Thursday, May 28, 2009

UIS graduates more than 1,100 students

UIS celebrated the graduation of 1,132 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students on Saturday, May 16 during the 38th annual Commencement Ceremony.

See a printable list of graduates' names and degrees


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Renowned Lincoln Scholar Michael Burlingame accepts Lincoln Chair

The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced that preeminent Lincoln Scholar Michael A. Burlingame has accepted the position of Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. The appointment will be in UIS’ History Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Burlingame’s first monograph, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (University of Illinois Press, 1994) has been described by reviewers as “a revelation,” “a triumph,” “the most convincing portrait of Lincoln’s personality to date.” His second book, An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln (Southern Illinois University Press, 1996), was awarded the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize. His recently released two-volume biography of Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) is already receiving accolades and has been described as the definitive study.

A review written by James L. Swanson in the November 3, 2008 issue of Publishers Weekly, describes the biography as “the most meticulously researched Lincoln biography ever written” and one that “supercedes all other biographies.”

Acclaimed Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said of the book: “Lincoln scholars have waited anxiously for this book for decades. Its triumphant publication proves it was well worth the wait. Few scholars have written with greater insight about the psychology of Lincoln. No one in recent history has uncovered more fresh sources than Michael Burlingame. This profound and masterful portrait will be read and studied for years to come.”

“We are truly grateful to have attracted this remarkable teacher and scholar to UIS,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “Professor Burlingame has outlined an ambitious research agenda, including a new look at Lincoln and the Civil War as well as several editorial projects. His presence at this university will strengthen our academic prowess and hasten our efforts to become one of the best small public liberal arts universities in the nation.”

Dr. Burlingame taught at a premier liberal arts institution, Connecticut College, for over 30 years, achieving the rank of full professor in the early 1990s. While there, he taught numerous courses on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War era, and 19th century American history. He retired from the college’s History Department in 2001 as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. He took retirement at that time in order to work on his recently completed biography of Lincoln.

He received his Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University in 1971.

Dr. Burlingame talks movingly of the impact upon himself when as an undergraduate student at Princeton University he worked under the mentorship of a distinguished historian at the National Archives for a summer. It set him upon a life-long path. He hopes to do the same for students at UIS through involving them in research projects at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and other Lincoln research venues.

As a psychohistorian, Dr. Burlingame tries to apply the insights of depth psychologists like Freud and Carl Jung to the study of the past. His view that history is “psychology teaching by examples” informs his writings and his teaching, especially his course on “Psychohistory and the American Presidency.”

Dr. Burlingame also has a distinguished record of service. He is on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, and the Abraham Lincoln Institute in Washington, D.C. He makes frequent presentations to both professional and public audiences, and has been engaged in an ambitious, year-long series of speaking engagements to mark the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Recently, Dr. Burlingame was a keynote speaker and panelist for the February Lincoln Bicentennial celebrations in Springfield, and he was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

The distinguished chair in Lincoln Studies was established in 2000 when Dr. Richard E. Vaden and his family donated $1.25 million for that purpose to honor their longtime friendship with then-UIS Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn and her husband, Robert. Dr. Lynn retired as chancellor on March 30, 2001 after serving nearly 10 years in that capacity.

The distinguished chair was first occupied by Phillip Shaw Paludan, who served from August 2001 until his death in August 2007. He was one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Lincoln and the Civil War and recipient of the prestigious Lincoln Prize for his 1994 book The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

UIS announces new vice chancellor for student affairs

The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced the appointment of Timothy L. Barnett as the new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. His appointment is effective July 1.

Dr. Barnett is currently Vice Chancellor for Student and Enrollment Services at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where he has worked since 2003. In that position, he implemented a recruiting and retention program that resulted in a 17% increase in freshmen applications and a 5% increase in student retention in the past two years. He established a university-wide enrollment management plan, and planned and implemented a division-wide Staff Development Program.

“Dr. Barnett believes that UIS has a strong understanding of what a small university can provide to its students,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “He brings to this university an impressive breadth of experience in student affairs and enrollment management that will serve our student affairs division and entire university well.”

From 2003-05, Dr. Barnett served as Dean of Students at UAF, during which time he developed a Student Leadership Program resulting in a 100% increase in student participation in clubs and organizations. He also implemented an early warning system to identify and provide assistance to students experiencing difficulty adjusting to college academics, doubled education programs on alcohol and drug abuse, and developed educational sessions on sexual harassment, assault, and abuse.

Other positions in which Dr. Barnett has served are Vice President for Student Affairs at Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, from 1999-2003; Director of Danna Center and Student Activities at Loyola University, New Orleans, from 1992-1999; and Associate Dean of Students at Biola University, LaMirada, California, from 1987-1991.

He earned a Ph.D. in Education and Business with a focus on Strategic Planning from Claremont Graduate University; M.A. in Student Development from Azusa Pacific University; and B.A. in Psychology from the University of Nebraska.

UIS’ Division of Student Affairs is comprised of the Career Development Center, Center for First Year Students, Counseling Center, Cox Children Center, Disability Services, Diversity Center, Enrollment Management, Financial Assistance, Food Service, Health Services, Housing & Residential Life, International Student Services, LGBTQ Resource Office, Recreational Sports, Student Life, Center for Student Volunteers & Civic Engagement, The Journal newspaper, and the Women’s Center.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hundreds of UIS graduates celebrate achievements at Commencement

By Courtney Westlake

Emotions from pride to excitement were abundant on Saturday, May 16, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center as graduates, their families and members of the UIS community gathered to celebrate the 38th UIS Commencement Ceremony.

More than 600 UIS graduates gathered in their caps and gowns on Saturday afternoon to receive their hard-earned diplomas in the presence of their proud friends and families in a day that summed up years of hard work and dedication.

"Without question, this is the most gratifying moment of the year for all of us," said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "All that we strive for and all that we stand for is really about the preparation for this one day when we celebrate a milestone for our graduates."

Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., was the 2009 Commencement Speaker for UIS. Holden has been designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He will become a part of the Department of Political Science in the College of Public Affairs and Administration this fall.

“I am becoming familiar with the UIS vision…three legs like a tripod: academic excellence, enriching individual lives and making a difference in the world,” Holden said.

Holden focused on five different themes in his speech, from friendship to the challenges that come with opportunities and more.

Holden said he would not be where he is today without the “sponsors,” or mentors, who have guided him through life, including his parents, professors and others along the way.

“You do not get anywhere all by yourself,” he said. “Your opportunity depends on somebody else’s sponsorship.”

Making a difference in the world, one of the focuses at UIS, always means meeting someone else’s need, Holden said. However, he added, “as you seek to make a difference in the world, you will find the opportunities are endless, but they are not cost-free.”

Friendships also count when seeking to make a difference in the world, Holden noted.

Paul Gesterling, the student speaker and graduate of a master’s degree in Public Administration,also tied in with Holden’s speech and encouraged his fellow graduates to impact the world in a positive way.

"There are enough graduating classes headed out to save the world, but we could be one of the few to have a deep and lasting impact in Mechanicsburg, Illinois or St. Patrick's School or Enos Park Neighborhood. It may not be glamorous, but it's real and it's human and it's important," Gesterling said. "I'm hoping that leaving here, the UIS graduating class of 2009, will work with a touch of genius and a lot of courage to make a difference on a human scale."

Gesterling urged his fellow graduates to be a part of whatever community they are headed to.

“In my field we call it civic engagement. Whatever your field calls it, get involved. Take an active role in your community with all of your best ideas, beliefs, skills, values, motives," he said. "Not to save the world, but to be human, to be fulfilled and live as a social being for the betterment of your community, your family and yourself.”

With his stories from his own life as examples of his lessons, Holden reminded the UIS graduates to remember, above else, that failure is not final.

“You are wonderful people, but you will stumble; things will go wrong. When you stumble, remember that failure is not final; you get up and struggle on to the next thing,” he said.

Online graduates experience UIS campus during online brunch

By Courtney Westlake

Joy McCulloch moved from Springfield to Anchorage, Alaska in 2002, and wasn't able to complete the master's degree she had begun at UIS. So she was thrilled when she found out in 2007 that UIS was offering a master's degree in legal studies online.

"For me, it worked out really well," she said. "I work fulltime so I was able to be at home and do my studying at home. Lots of times, that was early in the morning or late at night, and with the three-hour time difference, it worked out great."

Dozens of students and their families traveled from across the country, like McCulloch, to participate in UIS' commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16. Before the ceremony, however, graduating online students, many of whom had never stepped foot on campus before, were able to see the UIS campus in the morning during a celebratory online brunch in the Public Affairs Center.

Students ventured to UIS from all over Illinois and as far away as Florida and Pennsylvania over to California, down to Texas and up to Minnesota. The graduates and their families, online coordinators and program faculty were all recognized during the brunch. The group was the largest in attendance in the years that the university has hosted the brunch.

"Congratulations to both the graduates and to the families who have persevered through this - we all applaud you," said Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service. "Those of us here are not alone. There are more than 1,200 online degree and certificate majors at UIS."

UIS has been the recipient of multiple awards for online learning in the past few years and has emerged as a leader in online learning and teaching, Schroeder said.

"Many other universities look to UIS for leadership and more particularly, quality, in online learning, so be proud of your degree," Schroeder told graduates. "Our online program is strong and growing, and we look forward to following your successes as you move forward in your careers."

Graduates were thrilled to meet many campus community members, especially online coordinators and faculty, for the first time and celebrate their achievements at UIS.

"The same faculty who taught you those online courses are teaching our on-campus courses," said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "That's our way of ensuring that high-quality degree offered on campus is the same high-quality degree you earn online. You should be proud to be a part of the great University of Illinois system."

Traveling to be a part of the Commencement celebrations was exciting for the graduates and their families who attended the brunch.

"I was actually notified by the department head that I was asked to be the Legal Studies graduate marshal, so knowing that I was getting that honor and would get to see my family, I wanted to be here and walk for Commencement," McCulloch said.

Friday, May 15, 2009

WUIS radio station is in the midst of big changes

By Courtney Westlake

A sign hanging in the station of WUIS Radio aptly reads “WUIS Construction Zone”.

Big changes are coming to WUIS over the next six months, as is evidenced by construction debris and storage piled high throughout the station.

“We are truly rebuilding WUIS,” said Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of the station. “We have a federal grant of $137,000 matched locally with same amount for this project.”

WUIS is becoming a fully digital station “inside and out,” Wheelhouse said. The station will be getting technical upgrades that will improve its sound quality and that will also allow those who have special HD digital radios to get extra signals.

“We plan on launching a signal in the fall of alternative music - an alternative public radio format - that will be both on the Web and on HD radio; and down the road, a third station,” Wheelhouse said.

Additionally, the Suggs Performance Studio, funded largely in part by the Suggs family, has played host to several recent performances for WUIS and will be getting a makeover as well.

“Right now, a new studio is being constructed, and then we can begin ripping out the rest of the old radio station,” Wheelhouse said. “Hopefully that will be seamless, but we'll be doing a lot of work over the next six months.”

“We’ll have performances ranging from rock to jazz to classical in that studio and host events and things like that,” he added. “We've had shows in there, but it will be fully functional by October and allow for community forums, recording if someone wanted to record something and allow us to serve both the university community and central Illinois region in a lot of new ways.”

The current WUIS radio station is outdated technically so some of the improvements just needed to be made “in the course of ordinary business,” Wheelhouse said. With the new improvements, WUIS will be able to provide complete service to central and western Illinois and represent the university well in those areas.

“As we try to serve on the many platforms that will be out there, whether it’s the Web or through ordinary radio or digital radio, doing this will allow for more efficiency and allow us to provide more services and access,” Wheelhouse said. “We're excited.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

UIS invites high school students to spend a Day at the Capitol

By Courtney Westlake

UIS alum Mike Ragen, who now works for the Illinois State Library, took time out from his day on Wednesday, May 13, to spend some time with four sophomores from Greenview High School as he showed them around the Illinois State Capitol Complex and explained the processes and issues within the state government.

The tour was part of the first-ever "Under the Dome - UIS Day at the Capitol" for select students from area high schools. The 30 students who participated were given a first-hand look at a day behind the scenes at the Illinois Statehouse on one of the busiest days of the legislative session.

The students learned about many career opportunities and the skills and education needed to pursue a career related to government or politics from the dozens of UIS alumni and students working in professional positions at the Statehouse.

"It was a great day, there was a lot of high energy, and it was good to see people come in support of us; UIS has some great friends who work in state government," said Ed Wojcicki, associate chancellor of constituent relations for UIS.

The morning of the event kicked off with a tour of the House gallery and a question-and-answer session with Sara Wojcicki, a UIS alum who works in media relations in the Office of Republican House Minority Leader Tom Cross, as well as Jim Fletcher, who is a lobbyist with Fletcher, O'Brien, Kasper & Nottage.

"One unexpected event is that we saw Representative Rich Brauer, and he invited us to come on the House floor," Wojcicki said. "It was very nice for these kids to go on the House floor because most of time, you have to go up in the gallery and look down."

After lunch, the high school students broke into small groups, where they met up with eight different UIS alumni serving in positions from legislative staffer to lobbyist to political reporter, who were able to show them around the Capitol. Students got the opportunity to sit in the press room where the governor holds press conference, stand in the room where the Illinois Senate gathers and more.

The students also attended a panel discussion that included Kent Redfield and Chris Mooney, UIS political science faculty members, Mary Bohlen, professor of communication at UIS, Chris Cray, director of Legislation with the Illinois State Board of Education and UIS adjunct faculty and Charles Wheeler, director of the public affairs reporting program at UIS. Additionally, they took part in a program with statehouse reporter Amanda Vinicky.

"One reason we wanted to do this is because literally no other university can do what we did today, and that is bring a group of kids to Springfield, to the state capitol, behind the scenes of state government, all with people who are friends of the university - and a lot of them who graduated from here - and show them exactly what to expect if they want to have a career in government," Wojcicki said. "And we're located here - a lot of other people could bring students to Springfield for tours or field trips, but we're here, so we do it every day with our students, our interns and our alumni."

"We think UIS is a great school for high school students to come to and experience things in state government if they want to have careers in politics and government," he added.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

UIS expands student exchange programs with four new universities

The University of Illinois at Springfield has signed four new agreements with universities outside of the United States to expand its offerings and study abroad opportunities for students, staff and faculty.

UIS has signed a general affiliation agreement with the Universidade Estadual De Maringa (UEM), a state university in the State of Parana, Brazil. The agreement sets the stage for the development of student, staff and faculty exchange programs, collaborative research and team teaching. Faculty members from each university have already made visits to the other’s campus, and this June, Dr. Mike Lemke, professor of biology, and UIS student Rene Debelak will be visiting UEM for microbiological study of the Parana River.

UIS has expanded its cooperative endeavors with Heilongjiang University (HU) in Harbin, China. For more than 10 years, UIS and HU have been exchanging faculty, and with the new exchange agreement, the universities will now begin to exchange students.

The exchange is structured so that UIS students may study at HU for a semester, a full academic year or for part of or all of a summer term at HU. It is anticipated that UIS will offer a summer program in Chinese language and culture at HU during the summer of 2010.

UIS has also established a student exchange program with the University of Hull in East Yorkshire, England. Up to four students per year from each university will be able to study on the other’s campus while paying their home tuition. Students may study for a semester or for the full academic year.

Finally, UIS’ exchange program with the University of Colima in Mexico has been expanded to include an online component. Students from both campuses will be able to enroll in select courses in Political Science starting in the fall of 2009. Courses at the University of Colima will focus on the politics of Mexico, both domestic and international. Students will pay tuition and fees to their home campus.

These new programs complement the existing exchange programs UIS has already established with Saitama University in Japan, and Murdoch and Charles Darwin universities in Australia. UIS is also exploring opportunities in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dalian and Hangzhou, China and La Plata, Argentina. In addition, short-term programs for the summer of 2010 are being planned for Japan, Mexico, Poland, China and the Netherlands.

For more information on these new programs and on all UIS study abroad programs, contact the Office of International Programs at 217/206-8319 or email

Monday, May 11, 2009

Four UIS students receive Avery Brundage Scholarships

Four students from the University of Illinois at Springfield have been awarded Avery Brundage Scholarships for excellence in academics and athletics. Each winner will receive a $2,400 award for the 2009-2010 academic year.

The recipients include: Kimberly Bartosiak of Bethalto, Ill., a student in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who is on the volleyball team; Tiffany Blumhorst of Addieville, Ill., who is in the College of Business and Management and plays softball, basketball and golf; Kristan Delafeld of Des Plaines, Ill., a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and plays on the softball and soccer teams; and Matthew Reynolds of Peoria, Ill., who is a student in the College of Business and Management and is on the basketball team.

The Avery Brundage Scholarship Fund Committee, composed of nine representatives from the faculties and student bodies of the Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign campuses, selects students from each U of I campus who engage in athletics for personal development, not as preparation for professional sports. In addition, the students must be working toward bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at the University of Illinois and must be in the upper 25 percent of their undergraduate class or in good academic standing in their graduate program.

The scholarship program was established in 1974 by an endowment from Avery Brundage, University of Illinois alumnus and former president of the International and U.S. Olympic committees.

Graduate student receives fellowship from FMC Technologies Inc.

Michael Dobbs, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received a Graduate Fellowship from Chicago-based FMC Technologies, Inc. Dobbs, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration in the program offered by UIS in Peoria, will receive $9,000 for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Established in 1971, the fellowship program honors outstanding graduate students in business administration, economics, engineering, finance or related fields. Final selections are made by representatives from FMC Technologies, the University of Illinois, and the U of I Foundation.

Dobbs, who expects to graduate with his MBA in May 2010, completed an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences at Illinois Central College in Peoria in 2006. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy at UIS in Peoria, graduating in May 2008. While studying Accountancy, his accomplishments earned him the Joy Kilmer CPA Scholarship, the Louise Hartman Schewe Scholarship, and the Vollentine-Stanhope Accounting Scholarship.

After graduating in 2008, Dobbs began working as an accountant at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria where he provides professional fund accounting support and related services for the Department of Cancer, Biology and Pharmacology.

Dobbs’ ultimate goal is to obtain a full-time position that enables him to use his experience and education with a quality business or organization in the accounting or financial services industry.

Dr. Paul McDevitt, Director of the MBA Program, nominated Dobbs for the fellowship on behalf of the MBA faculty. He said the faculty characterize Dobbs as a personable and extremely diligent student with a great work ethic and a strong entrepreneurial bent. “Aside from his academic excellence, he has earned the respect of his colleagues for his active leadership and contributions to peers in his cohort,” McDevitt said.

The UIS Peoria MBA format is designed to meet the needs of students who are employed fulltime but wish to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Courses are offered so that it is possible for students to complete degree requirements in less than two years.

The FMC Educational Fund (formerly the Link-Belt Educational Fund) was established in 1963 by U of I alumnus Bert Gayman, who donated a large block of company stock to the U of I Foundation. Designed to provide education and research opportunities, the fund now gives more than $135,000 annually for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships at the University of Illinois.

See more information about the programs offered by UIS’ College of Business and Management.

Friday, May 08, 2009

UIS announces new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Harry Berman, Provost at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has announced that Dr. James W. Ermatinger has been selected as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. His appointment is pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees at its meeting on May 21. Dr. Ermatinger is expected to begin work at UIS on July 1.

Dr. Ermatinger is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He earned a Ph.D. in History from Indiana University in 1988 and has an extensive record of scholarship addressing the late Roman era.

“Dr. Ermatinger was selected for his ability to manage resources, increase enrollment and student retention, support department chairs, mentor faculty, and bolster diversity, all things he has done elsewhere in his career,” said Berman. “He also has experience in developing curriculum and reviewing faculty for tenure and promotion, both important tools for this position,” said Berman.

Prior administrative positions include serving as Chair of the History Department
at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Chair of the History Department at Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio. He also taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, NE.

UIS’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in Biology (BS, MS), Chemistry (BS), Clinical Laboratory Science (BS), Communication (BA, MA), Computer Science (BS, MS), English (BA, MA), History (BA, MA), Liberal and Integrative Studies (MA), Liberal Studies (BA), Mathematical Sciences (BA), Philosophy (BA), Psychology (BA), Sociology/Anthropology (BA), and Visual Arts (BA).

The College also offers minors in African-American Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, English, History, Mathematical Sciences, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Visual Arts, and Women and Gender Studies.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

UIS celebrates commencement on May 16

Commencement ceremonies for the University of Illinois at Springfield will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Ninth and Adams streets in downtown Springfield. Of the 1,132 students eligible to graduate, 635 will participate in the ceremony.

This year, tickets are not required for admission; ample seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reserved seating except for special needs such as interpretive services and wheelchairs. The doors to the main floor of the center will open at 1 p.m.

The commencement speaker will be Dr. Matthew Holden, who was recently designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS and is expected to formally join the UIS Department of Political Science in the College of Public Affairs and Administration this fall.

Holden is the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia. His wide-ranging scholarly interests, many of which are directly related to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, include public administration and policy, public law, urban politics, and race and politics. Holden received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Dr. Paul McDevitt, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Director of the MBA Program at UIS, has been chosen to serve as grand marshal. The student speaker will be Paul Gesterling, who will receive a master’s degree in Public Administration.

Faculty and students in each academic program select one graduating student who best exemplifies the goals and spirit of that program to serve as student marshal for the ceremony.
This year’s marshals are:

Accountancy: Suzanne Marguerite Meyer – B.A., Kathleen Marie Nash – M.A.

Biology: Amy Joelle Schutte – B.S., Michelle R. Randle – M.S.

Business Administration: Katherine Marie Shaffer – B.B.A, Brenna Elizabeth Coffman – M.B.A., Sara Louise Dill – M.B.A. (Peoria)

Chemistry: Jennette Danelle Hansen – B.S.

Clinical Laboratory Science: Faiza M. Luteify – B.S.

Communication: Joseph Cory Pelc – B.A., Kelsi Megan Kerns – M.A.

Computer Science: Joshua A. Bailey – B.S., Joshua Lewis Smith – M.S.

Criminal Justice: Howard Lee Purdue – B.A., Ashley Ryan Douglas – B.A. (Peoria)

Economics: Bryan Justin Barth – B.A.

Educational Leadership: Melody Lou Trout – M.A.

English: Mary C. Colligan – B.A., Charlene Kay Summers – M.A.

Environmental Studies: Abby Lynn Hahne– M.A.

History: Amanda L. Dahlquist – B.A., Marilyn Mueller – M.A.

Human Development Counseling: Sarah Elizabeth Chism – M.A.

Human Services: Elizabeth Marie Slater – M.A.

Individual Option: Lisa Maria Long – M.A.

Legal Studies: Amy Suzanne Elhoffer – B.A., K. Joy McCulloch – M.A.

Liberal Studies: Annamarie Israel – B.A.

Management: Billy Serbousek – B.A., Raymond A. Byrd – B.A. (Peoria)

Management Information Systems: Robert William Hamilton – M.S.

Mathematical Sciences: Charles J. Lee – B.A.

Philosophy: Marie S. Lyle – B.A.

Political Studies: Katherine Elizabeth Wood – B.A., Laura Roche – M.A.

Psychology: Keith A. Huddleston – B.A.

Public Administration: Katie Jo Miller – M.P.A., Tosha E. Cantrell-Bruce – D.P.A.

Public Affairs Reporting: Kari Lynn Andren – M.A.

Public Health: Kathleen Kay Thacker – M.P.H.

Social Work: Amy Noel Dennison Gorens – B.S.W.

Sociology/Anthropology: Craig James Pelka – B.A.

Teacher Leadership: Janet Kay Walch – M.A.

Visual Arts: Dannyl M. Madura – B.A

A number of events are planned for graduates, their families and guests, beginning with a reception for Peoria-area students on Friday, May 8. A Late Night Breakfast will be held Wednesday, May 13. A brunch for online degree graduates is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 16. UIS’ four colleges will hold individual receptions.

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

The ceremony will be webcast live at DVDs ($25) can also be ordered from the Office of Electronic Media, phone 217/206-6799.

For more information, go to the UIS Commencement website at

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Keith Miller named first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Margot Duley, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Springfield, announced today the appointment of Keith W. Miller as the first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“The Schewe Professorship is the first named Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and marks a significant milestone in its evolution,” Duley said.

Miller, a Professor of Computer Science, an associated faculty member of Philosophy, and Associate Director of the Emiquon Field Station, came to UIS in 1993. With research expertise in software engineering, Miller has also emerged as an internationally recognized authority in computer ethics and serves as editor-in-chief of Technology and Society, a journal of “IEEE,” the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

“Professor Miller is noted for his interdisciplinary collaborations, which include computer scientists, philosophers, biologists, physicists, lawyers, and historians,” said Duley. “These collaborations and his scholarly eminence make him the ideal first Schewe Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor.”

Miller played a major role in the development of an international code of ethics for software engineering. His work as the Schewe Professor will include research and collaboration on the ethical challenges facing computing professionals from a global perspective, according to Duley.

Karl Schewe was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and A.G. Edwards and Sons, Springfield. Louise was a teacher and active civic leader whose interests included the Springfield Art Association and the Illinois Symphony Guild. Upon her death in 2006, Louise Schewe left a generous bequest to the University of Illinois Foundation to support initially a professorship, and eventually a chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The field of computer ethics considers the ethical implications of computer and information technologies. All societies are being transformed by these technologies, and the positive and negative implications are enormous. Miller’s work bridges the gap between ethicists, academics, and computer science professionals.

Miller is a prolific and influential scholar. He is author or co-author of 60 articles in leading academic journals, a contributor to some 20 books and websites, and the author of 75 papers appearing in conference proceedings. He is in demand as a major conference speaker, appearing in venues as geographically diverse as the Association for Computer Machinery Symposium on Applied Computing in Dijon, France, to the Conference on Computer Ethics at Dartmouth College, from the Cyber Defense and Recovery Conference in Springfield, Illinois, to the EthiComp Conference in Sweden. He is also the recipient of many grants, including funding from the National Science Foundation.

A popular classroom teacher, Miller is also a major contributor to a leading undergraduate text, Computer Ethics: Analyzing Information Technology, authored by Dr. Deborah Johnson, who describes Miller as “a wonderful teacher, especially energetic and innovative.”

Miller’s previous honors include the Outstanding Service Award from the Association for Computer Machinery (2006), and he has been elected to the Board of The International Society for Ethics and Information Technology. He was also selected as a University of Illinois University Scholar in 2000.

Members of the Schewe panel who recommended Miller’s appointment were Dean Emeritus Bill Bloemer, Emeritus Professor Larry Shiner, Associate Professor Kamau Kemayo, Associate Professor Jonathan Perkins, Associate Professor Hei-chi Chan, Assistant Professor Sheryl Reminger, and Assistant Professor John Barker.

Monday, May 04, 2009

UIS designated as National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) for academic years 2009 through 2014. The award was made by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, joint sponsors of the CAEIAE program.

The program is designed to help reduce the vulnerability of the nation’s information infrastructure, according to Dr. Ted Mims, Chair of UIS’ Computer Science Department and Director of The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance within the department.

“This award gives UIS the prestige of having a role in securing our nation’s information systems,” Mims said. “The Department of Computer Science applied for the designation on behalf of UIS in January. The application was reviewed against nine stringent criteria, which are intended to measure the depth and maturity of UIS programs in Information Assurance at the graduate and undergraduate levels.”

Mims said the department has developed and offered courses in Systems Security and Information Assurance during the last six years. In September 2003, UIS became a partner with seven community colleges in a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that was used to create The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance at UIS.

Mims noted that a prerequisite for being considered for the academic excellence designation was certification of all Information Assurance educational programming and courseware. UIS’ courseware, evaluated in 2006, was found to meet the national training standards of the Committee on National Security Systems.

To date, Mims said 19 students have earned bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science with an emphasis in Systems Security and Information Assurance. And a total of 11 graduate certificates in Systems Security and 12 graduate certificates in Information Assurance have been awarded.

Following the five-year period, UIS must reapply for the designation. Mims said the criteria are reviewed annually and strengthened as appropriate to keep pace with the evolving nature of Information Assurance. Students who attend UIS and participate in programs affiliated with the CAE are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants from the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

A ceremony recognizing UIS’ achievement will be held on June 1-3 at the 13th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education in Seattle, Washington.

The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance at UIS is dedicated to promoting research and education in information security, assurance, and privacy. The Center’s website, designed by Sviatoslav Braynov, assistant professor of Computer Science, can be viewed at

UIS hosts Faculty Honors and Recognition Reception

By Courtney Westlake

UIS faculty gathered in the Public Affairs Restaurant on Monday evening, May 4, to celebrate achievements, sabbaticals, retirements and distinguished awards during the annual Faculty Honors and Recognition Reception.

"We are gathered to honor the academic achievements of our colleagues," said Provost Harry Berman. "It's good to have an occasion to reflect on ourselves as a community of teachers, community of scholars and community of campus citizens."

Emeritus faculty were honored at a separate evening event on Friday, April 24, but were acknowledged again during the reception. They include: Paul McDevitt, Pat Langley, Marcellus Leonard, Elaine Rundle-Schwark, Jim Veselenak and Dean Emerita Margot Duley.

Faculty awarded tenure included James Bonacum, Sviatoslav Braynov, Sara Cordell, Eric Hadley-Ives, Yuichi Iwashita, Ranjan Karri, Xiaoqing Li, Jason Pierceson, Tih-Fen Ting and Ryan Williams.

Anthony Sisneros was also promoted from associate professor to full professor, and 12 faculty members received sabbatical.

In addition to recognizing those faculty who are retiring or received sabbatical, several distinguished faculty awards were given during the ceremony.

Professor Don O’Neal of the Management Department was the recipient of the Pearson Award.

"Don exemplifies the UIS commitment to excellence in teaching," said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "At the time of his 2006 promotion to full professor, the Campus Promotions Committee characterized Don as a 'stellar and effective teacher'."

The Spencer Award was created to honor President Robert Spencer, the founding President of Sangamon State University. This year's Spencer Award was given to Professor Beverly Rivera of the Criminal Justice Department, who has served as department chair, as well as chair of the Sabbatical and Awards Committee, the College of Public Affairs and Administration Personnel Committee, the Student Discipline Committee and secretary of the Campus Senate.

"In recent years, she has played a key role in implementation of the general education curriculum as chair of the General Education Council," Ringeisen said.

Rivera is also a volunteer with the Chicago-based John Howard Association and the Sangamon County Court Services and Probation Unit on the evidence-based practices project.

"She is recognized for applying her scholarly expertise to public policy concerns within the criminal justice system," Ringeisen noted.

The Burks Oakley Online Teaching Award was established by Burks Oakley II, who currently serves as a Research Professor in the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service after a distinguished career in the College of Engineering at Urbana-Champaign. As a faculty associate in the system’s Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Oakley played a key role launching UIS’ online programs.

"After careful deliberation, the Sabbatical and Awards committee selected Professor James Grubbs of the Communications Department as this year’s recipient of the Oakley Award," Ringeisen announced. "He puts a tremendous amount of work into developing highly engaging, extensively hyperlinked online materials. It’s hardly surprising that his online course evaluations are outstanding."

The last faculty award that was given was the Faculty Excellence Award, which is given to a senior faculty member honored not only for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, but also for serving as a role model and mentor to other faculty. Past recipients of the award are Lynn Pardie, Chris Mooney and Ron Havens.

The recipient for this year's Faculty Excellence Award was Professor Deborah Kuhn McGregor, who is jointly appointed in the History Department and the Women and Gender Studies Department. Since her career began in 1987, McGregor has taught courses in history, women’s studies and African-American Studies.

"She is recognized as a creative, innovative and effective instructor, who engages students through a participatory style," Ringeisen said. "Her students note that her courses provide a strong foundation for further growth and development in their chosen fields. As a scholar, Professor McGregor has made significant contributions to the study of women’s history. Her 1998 book, From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology is recognized as a major work in the field."

McGregor has also been recognized by colleagues for her contributions to personnel committee deliberations, most recently completing a term on the Tenure Review Committee.

"Beyond her high quality service on campus committees, we particularly want to recognize her contributions to the Expanding Horizons Program for young women and her long-time service on the Board of Directors of the Pearson Museum at the SIU School of Medicine," Ringeisen said.

Friday, May 01, 2009

UIS students honored at Model United Nations conference

A class of students from the University of Illinois at Springfield who attended the annual National Model United Nations conference was honored with the Distinguished Delegation Award for their efforts at the conference, which was held April 7 to 11 in New York City.

The conference is a simulation of a United Nations meeting. Groups of students from more than 300 schools internationally attended the conference, and each delegation, or group, represented a specific country. UIS was chosen to represent Croatia.

This was the first year that a semester course was created to learn about and attend Model United Nations; in previous years, the university has sent a group from a Model United Nations Club on campus.

Several UIS students also received individual awards at the conference. Priyanka Deo was honored with the Best Chair Award for her role in serving as chairman of the General Assembly. Kelsey Quinn received the Best Delegate Award from among more than 400 delegates. Both Deo and Quinn have been invited to attend a conference in Switzerland this summer based on their work at Model United Nations.

This semester, the class, called Model United Nations and comprised of 12 students, has been studying topics like how the United Nations is organized, foreign policy and diplomacy, and all aspects of Croatia.

“Having a course, we were able to discuss Croatia, its history, its culture and its relations with other neighboring countries,” noted Dr. Adriana Crocker, professor of political science who taught the class. “It was quite an accomplishment to receive several awards, especially because our group was much smaller than most others who attended. It was a great experience for our students.”