that the Studio Theatre becomes a priority in our renovation plans as it is most used by our students including the UIS Theatre program which has now grown to providing a Theatre major degree. We want our students to have access to modern facilities and equipment as they begin their careers.”

Renovations are expected to be funded through a combination of major gifts from individual donors, contributions made to the Friends for UIS Performing Arts Center annual fund drive, and funds derived from a current facility fee collected on all paid tickets which goes into a fund for capital maintenance and improvement projects.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Freshmen enrollment grows by nearly 14 percent at the University of Illinois Springfield

Freshmen enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield grew by nearly 14 percent according to Fall Semester 2018 census numbers released today. The total number of first-year students stands at 316, compared to 278 last fall semester.

“We are delighted that more first-year students are choosing the University of Illinois Springfield for their undergraduate education,” said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch. “These numbers show that our increased recruitment efforts, expanding academic programs and new facilities are making a difference.”

Nearly 90 percent (284) of the new freshmen are Illinois residents and 47 percent have self-reported as a minority.

UIS saw an increase in the percentage of its student body (75.5 percent up from 72.2 percent last year) coming from Illinois. The university has a total of 3,453 students who are Illinois residents. International students encompass 9.5 percent of the students enrolled.

The number of students taking classes completely online continues to be an important part of the UIS student body. A total of 1,636 students (nearly 36 percent) are enrolled in online degree or certificate programs. This semester, UIS online students reside in 45 states, 82 counties in Illinois and 11 foreign countries.

After the first 10 days of classes, the total number of students enrolled in fall classes at UIS stands at 4,575 compared to 4,956 students in fall 2017. Total undergraduate enrollment stands at 2,814 students compared to 2,932 in fall 2017. The number of graduate students decreased from 2,024 in 2017 to 1,761 in 2018.

There are a total of 585 African American students enrolled this semester comprising 12.8 percent of the student body. Students who self-identify as Hispanic comprise 7.3 percent (334) of this year’s student body, and Asian students comprise 3.9 percent (178).

This week U.S. News & World Report also announced that UIS is ranked in the top 10 Best Public Regional Universities in the Midwest. The Springfield campus was ranked as the ninth best public university in the national rankings, up from the previous year.

UIS is one of three universities in the world-class University of Illinois System and provides students with a high-quality liberal arts education, exceptional public affairs opportunities and outstanding professional preparation programs.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

UIS receives institutional reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

The University of Illinois Springfield has received institutional reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that serves as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. UIS has been accredited by the commission since 1975.

The 10 year reaccreditation was approved by the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission at its meeting on July 31, 2018.

“This reaccreditation is a testament to the quality of academic programs that are offered at the University of Illinois Springfield; but also a recognition of the deep commitment of UIS faculty and staff to our students and to the mission and vision of the University,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch.

The commission not only evaluated UIS’ academic programs, but the quality of the institution as a whole, including its governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. HLC’s institutional accreditation includes all degree levels as well as onsite and online offerings.

According to UIS Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Dennis Papini, institutional accreditation is important because the U.S. Department of Education requires that an institution be accredited in order for its students to be eligible for federal financial assistance.

“Accreditation also allows UIS credits and degrees to transfer and be recognized by other institutions,” Papini said. “Additionally, employers who are looking to hire our graduates often view accreditation as an assurance that a candidate has received a quality education and is prepared for the workforce.”

The UIS institutional reaccreditation process began in 2012 and culminated with a site review by peer reviewers in February 2018. The peer reviewers determined that UIS meets HLC standards and is engaged in continuous improvement.

UIS will take part in two assurance reviews during the 10-year Open Pathway accreditation cycle - one in four years and one in 10 years. The next site visit will happen during the 2027-2028 academic year.

The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree-granting colleges and universities. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes 19 states.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Downtown Springfield business incubator joins UIS, becomes first hub of Illinois Innovation Network

Innovate Springfield, a downtown Springfield innovation and business incubator, has become part of the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) under an agreement aimed at expanding economic growth, entrepreneurship opportunities and social progress in the capital city, Chancellor Susan Koch announced today.

In joining UIS, Innovate Springfield, founded in 2014 by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, also becomes the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). The new initiative, led by the U of I System, was announced last fall and is being developed to accelerate statewide job creation and economic development through groundbreaking research and innovation.

As the network’s first hub, Innovate Springfield will receive $1.5 million in funding over the next three years to expand programs supporting start-up businesses, entrepreneurs and innovation that promotes the public good.

Funding grew from a U of I System offer to match any local funding provided to create the Springfield hub. The city of Springfield, Land of Lincoln Economic Development Corporation, and the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln agreed to contribute a combined $250,000 annually over the next three years. With the system’s match, the agreement will provide a total annual investment of $500,000.

Koch said joining UIS and IIN will amplify Innovate Springfield’s efforts to bring new businesses and high-impact social programs to central Illinois. The incubator will be able to partner with UIS faculty and students, as well as with IIN hubs that will ultimately include the U of I’s universities in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago, other downstate sites and the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), a new Chicago-based institute that will be the cornerstone of the network.

At the same time, she said, UIS students and faculty will benefit from new learning and research opportunities that will be available through Innovate Springfield and IIN.

“As the first statewide hub of the new Illinois Innovation Network, UIS faculty, students and local companies will work side-by-side and with experts across the state to develop solutions, promote entrepreneurship and empower inventors of the future,” Koch said. “It’s an ideal combination for all entities involved in this partnership.”

U of I President Tim Killeen said adding Springfield as the first hub builds on momentum that includes $500 million in state capital funding to develop the new innovation enterprise and new partnerships with corporations and universities around the world.

“Innovation is the key to progress and prosperity in our new, knowledge-based economy,” Killeen said. “These initiatives reflect our commitment to put our world-class scholarship to work for people here in Springfield, across our state and beyond.”

Koch had been working to bring Innovate Springfield to her campus before IIN and DPI were announced, seeking to give UIS a presence in downtown Springfield and expand access to university resources that would help the incubator reinvigorate the community.

As part of UIS, Innovate Springfield offices will continue to be located downtown at 15 South Old State Capitol Plaza, operating under UIS’s Center for State Policy and Leadership and the Center for Entrepreneurship.

After IIN and DPI were announced, talks expanded to include making Innovate Springfield the network’s first hub and providing seed money to ramp up operations.

Koch said the Springfield incubator will play a unique role in the new, statewide innovation network that the U of I System will lead. Along with entrepreneurship and business creation, which also will be a focus of other hubs, the UIS incubator will continue to emphasize collaboration and innovation that serves the common good by using technology for social causes such as protecting the environment or expanding opportunities for the underprivileged.

Innovate Springfield is a catalyst for entrepreneurial activity in social innovation and business development in central Illinois. The incubator’s Business Incubation Program, which began in 2016, currently supports the development and acceleration of companies being led by 44 members in various stages of their startups by offering access to high-quality programming, business advisors, mentorship, and 24/7 access to 7,000+ square feet of low-cost office amenities in downtown Springfield.

Through implementation of locally responsive priorities including the Sangamon Success report, Innovate Springfield’s Social Innovation Program supports local programs in aligning with research evidence to improve educational attainment and acquisition of the skills needed by a 21st century workforce.

“Our rapid growth over the past two years is a testament to the critical mass forming around innovation in the region,” said Katie Davison, executive director of Innovate Springfield.

Davison will continue as director of Innovate Springfield and said she believes her organization’s new partnership with UIS will enhance resources that will advance its flagship programs, Business Incubation and Social Innovation.

“Becoming a university-led incubator will tremendously strengthen our region’s innovation ecosystem through UIS’s local, statewide, and global networks and resources,” she said.

The Community Foundation’s initial investment in the non-profit incubator spurred the support of other local funders including the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce’s Strategic Leadership Council and a number of private donors. From the beginning, the Community Foundation viewed founding Innovate Springfield as a means of creating systems-level change for Springfield by supporting both human capital and economic development.

Starting a combined business and social innovation incubator, Innovate Springfield took a new, holistic approach to community and economic development, something that’s never been done before.

“The Community Foundation was uniquely positioned to approach economic development in an entirely new way, one that has an exponential impact,” said John Stremsterfer, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. “UIS was a partner from the very beginning, and we are confident that this innovative approach to economic development will flourish as Innovate Springfield transitions to become a UIS-led incubator.”

“The City has strongly supported Innovate Springfield, which has been a catalyst for stimulating entrepreneurial growth and innovation in the Springfield business community,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder. “The new partnership with the University of Illinois brings an added dimension of resources, possibilities and opportunities to expand the role and effectiveness of the innovation center. With the University of Illinois designating Innovate Springfield as the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network and locating it in downtown Springfield, this will create a transformational economic environment for Springfield’s future.”

“Business innovation and incubation are proven energy drivers for investment in any community. The tremendous opportunity presented by combining Innovate Springfield with the UIS/IIN made it an easy call to support this initiative as one of our new EDC’s first investments, said Hy Bunn, board chair of the Land of Lincoln Economic Development Corporation.

“This is the DPI model – the one we will follow in Champaign, Peoria, Chicago and all over the state to empower the inventors of the future,” said Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. “With U of I System in the lead, we can create a Cal Tech-Stanford / MIT-Harvard style connection between students, faculty, research, enterprise development and investment capital that will power unprecedented economic growth … with one big difference. With all its campuses, partnerships and, most important, its renowned faculty, the U of I initiative can far surpass the output of Silicon Valley and I-5.”

“Not only is this a step toward UIS having a more significant presence downtown – something local officials have discussed for years – it is the first of many incredible things to come for the capital city as a result of this project,” state Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “I am pleased to have had role in making this a reality, and I look forward to watching the exciting changes that are about to unfold in Springfield.”

Plans for IIN and DPI were announced in October by Gov. Rauner. Work is underway on an implementation plan that will establish a timetable for opening and other details of the enterprise, where world-class researchers will work side-by-side with students and businesses to foster next-generation innovation and workforce development.

DPI will be developed in Chicago and will bring together top faculty in agriculture, healthcare, computing and other critical fields from the U of I System and partner universities. Nearly 100 new researchers also will be added, and together they will connect with hundreds of businesses and thousands of students over time, as well as with entrepreneurs and venture capital firms.

Their research and educational collaborations will address real-world challenges, promoting the kind of breakthrough discoveries that create new products and companies. Those innovations will fuel economic growth, while also providing hands-on experiences for students and nurturing a skilled workforce for the city and state.

The institute will be the centerpiece of IIN, a virtually connected statewide enterprise allowing DPI staff to work with university and business partners in Springfield and other regions across the state on research and education initiatives that help launch new companies and lift communities.

Friday, August 24, 2018

UIS welcomes 21 new faculty members for the start of Fall Semester 2018 classes

A total of 21 new faculty members have joined the University of Illinois Springfield for Fall Semester 2018. Nine faculty members will teach in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two in the College of Business and Management, two in the College of Education and Human Services, four in the College of Public Affairs and Administration and one the Capital Scholars Honors Program. The College of Education and Human Services will also welcome a new research faculty member and two doctoral dissertation fellows will join the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

Amandailee Adams, assistant professor allied health/medical laboratory science in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, hold a master’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois Springfield. Her research interests include microbial biofilms and studying antibiotic resistant microorganisms in the clinical setting. Outside of work, she enjoys family adventures, traveling, boating and mentoring children.

Oluwakayode Adebowale, visiting research assistant professor of educational leadership in the College of Education and Human Services, earned a doctorate in technology, policy and innovation from the State University of New York – Stony Brook. His research interests include learner analytics; equity, diversity and inclusion; educational policy, learning technology, quantitative research, S.T.E.M and cross‐global collaboration. His personal interests include college‐prep, S.T.E.M, grant writing, track and field, mentoring, networking and traveling.

Timothy Bill, communication instructor and forensics coach in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, earned a master’s degree in communication from the University of Kentucky. His research and professional interests include political communication, speech and debate, persuasion, argumentation and instructional communication. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, hiking and running.

Glenn Cassidy, economics instructor in the College of Business and Management, earned a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include state and local public finance, economic development and regulatory economics. His personal interests include creative writing, poetry open mics and economic history.

Alan Freedman, assistant professor of allied health/athletic training in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, earned a master’s of education in athletic training from the University of Virginia. He is currently completing his doctorate. His research and professional interests include epidemiology of fencing injuries and hip joint pathology. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, golf and travel.

Andrea Jensen, assistant professor of allied health/medical laboratory science in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois Springfield. Her research/professional interests include asymmetric information in laboratory testing and its effect on healthcare costs, appropriate laboratory test utilization and outcome improvement in MLS programs. Her personal interests include gardening, theatre, knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting and long walks.

Meghan Kessler, assistant professor of teacher education in the College of Education and Human Services, earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research and professional interests include policies and practices of teacher evaluation and its impact on new teacher development and socialization. Outside of work, she enjoys running and biking the trails around Springfield.

Kenneth Kriz, distinguished professor of public administration in the College of Public Affairs & Administration, holds a doctorate in public affairs from Indiana University. His research and professional interests include municipal debt, public pension fund management, public financial risk management and economic development finance. Personally, he enjoys hiking, exercise, reading, music and Manchester City football.

Shelley Lewis, visiting instructor of English and modern languages, earned a master’s degree in English from Illinois State University. Her research and professional interests include student success in writing. Outside of work, she enjoys writing and reading.

Joshua Lively, doctoral dissertation fellow in environmental studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, earned a master’s degree in geology from the University of Utah. His research and professional interests include the evolutionary patterns of organisms (especially marine reptiles and freshwater turtles) during periods of globally warm climate in deep time. Personally, he enjoys hiking, bird watching, fishing, watching college football and tennis.

Elise LoBue, visiting instructor in the Capital Scholars Honors Program, earned a doctorate in women’s studies from the University of Iowa. Her research/professional interests include post‐socialist transitions in the former Soviet Union and Turkish refugees who are members of the Hizmet movement seeking political asylum in Canada. Personally, she enjoys gardening, fitness and wellness, Ubering her children (more of a hobby, than an interest) and watching their sporting activities.

Jennifer Martin, assistant professor of teacher education in the College of Education & Human Services, holds a doctorate in education from Oakland University. Her research and professional interests include culturally responsive teaching and leading practices and issues of educational equity. Outside of work, she enjoys writing, true crime podcasts and her twin Boston Terrier puppies, Mimi and Malcolm.

Sean McCandless, assistant professor of public administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, earned a doctorate in public affairs from the University of Colorado. His research interests include public administration and social equity. He is personally interested in music, travel and food (and when all three combine).

Noah Reynolds, assistant professor of biology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, earned a doctorate in microbiology from The Ohio State University. His research/professional interests include molecular and cellular biology, specifically, understanding the regulation of protein synthesis in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. Outside of work, he enjoys running, spending time with his kids and making and listening to music.

Roberto Rincon, doctoral dissertation fellow in political science in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, holds a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois University. His research and professional interests include issues of race and social justice with a focus on the politics of recognition as it regards Afro‐Mexican communities in Mexico and the United States. His personal interests include travel, music, fiction – an extension of a commitment to diversity, experiential learning and thinking the common.

Arnaldo Robles-Reyes, assistant professor of English and modern languages in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, earned a doctorate in second language acquisition (Spanish) from the State University of New York, University at Albany.

David Saner, instructor of accountancy in the College of Business and Management, earned a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Indiana University. His research and professional interests include fraud and unfunded pension liabilities. Outside of work, he enjoys golfing, skiing and attending a myriad of children’s events.

Junu Shrestha, assistant professor of public health in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, earned a doctorate in allied health, recreation and community services (environmental health education) from the University of Northern Iowa. Her research and professional interests include heavy metal pollution, water quality, GIS techniques in environmental and public health, and environmental pollutants and public health. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, biking and traveling.

Steven Vitti, assistant professor of allied health/exercise science in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from Springfield College. His research and professional interests include betalain supplementation, muscle damage and inflammation. Personally, he enjoys coffee and running.

Sarah Webb, assistant professor of English and modern languages in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a doctorate in English from Louisiana State University. Her research and professional interests include creative writing, digital media and global advocacy and interventions in the issue of colorism. Outside of work, she enjoys earrings and 90s R&B.

Yun Zhao, assistant professor of environmental studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, earned a doctorate in geography from Oklahoma State University. His research and professional interests include Geographic Information System (GIS), remote sensing, urban and transportation geography and landscape ecology. His personal interests include bicycling, running, thriller movies and spending time with family.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

UIS welcomes hundreds of new students on Freshmen Move-In Day

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed nearly 300 new students and their parents to campus during Freshmen Move-In Day on August 22, 2018.

“Today we have all of our first-year students moving into Lincoln Residence Hall and Founders Residence Hall,” said Brian Kelley, UIS director of residence life. “We’re really excited. There’s a lot of energy.”

Incoming freshman Sandra Trujillo-Quinonez woke up early to make the drive down with her parents from Chicago to Springfield.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for this day since I went to the STARS program. I started packing like two weeks ago.”

Other students, such as Emma Lucas, drove nearly 900 miles from Colorado Springs, Colorado to start her freshman year at UIS.

“I drove 14 hours to get here today,” she said. “I found (UIS) online and I really liked the honors program, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

UIS Chancellor Susan Koch greeted students and parents as they moved into the residence halls.

“There’s a sense of anticipation that you just don’t see on any other day,” said Koch. “People are happy to be back and I’m really happy to have them because the campus is a lot livelier today.”

Students were 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 think it’s really rewarding to kind of be out here and see all of the freshmen moving in and you can kind of get to help them,” said Payton Sturdy, a UIS student volunteer.

Kelley hopes that parents will leave their students having experienced a smooth and easy move-in day and knowing that there’s someone at UIS who cares about their student.

“Ultimately, every family member wants to know that their students are cared for and that’s a big part of today as well,” said Kelley.

In addition to the nearly 300 new freshmen students, UIS will welcome approximately 120 new graduate and transfer students to campus housing later this week.

Fall Semester 2018 classes start at UIS on Monday, August 27.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

UIS launches new Community Music School offering professional lessons for adults and children

The University of Illinois Springfield Music Program has launched a new Community Music School offering instrumental and vocal instruction to adults and children five years and older.

The purpose of this program is to offer affordable, high quality, individualized music instruction and performance opportunities that enrich the community and campus.

“The UIS Music Program decided to launch this school in an effort to offer a new resource to aspiring musicians in Sangamon County,” said Yona Stamatis, UIS associate professor of ethnomusicology. “The lessons will be taught by a roster of professional musicians that boast extensive performance experience and rigorous teaching standards. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to the community.”

In addition to voice lessons, instruction will be offered on the following instruments: bass, bassoon, cello, clarinet, flute/piccolo, French horn, guitar, oboe, percussion, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola and violin. Lessons are available on some traditional instruments as well.

Lessons are offered weekly for either a half-hour, 45 minutes or one hour and will be taught by a UIS Community Music School teacher.

“At the end of the semester, Community Music School students will also have the opportunity to perform at a student recital,” said Stamatis. “What a wonderful way to show off their hard work and to share their talents with the community.”

Early registration ends on August 25. Late registration (an additional $10) ends on September 10. Lessons begin the week of September 10. Applicants that miss the fall late registration deadline should contact the UIS Music Program to check if there are any remaining spots available. Applicants can also register for the spring semester.

Students are required to provide their own instruments for lessons and practice, although pianos and some percussion instruments are available. Community Music School students will also have the option to join the UIS band, chorus and orchestra.

For more information and to apply for classes, visit the UIS Community Music School website. The Community Music School application is available online. Questions may be directed to Amanda Lazzara at 217/206-6240 or

Thursday, August 16, 2018

UIS to offer a new dual credit course in an effort to encourage high school students to become teachers

UIS Teacher Education major Gabby Zeigler student teaches a class in 2015.
The University of Illinois Springfield’s Teacher Education Department will offer a new dual credit course for high school seniors in Menard and Sangamon Counties in an effort to encourage them to become teachers.

This is only the second year that UIS has offered dual credit courses, taught by University faculty members, to local high school students. The seniors will earn both college and high school credit for completing the course.

The dual credit course being offered is titled “Foundations of American Education.” The series of classes will provide students with an introduction to U.S. public and private K-12 schools through an exploration of the history and philosophy of education. The course counts toward general education credits for those students who attend UIS to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The students get a head start on their college credits and a chance to see what teaching is about from the other side of the desk,” said Cindy Wilson, chair of the UIS Teacher Education Department. “Given the current teacher shortage, any efforts toward encouraging future teachers to enter the profession, to see the joy that is possible when someone they are teaching experiences a light bulb moment, well, that’s a good thing.”

The course will be offered on the UIS campus on Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. starting on August 29, 2018. The course will be taught by Scott Doerr, a UIS adjunct teacher education instructor and superintendent of the Nokomis School District. The course is open to any senior who attends a high school in Menard or Sangamon Counties.

The dual credit Teacher Education course will cost high school students $50, plus the cost of a textbook (rental, used and online options are available). Students can sign up for the course by talking to their high school guidance counselor before August 22.

“The cost is almost negligible, so this course will give parents a bit of a tuition break,” said Wilson. “The course also gives UIS an opportunity to recruit students and let them experience a college course before they graduate.”

While the course fulfills the introductory requirement for the UIS Teacher Education Program, the credits could also transfer to other institutions in the state if a student should choose to complete his or her education degree elsewhere.

“This is the latest dual credit program where high school students can earn college credit at UIS,” said Fernando Planas, UIS director of admissions. “We believe that many of the high school students participating in the dual credit programs will find UIS to be an outstanding academic institution with exceptional opportunities and a great place to pursue their college degrees.”

In August 2017, UIS Associate Professor of Biochemistry Stephen R. Johnson offered the first dual credit course for high school students at UIS. A group of 18 students from Springfield’s Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (SHG) took part in the pilot program. The dual credit chemistry course will again be offered to SHG students during the 2018-2019 academic year.

For more information on the course, contact Cindy Wilson, chair of the UIS Teacher Education Department, at 217/206-6386 or

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

"Hired!" social media campaign highlights 2018 graduates with jobs

A University of Illinois Springfield social media campaign is highlighting students who graduated with a job. The "Hired!" campaign was featured on the UIS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages in the summer of 2018.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

UIS to host a 4K for Cancer team running to raise funds and awareness

The University of Illinois Springfield will host a 4K for Cancer team during their more than 4,000 mile, 49 day cross-country run from San Francisco to Baltimore to raise funds and awareness for young adults with cancer.

The team of 19 runners, made up of college-aged students, will spend two nights on the UIS campus.

The runners are expected to arrive in Springfield on July 19 between 2-4 p.m. and depart Springfield on July 21 around 6 a.m.

The team traveling through Springfield left San Francisco on June 17 and is expected to finish in Baltimore on August 4.

4K for Cancer is a program of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a non-profit organization dedicated to supplying support, awareness and education for young adults with cancer.

The non-profit's program focuses on uniting communities and people across the country who have been affected by cancer.

This is the 17th year 4K for Cancer has sent young adults on a journey across the country in an effort to inspire hope and unite communities in the fight against cancer.

According to 4K for Cancer, more than 70,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer every year. Young adults (ages 15-39) face a variety of unique challenges with a cancer diagnosis including fertility preservation, social isolation, lack of insurance, delayed diagnosis and more.

Monday, July 02, 2018

UIS announces Spring Semester 2018 Dean’s List

The University of Illinois Springfield has released the Dean’s List for Spring Semester 2018.

A total of 519 students were selected; 77 are students in the College of Business and Management, 39 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 323 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 66 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 14 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.

Spring 18 Dean's List PDF | Spring 18 Dean's List Excel