Tuesday, September 22, 2020

UIS to offer accelerated eight-week courses for prospective and current students starting Oct. 19


 

The University of Illinois Springfield will offer 27 new accelerated eight-week courses for prospective and current students. Most will begin Monday, Oct. 19 and end on Saturday, Dec. 5. Others, like athletic training, will start on Nov. 2 and end on Jan. 15, 2021. 

“We know this has been a challenging year for many people,” said UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “Many students may not have been ready to start classes in August due to the COVID-19 pandemic but are ready to start now. This is also a great opportunity for current students to add to their course load and potentially earn their degree in a shorter period of time.” 

Accelerated courses will be offered in accountancy, athletic training, business, communication, educational leadership, human development counseling, management, mathematical sciences, philosophy, teacher education and theatre. A full list of courses is available at uis.edu/accelerated

Prospective students should apply by the end of the day on Friday, Oct. 16 at uis.edu/apply. Current UIS students can sign up by Oct. 25 using the instructions found at uis.edu/registration/courseschedule/accelerated/. All courses are eligible for financial assistance. 

For more information, prospective students are encouraged to contact the UIS Office of Admission at 217-206-4847 or admissions@uis.edu. Current UIS students should direct questions to the Office of Record and Registration at 217-206-6174 or registrar@uis.edu.

Monday, September 14, 2020

UIS ranked the top public regional university in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report

The University of Illinois Springfield has been ranked the top public regional university in Illinois and the fourth best public university in the Midwest regional category for a second year in a row by U.S. News & World Report in 2021 Best Colleges rankings released today.

UIS was also ranked fifth best by U.S. News & World Report when it comes to students graduating with the least amount of debt in the Midwest regional category.

“Even though our students and alumni tell us we are No. 1, these rankings confirm the high quality education students receive at UIS,” said UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “This prestigious ranking shows our prospective and current students, our alumni and friends that the UIS college experience is outstanding. Our inspiring faculty and hard-working staff working with each and every student is the UIS difference.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the factors it looked at in determining UIS’ overall ranking include retention and graduation rates, faculty resources (such as class size and faculty salary), academic reputation, financial resources available to students, how well students performed academically in high school (including ACT/SAT and high school percentile rank) and alumni giving.

UIS also appeared on U.S. News and World Report’s “A-plus Schools for B Students” list for the Midwest regional category, due to UIS’ overall performance in the rankings and average freshman retention rate.

“We here at UIS are thrilled with the news that we have retained the No. 1 spot for public regional university in Illinois,” said Natalie Herring, UIS associate provost for enrollment management. “What this means for our right-sized community, is that we are doing a good job challenging high-achieving students and supporting future stars of great potential.”

Since 2006, UIS has been ranked consistently among the top 15 best public regional universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. The full report and additional data can be found at usnews.com/best-colleges.

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.

For more information on the UIS rankings, contact Derek Schnapp, director of public relations, at 217-206-6716 or dschn3@uis.edu.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

University of Illinois Springfield sees positive trends, despite slight decrease in overall enrollment

After the first 10 days of classes, University of Illinois Springfield Fall 2020 census numbers show the total number of students enrolled in classes stands at 4,146 compared to 4,275 students in Fall 2019 (a 3 percent decrease from last year). However, the total number of credit hours taken by students remains steady at 43,130 (down only 1.2 percent from last fall).

UIS reported a 6 percent increase in the number of students taking classes online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The total number of students taking classes online is 1,540, compared to 1,451 students last fall. This number doesn’t reflect the number of students taking hybrid and remote classes. UIS online students reside in nine foreign countries and one territory (Guam), 46 states and 82 Illinois counties.

“With the concern of COVID-19 and some students talking about taking a gap year, these numbers are better than we had expected,” said Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “The bottom line is that we are and will continue to be a place that provides a uniquely student-centered educational experience both in and out of the physical classroom. We are national leaders in online learning, and we have once again proven this year that we can expertly provide classes in a remote learning format. In fact, we’re teaching other schools how to more effectively teach online.”

Total undergraduate enrollment stands at 2,654 students compared to 2,674 in fall 2019. The number of graduate students decreased from 1,601 in 2019 to 1,492 in 2020. Overall, the UIS student body has a higher percentage of Illinois residents this semester. A total of 3,243 students are Illinois residents, making up 78.2 percent of the student body, compared to 76.6 percent of the population in fall 2019.

UIS continues to be a diverse campus, seeing a more than 6 percent increase this semester in the number of students who self-identify as Hispanic (371 compared to 348 last fall). Hispanic students make up nearly 9 percent of the student body. The total number of African American students enrolled this semester stands at 535, comprising nearly 13 percent of the student body. Asian students make up more than 4 percent of the student body (183 students). International students account for more than 6 percent (255) of students enrolled, down from 373 students in fall 2019.

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.

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

UIS releases certified list of summer and fall 2019, spring 2020 graduates

More than 970 students earned degrees from the University of Illinois Springfield during Summer Semester 2019, Fall Semester of 2019 and Spring Semester 2020.

Commencement ceremonies were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below you'll find a printable list of graduates' names and degrees listed by the city of residence on file with UIS Records and Registration at the time of graduation.

Please note that those who were eligible to participate in a previous year’s commencement and eventually earned their degree in Summer 2019, Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 are not included.

Graduates Names (Excel) | Graduates Names (PDF)

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

UIS celebrates 50th anniversary by reflecting on a bold legacy and looking forward to a bright future

The University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary during academic year 2020-21, as the public liberal arts university reflects on a bold legacy and looks forward to a bright future as an educational leader in central Illinois and beyond.

Billboards featuring UIS’ 50th anniversary logo and tagline “Bold Legacy. Bright Future.” are now up in Springfield. UIS also plans to celebrate the anniversary on its social media channels.

Reflecting on the anniversary, UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney notes how UIS began as an upstart campus in a temporary building and is now ranked as the No. 1 public regional university in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report.

“UIS’ star is bright!” Whitney said. “Our unconventional start, our culture of thinking outside the box, our stamina and grit – these qualities continue to propel us forward, no matter the situation or the challenge. Hard work, determination and collaboration advances our mission to provide a uniquely student-centered educational experience both in and out of the classroom.”

Bold Legacy 

In 1960, a group of central Illinois citizens, united in their goal of bringing a four-year university to the capital city, formed the Springfield Committee for Higher Education. Theirs was not the first attempt to bring such an institution to Springfield, but it was successful. On June 10, 1969, Gov. Richard Ogilvie signed legislation creating Sangamon State University (SSU), which would later become UIS.

SSU was a child of its time. Conceived as an “upper-level” three-year institution, a “capstone” to the state’s community college system, SSU offered junior, senior and graduate courses.

On Sept. 28, 1970, 45 charter faculty members began teaching 811 students in temporary classrooms at Springfield’s First United Methodist Church. The first classes on UIS’ present day campus were not held until Oct. 5, 1970, due to construction delays.

Karen Hasara, who was the second person in line to register for classes and later would become a state senator and Springfield mayor, would say later many times that the establishment of SSU/UIS was the greatest thing to happen to Springfield in the last quarter of the 20th century.

“The community was very excited about having a university,” said Hasara, who was also the first UIS alumna on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. “I always say that I think it was one of the best things that happened to Springfield. It brought in a lot of people who weren’t from here, and we needed that.”

For nearly 25 years, Sangamon State University thrived, awarding its first degrees in 1971, as campus grew with the addition of Brookens Library, the Public Affairs Center (housing Sangamon Auditorium) and on-campus housing. In 1991, SSU enrolled 4,192 students, breaking the 4,000 mark for the first time.

However, changes were ahead as the state decided to reorganize higher education in Illinois. On Feb. 28, 1995, Gov. Jim Edgar signed into law legislation that made Sangamon State University the third campus of the University of Illinois. Thus was born the University of Illinois Springfield on July 1, 1995.

UIS would continue to grow in the 1990s enrolling even more students and would become a nationwide leader in online learning.

On Aug. 22, 2001, a group of about 120 freshman students would change the campus forever. The newly approved Capital Scholars Honors Program brought high-achieving first-year students to campus for the first time. In 2005, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a new general education curriculum, making UIS a full-fledged four-year university.

“Both going with the University of Illinois and gaining four-year status meant a different future for this institution,” said UIS Chancellor Emeritus Naomi Lynn, who led SSU and UIS from 1991 to 2001. “It changed its future, determined what was going to happen. It put us in a different category.”

UIS saw a large physical growth on campus in the 2000s with the addition of Lincoln and Founders residence halls, University Hall, the Colonnade and The Recreation and Athletic Center.

“Newcomers to Springfield just take it for granted that there’s a four-year institution out here on the south side of town,” said UIS Chancellor Emeritus Richard Ringeisen when he retired in 2010 after leading the university for nine years. “I’m absolutely confident that UIS has a great future.”

UIS continued to grow in the 2010s, becoming a full-fledged member of NCAA Division II athletics in 2010 and enrolling a record 5,431 students in fall 2014. Academic programs also been expanded with the addition of programs in information systems security, data analytics, theater, exercise science, and a new bachelor of science in nursing through a partnership with University of Illinois at Chicago and Memorial Health System. In 2018, UIS also cut the ribbon on a new $21.75-million Student Union that serves as the campus’ living room.

“The Student Union was important for many reasons, but fundamentally it was important because the university experience is really about relationships,” said UIS Chancellor Emeritus Susan Koch, who led from 2011 to 2020. “It’s about building community. It’s about togetherness. It’s about meeting people and having conversations. The Student Union has been all of that and more.”

50th Anniversary Events 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UIS has delayed planning in-person activities to celebrate the anniversary but plans to mark the anniversary on campus when it is safe to have larger gatherings.

The UIS Office of Advancement will host a virtual Lunch & Learn Series as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration. The first of six events is planned for Thursday, Oct. 8. Visit go.uis.edu/LunchFall20 for details.

For more on UIS’ history and future planned events celebrating the 50th anniversary, visit 50.uis.edu.

Monday, August 24, 2020

University of Illinois Springfield announces 18 new faculty appointments

The University of Illinois Springfield has announced 18 new faculty appointments. Four faculty members will teach in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, six in the College of Business and Management, four in the College of Education and Human Services and four in the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

Hypatia “Tia” Bolivar, psychology instructor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, holds a doctorate in psychology/behavior analysis from the University of Florida. Her research interests include behavioral analysis and relapse. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking/exploring, cooking, reading and her puppy.

Salem Boumediene, associate professor of accounting, economics and finance in the College of Business and Management, earned a doctorate in business administration-accounting from the University of Tunis. His research interests include bringing accounting and decision making research to practice. His personal interests include traveling and discovering new places.

Michael Chuang, assistant professor of management information systems in the College of Business and Management, holds a doctorate in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include technology use for business, online learning, innovation and entrepreneurship. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, jogging, arts and cooking.

Tessica “Tess” Dooley, assistant professor of legal studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, earned her law degree at the University of Arkansas. Her research and professional interests include the evolving landscape of employee benefits law due to executive action, race and access to health care. Her personal interests include spending time with her 4-year old son, hiking, gardening and red wine.

Sahar Farshadkhah, assistant professor of management information systems (MIS) in the College of Business and Management, is expected to earn a doctorate in business administration and computer information systems from Louisiana Tech University this year. Her research and professional interests include MIS – cybersecurity. Outside of work, she enjoys Pilates, TRX and cooking.

Matthew Geras, assistant professor of political science in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, is expected to earn a doctorate in political science from the University of Oklahoma this year. His research and professional interests include American politics-elections, political parties, congress and representation. His personal interests include reading, running, hiking and sports.

Cathy Gunn, visiting professor of teacher education in the College of Education and Human Services, earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Oregon. Her research and professional interests include professional development, online learning, program assessment and strategic planning. Outside of work, she enjoys antiquing, visiting her grandchildren and traveling.

Timothy Hakenewerth, assistant professor of human development counseling in the College of Education and Human Services, is expected to earn a doctorate in counselor education and counseling from Idaho State University this year. His research and professional interests include counselor education and counseling, including the impact of previous work experience on counselor development and on clinical supervision. He’s also interested in leadership and professional networking. Outside of work, he enjoys cooking, hosting friends for gatherings (and food), woodwork and watching St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

Amy Hewitt, assistant professor of teacher education in the College of Education and Human Services, is expected to earn a doctorate in educational studies/mathematics education from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro this year. Her research and professional interests include elementary mathematics, whole-class discussions and selecting student work. Her personal interests include running, her dogs, cleaning and being outside.

Xiang Huang, assistant professor of computer science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is expected to earn a doctorate in computer science from Iowa State University this year. His research and professional interests include theoretical computer science, algorithmic information theory and analog computing. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, playing badminton, hiking and biking.

Jose Irizarry, a doctoral dissertation fellow in public administration in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, is expected to earn a doctorate in public administration from Florida Atlantic University this year. His research and professional interests include public service and administration, nonprofits, human resources, organization studies, public policy, community engagement and diverse and inclusive pedagogy. His personal interests include time with family, cooking, helping others and exploring new places.

Adam Larison, instructor of music in the Department of Art, Music, & Theatre in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned a doctorate in musical arts with a focus on guitar performance and literature from The Eastman School of Music. His research and professional interests include classical music history, history of hip hop and new music improvisation. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, playing with his dog, baseball and football.

Daniel Platt, assistant professor of legal studies in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, earned a doctorate in American studies from Brown University. His research and professional interests include legal history and political economy. His personal interests include bicycling, chess and home maintenance.

Trung Pham, assistant professor of accounting, economics and finance in the College of Business and Management, is expected to earn a doctorate in accounting from Kent State University this year. His research interests include the impact of governance on earnings management and earnings quality. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with his family.

Misty Sax, assistant professor of athletic training in the Department of Allied Health in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, earned her doctorate in athletic training from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her research and professional interests include clinical anatomy, concussion injuries in women's soccer and the impact of pandemic on student athletes. Her personal interest include making cards, reading and gardening.

Yuan Wen, assistant professor of management, marketing and operations, in the College of Business and Management, earned his doctorate in marketing from Washington State University. His research and professional interests include marketing-finance interface and marketing strategy. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling and playing racquetball.

Stephanie Maynard-Patrick, visiting assistant professor of management, marketing and operations in the College of Business and Management, earned her doctorate in business administration/management from New Mexico State University. Her research and professional interests include human resources and organizational behavior. Outside of work, she enjoys scrapbooking, reading and spending time with her kids.

Lisa Vinson, assistant professor of human services in the College of Education and Human Services, is expected to earn a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Northern Illinois University this year. Her research and professional interests include America’s ethnicities, their dynamics and consequences of discrimination. Her personal interests include reading and watching historical documentaries.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

UIS requires saliva-based COVID-19 testing for on-campus students, faculty and staff

University of Illinois Springfield students, faculty and staff living, working or taking classes on-campus are required to participate in free saliva-based COVID-19 testing once a week during Fall Semester 2020.

The saliva-based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test was developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The test can detect the virus in people who are asymptomatic and/or individuals early in the course of disease.

Test results are expected within the same day and should not exceed 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.

Most UIS students completed their first test during Move-In Week when a temporary testing site was set up at The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC). Once classes start on Aug. 24, two testing sites will be open for students, faculty and staff to get tested in the Public Affairs Center and Founders Residence Hall.

Students, faculty and staff who are on-campus are required to schedule a time slot for weekly testing or indicate their remote-only status. Students, faculty and staff who are learning or working remotely and are not otherwise scheduled to be on campus do not need to participate in weekly testing.

However, any student, faculty or staff learning or working remotely who needs to visit campus for any reason must report to a testing site any day they come to campus, at least once per week.

The saliva-based testing is for non-symptomatic individuals who have not had a known exposure to COVID-19.

The UIS process for testing was created in consultation with the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

You can learn more about testing requirements, testing hours of operation and contract tracing by visiting the UIS COVID-19 testing website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Hundreds of students return to UIS for the start of fall semester 2020 classes

Nearly 900 University of Illinois Springfield students returned to campus for the start of Fall Semester 2020 classes during Move-In Week, held Aug. 17-21.

All students were required to pre-register for a move-in time slot in order to reduce congestion and support physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID-19 we’ve created quite a different process, but it’s working out really well,” said Brian Kelley, director of UIS Residence Life. “Typically, students would have come to their communities to check-in, but this year we’re actually having them come through TRAC.”

At The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC), students and their helpers get their temperature checked and students take a required saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


“As soon as we got here, we went and did the testing,” said Toinette Flowers, a parent with a sophomore attending UIS. “Nobody was in line. We went through with no problem. It was really easy.”

After students are tested for COVID-19, they receive their room keys and a “sani pack,” a special UIS 50th anniversary fanny pack that includes two UIS branded face masks, a digital thermometer, a door opener and hand sanitizer.

“The saliva tests were a little bit new and stuff, but I’m glad they’re taking precautions and everything,” said Kayla Krpan, an incoming UIS freshman. “It’s all such a crazy thing going on right now.”

Residence Life informed parents and students about the COVID-19-related move-in rules, such as masks and physical distancing being required, in advance.

“I think people are cautious of the year ahead, but what I've seen everyone's been very respectful of the rules we've set out there around wearing masks and being physically distant and really just honoring what people are asking them to do, so that's been really exciting to see too,” Kelley said.

For Krpan, who is from Bartlett, Illinois, living on campus was an easy decision.

“I feel like living on campus is a must for college,” she said.

Even though Kelley knows this won’t be a typical academic year, he’s excited to have students back on campus.

“We're really excited to make sure all of our students get moved in safely and look forward to the year ahead,” Kelley said. “We just want to make sure we're welcoming them all home to UIS for the year ahead.”

Monday, August 03, 2020

UIS awarded a state grant to increase the number of paid internship opportunities for students

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Office of Engaged Learning has been awarded a nearly $45,000 Illinois Cooperative Work Study Program grant to increase the number of paid internship opportunities available to students completing academic internships through the UIS Internships and Prior Learning Program.

The grant will provide matching funds for approximately 40 paid internship opportunities. Students will receive a wage of $12/hour for their work. Students can work a total of 100-300 hours per semester (or summer term), depending on how many credits a student seeks to earn.

Many UIS academic programs require students to complete an internship in their field before graduation. Internships provide valuable experience that can assist students in locating employment beyond college.

“During these challenging times, we are particularly thankful that UIS has been named as a grant recipient to administer this competitive internship program,” said Tammy Craig, director of the UIS Office of Engaged Learning. “Eligible students who might have postponed an internship over the summer due to extenuating pandemic circumstances, or were not able to participate in unpaid internships, will now have additional options to explore.”

Students participating in the Illinois Cooperative Work Study Program are required to enroll in an undergraduate internship course (IPL 300). Students keep a journal of their experiences, which encourages daily reflection, and complete other assignments as part of the course. Employers who participate in the program will match $1 for every $1 of Illinois Cooperative Work Study Program funding used to pay student interns.

“This grant benefits both students and employers,” Craig said. “The program is advantageous for employers who want to offer both typical and unique COVID-19 pandemic-related paid internship opportunities, since they now have the potential to receive additional funding that supplements wages for a paid internship.”

The grant will provide funding through Aug. 31, 2021. For more information, eligibility requirements, application links and deadline dates for each semester for both students and employers who wish to participate in the program, visit uis.edu/ipl/internships/grant/.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Record number of Illinois higher education professors and K-12 teachers take UIS course on teaching online

The University of Illinois Springfield ION Professional eLearning Program’s Overview of Online Instruction course has seen a large jump in enrollment, as more Illinois higher education professors and K-12 teachers are wanting to learn how to better teach online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Course enrollment jumped from 793 students in 2019 to 1,819 students so far in 2020. Just recently, 1,153 students completed the course during the April to July term.

“We’re glad that educators are turning to UIS to learn how to teach online,” said Vickie Cook, UIS executive director of online, professional, and engaged learning. “UIS has been recognized as a national leader in online learning. We believe that we are all stronger when we stand together.”

The Overview of Online Instruction course explores topics, such as accessibility, course design, learning objectives, communication, multimedia use, micro learning, instructor presence, feedback and equity.

Instructors from schools, such as Oakton Community College, McHenry County College, Kankakee Community College and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have completed the course. ION created special sections for UIC and McHenry County College.

A UIC faculty member who took the course, said “ION eased my concerns about online education, demonstrated my practices in previous teaching and provided me with new insights on how to conduct effective online education.”

Another faculty member added, “I think that this experience gave me valuable insight into what it may feel like as a student taking my online class in the fall.”

The Overview of Online Instruction course was originally designed for higher education faculty, but has been updated for fall to include relevant content for K-12 teachers.

“Sharing our expertise in online learning with K-12 educators is an extension of our promise of world class teaching,” Cook said. “More and more K-12 teachers are being asked to teach online due to COVID-19. We want to make sure they’re prepared to enter the virtual classroom.”

The next term for the Overview of Online Instruction course will begin Aug. 24. Students can learn more about the course, register and pay online at uis.edu/ion.

ION is also holding two free webinars for K-12 educators:
  • Aug. 6 2:30 p.m. - Leveraging Google Classroom to Save Time and Be More Efficient
  • Aug. 13 10 a.m. - Zoom Tips and Tricks to Use with Your Students

Monday, July 20, 2020

UIS Good as Gold awards honor more than 50 local volunteers, businesses and organizations

The University of Illinois Springfield, Junior League of Springfield and the United Way of Central Illinois honored more than 50 Sangamon County volunteers and businesses during the virtual 12th annual Good as Gold Ceremony. The winners were announced in a video released Monday on the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center’s website.

The Good as Gold Ceremony was started in 2008 to honor people, businesses and organizations who freely give their time and talents to make Sangamon County a better place to live.

Distinguished Volunteer Award 

Bert Morton of Springfield was honored with the 2020 Distinguished Volunteer Award. For many years, Morton has given back to the Springfield community in a variety of avenues. He has been an active member and advisor to the Springfield Jaycee’s for more than 25 years.

Morton was one of the key individuals in Springfield to advocate for those suffering from HIV and AIDS at a time when such advocacy was not popular. He helped establish the Springfield AIDS walk and supported the establishment of the Springfield AIDS Resource Association. Morton is actively involved in coordinating fundraising, outreach, and mentoring efforts to the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL) organization, including an annual fundraising event that raises CORAL more than $20,000 annually.

For Acorn Equality, Morton is a sponsor of two scholarships providing opportunities for students to gain access to college. He is instrumental in planning key fundraising events including Trivia Nights and the Annual Art Auction for Fifth Street Renaissance.

Morton has donated more than $10,000 to the renovation of the Hoogland Center for the Arts. He and his husband, Lee Korte, were one of 16 couples who sued the state of Illinois for the right to marry 2013. They have been true trail blazers that have impacted lives of numerous people.

The 2020 Distinguished Volunteer finalists include Philip Chiles, Tiffany Mathis, Rose Russell, Cathy Schwartz and Janel Veile.

Star Student Award

University of Illinois Springfield junior social work major Sundae Johnson of Springfield was honored with the Star Student Award for her volunteer efforts. She was nominated by St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church and Habitat for Humanity.

She is also an active member of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Within her Church, Johnson is a singer in the praise band and leads the monthly “God’s Girls” Bible Study.

With her training as a Stephen Minister, she offers prayer, encouragement, listening, and support to members in their time of need. Johnson also serves on the Dismantling Racism Committee, which works to identify and address the issues of diversity in the congregation.

Despite obstacles while growing up, Johnson has managed to stay positive and has provided a good home for herself and for her son. She has compassion for those who are hurting and a willingness to reach out to those who need her help. Whether she is helping to plan activities or service projects as a member of the Family & Youth Ministry Team, visiting a church member as a Stephen Minister, or serving on a committee, Johnson gives her all to any project she undertakes.

Finalists for this award include Ben Paoletti and Luigi Cabantog.

Star Staff Award

Ali Nizamuddin of Springfield, associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield, was honored with the Star Staff Award for his volunteer efforts in the community. He was nominated by Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County.

According to the organization, Nizamuddin has been a wonderful partner in connecting them with the Muslim community, adding that he is dedicated to his faith, members of the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield (ISOGS) and the Springfield community in general.

Nizamuddin helped to partner an interfaith build with Habitat, and was an important part of the organization, discussion and implementation of the committee for this build. He engaged the Muslim community in all aspects of this projected build – even organizing the volunteers from ISOGS to assist with the slight 'refreshing' of a house that was turned back to Habitat. Habitat and ISOGS volunteers worked side by side to complete the renovation.

Because of Nizamuddin and members of ISOGS, the new homeowner was able to move into a handicap-accessible home that fit his needs.

Youth Volunteer Award 

Jaylynn Adina Rynsburger of Springfield was honored with the Youth Volunteer Award. She was nominated by the Boys & Girls Club at Saint Patrick’s Catholic School.

As a youth mentor at the after-school enrichment program, she volunteers twelve hours each week as a teaching assistant with the kindergarten students. She shares her talents with students who truly need role models in their lives.

“Her sense of dedication, consistency, and affection are nurturing to all students. The students look up to her as a trusted friend,” said her nominators.

Finalists for this award include Preston Brondyke, Wyatt Clark, Danielle Kraft, Jaden Saunders-Hammond, Logan Sikorski, City of Springfield Mayor’s Youth Council and Sarah Williams.

Heart of Gold Community Awards

Thirty-one local volunteers were also honored with the Heart of Gold Award. Recipients included: Cathy Allen, Kristina Barbee, Chris Blum, Ginny Conlee, Sarah Croft, Karalyn Donley, George Fairchild, Scott Germeraad, Vivian Graf, Lynn Handy, Tate Hartman, Dorothy Hart, Elaine Kuhn, Tiffany Lapp, Eden Lawson-Langiano, Dick Livingston, Stephanie Martin, Teresa McElwee, Tina McRae, Wanda Nettles, Donna Nichols, Brady Odom, Mary Ann Pohl, Brenda Staab, Kevin Stevenson, Kay Titchenal, Nancy Vereen, Robert Weis, Joyce Wilson, Fred Young and Leeza Zavelsky.

Organization Agent of Service Award

The winner of the 2020 Organization Agent of Service Award is Eta Psi Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

The Chapter has logged more than 2,500 hours of service from its members in more than 40 different area programs including: providing school supplies and fulfilling classroom needs for George Washington Middle School and Harvard Park Grade School, March of Dimes March for Babies Campaign, Central Illinois Blood Bank blood drive, Financial Literacy Empowerment Expo, Project Vote with the Springfield Urban League, Thanksgiving basket give-a-way, Central Illinois Food Bank food distributions, Illinois Department of Public Health World Aids Day, prison inmate assistance "street clothing" collection, prostate cancer awareness workshop, Blue and White Epilepsy Awareness Walk, Salvation Army bell ringing, Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Rally, Boys & Girls Club, community Easter egg hunt and minority business week.

In addition to awarding $4,000 in scholarships to area high school seniors, the Chapter also hosts the Sigma Beta Club (SBC) for 15 young men, ages 12 through 18. The SBC participants are mentored and tutored throughout the year to become the next generation of leaders.

The men of Phi Beta Sigma are college educated and come from various careers including physicians, lawyers, business owners, state administrators, law enforcement, educators and school administrators. These men serve as role models and much needed counselors, mentors and sources of inspiration.

Finalists for this award include Fifth Street Renaissance/SARA Center, Illinois Prairie Pastel Society, and The James Project.

Business Honor Roll 

A total of 12 Sangamon County businesses were named to the Business Honor Roll sponsored by the UIS College of Business and Management. The honor roll recognizes businesses that have made giving back to our community a priority.

Three businesses were listed at the top of the honor roll as Golden Distinction Winners, including AlignLife of Springfield Chiropractic & Natural Health Center; Kerber, Eck, and Braeckel; and Bank of Springfield.

Other businesses making this year’s honor roll include Formea Insurance Group, Inc.; Koch, Sylvia, and Associates-Ameriprise Financial; Marine Bank; Memorial Medical Center; RSM US LLP; Sangamon Reclaimed; Serious Lip Balm; The Storyteller Studios; and United Community Bank.

For more information about the awards, please visit uis.edu/volunteer, email volunteer@uis.edu or call 217-206-8635.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

UIS announces Spring Semester 2020 Dean's List

The University of Illinois Springfield has released the Dean’s List for Spring Semester 2020. A total of 675 students were selected; 85 are students in the College of Business and Management, 51 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 437 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 76 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration and 26 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, maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester and had no incomplete grades awarded 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 2020 Dean's List PDF | Spring 2020 Dean's List Excel


Wednesday, July 08, 2020

UIS releases “Return to the Prairie” plan detailing the safe return of students for fall classes

The University of Illinois Springfield released its 18-page “Return to the Prairie” plan on Wednesday, which includes detailed guidance on how students will safely return to campus for fall classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UIS will offer on-campus courses in the form of both on-ground and blended classes. Blended classes will combine face-to-face and remote instruction. All courses will be completed through remote instruction beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25. Additionally, UIS will continue to offer fully online courses.

Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth will be required on campus when a six-foot physical distance from others is not possible. Face coverings are required in all common areas, which includes classrooms.

“It is our best intention to unite us in public health and safety, and we are committed to providing a high-quality experience regardless of the circumstances in which we may find ourselves,” said UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “Whether our Prairie Stars are learning via on-campus instruction or remotely, UIS is committed to and capable of providing a high-quality university experience to everyone who calls UIS home.”

Classrooms and laboratories, common, meeting and event spaces will be set up and organized to facilitate appropriate social distancing and will be cleaned and disinfected daily by building service workers.

Students will be allowed to live on campus in single and double occupancy residence halls, townhouses and apartments. Guests will not be allowed in residence halls, and the number of move-in days will be extended to limit congestion and follow social distancing guidelines.

Carry-out options will be encouraged at the UIS Student Union Food Studio with no self-service options available. Seating in dining areas will be arranged to encourage social distancing, and additional barriers will be placed between diners and staff members.

COVID-19 testing will be available to all students on campus through Campus Health Services. UIS is also exploring ways to participate in the SHIELD research initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which would allow all UIS community members to participate in the less-invasive COVID-19 testing program.

The “Return to the Prairie” plan was created by two teams focused on academic planning, student affairs and community engagement. The teams were tasked with developing plans, policies and procedures for fall 2020 course delivery and accompanying student life programs to deliver a premier educational experience, while adhering to federal, state and local guidelines for health and safety on campus.

The full “Return to the Prairie” plan is available on the UIS website at uis.edu/fall2020. The plan and website will be updated as COVID-19 conditions and situations change.