Friday, August 28, 2009

UIS students volunteer during Service-A-Thon

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield rolled up their sleeves to help out the community through volunteering. It was all part of the Service-A-Thon organized by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center as part of Welcome Week 2009.

Volunteers spent time at Washington Park in Springfield clearing shrubs from a hiking trail in order to restore it to a more natural look. Students also went to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center to put together school kits to be shipped overseas. Other students put together cancer survivor packets at the American Cancer Society office in Springfield.

Students are encouraged to sign up in an effort to provide service to the community, meet new friends and learn skills.

For more information about volunteer service at UIS and future events visit

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcome Week 2009 Activities

The University of Illinois Springfield greeted new and returning students with a variety of activities during Welcome Week 2009.

The Diversity Center held an open house in an effort to bring students of all races and backgrounds together. Students gathered to talk about what they have in common and what makes them unique.

The Involvement Expo on the UIS quad featured nearly 50 student organizations that help out in the community and promote education. Springfield-area businesses also joined in the expo to show students what they have to offer.

The 2009 "Foot in the Door" Fair was sponsored by the Career Development Center and brought 52 employers to campus. The goal of the fair was to bring students face-to-face with employers to discuss part-time jobs, internships and other opportunities.

The Office of Disability Services welcomed students during it's open house to show how they help students with special needs in the classroom. The office works with professors to make sure needs are met for students with chronic or temporary illness.

To also see slide show of welcome week activities click on the below link:

Welcome Week slide show

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chancellor's picnic welcomes back students

Clear blue skies helped welcome students back to campus during University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen’s annual picnic. Students got to shake hands with the campus leader and enjoy a variety of food while listening to music.

“It shows a variety of the different types of students we have and it also gives the faculty and staff a chance to interact with the students,” said Ringeisen.

The celebration is part of Welcome Week 2009, which also includes an open house at the Diversity Center, Involvement Expo on the Quad and the Foot in the Door Job Fair.

To also see slide show of welcome week activities click on the below link:
Welcome Week slide show

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Save a Life" Tour

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield got a hands on look at what it’s like to be drunk behind the wheel. The “Save a Life” simulator takes a driver from being sober to a .2 blood alcohol level.

This is the second year the “Save a Life” tour has made a stop at UIS. It was so popular in 2006 that Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coordinator Valerie Scarbrough decided to bring it back again.

“Most of all we’re encouraging kids 21 and younger not to drink, but if you are going to do it to do it safely,” said Scarbrough.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Illinois Issues and WUIS take top awards

Journalists from Illinois Issues magazine and WUIS/Illinois Public Radio took home six combined “Best of Statehouse Reporting” honors in a national competition. The awards were sponsored by Capitolbeat, which is made up by reporters and editors.

Illinois Issues Columnist Charles N. Wheeler III won first place in the Columns/Commentary/News Analysis category for magazines for his columns that appeared throughout the year.

Dave McKinney won third place in the same category for his analysis, “The two faces of Illinois politics.” His article appeared in the January 2009 edition of Illinois Issues and compared the reputations of newly elected President Barack Obama and then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office later that month. McKinney is a reporter at the Illinois Capitol for the Chicago Sun-Times.

WUIS/Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Sean Crawford and reporter Amanda Vinicky won first place in In-Depth Reporting for their report, “The Fall of Governor Rod Blagojevich.” Vinicky also won second place in the Single Report category, and Crawford won third place awards in the Single Report and Beat Reporting categories.

The annual awards were announced August 22 at Capitolbeat’s conference in Indianapolis. The organization marked its 10th anniversary this year as the nation’s only professional association devoted to state government journalism.

For more information about the “Best of Statehouse Reporting” awards visit or

College of Business and Management signs 2+2 agreements

The College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois Springfield has announced that it has signed Articulation (2+2) Agreements with William Rainey Harper College and Illinois Central College for degrees in Business Administration, Economics and Management. A 2+2 agreement is a partnership that facilitates the transfer of students from a two-year college to a four-year university.

A four-year course plan has been mapped out for the students at Harper and Illinois Central colleges that will ensure that they take the necessary foundation courses to prepare them for any of the three undergraduate degree programs of Business Administration, Economics, and Management offered by the College of Business and Management at UIS.

“In this economy, it’s especially important that every course a student completes fulfills a degree requirement,” noted Dyanne Ferk, associate dean for the College. “These Transfer Agreements give students, advisors and parents a guarantee that courses completed at the community college will count toward degree completion at UIS.”

A 2+2 agreement creates synergy between the faculty of both colleges because they have ongoing communications concerning transferring students and maintenance of the degree plans, according to Ferk. Students also benefit from having academic advising from the senior university while still at the community college.

“Transfer agreements such as 2+2 agreements greatly benefit students,” said Eric Rosenthal, director of Academic Advising and Counseling and transfer coordinator for Harper College. “They make it very clear to the student which classes he or she must take at the community college to transfer most efficiently to the 4-year institution.”

Steven Carlisle, academic advisor of Business & Information Systems at Illinois Central College added: “One of the most important benefits for Illinois Central College students who choose the 2+2 agreement is knowing what classes they will be taking at both schools. It gives them a checklist of items to work through as they are on the academic journey; it allows the student to be comfortable with the classes they take at ICC, which will then transfer to UIS.”

UIS currently has 2+2 agreements with two other colleges, Lincoln Land Community College and Heartland Community College, in the areas of Business Administration, Economics and Management.

The College of Business and Management at UIS is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and offers programs that prepare students for challenging careers and positions in private and public sector organizations. Graduate degrees are also offered in Accountancy, Business Administration, and Management Information Systems.

Founded in 1967, Illinois Central College is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education located in Peoria, Illinois.

William Rainey Harper College was founded in 1967 and is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education with campuses located in Palantine, Prospect Heights, and Schaumburg.

For more information, contact UIS’ College of Business and Management at 217/206-6533.

Friday, August 21, 2009

UIS ranked 4th best in the Midwest for 2nd straight year

U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 Edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Illinois Springfield as the best public university - Master’s category - in the state of Illinois and the fourth best public university in that category in the entire Midwest. This is the second straight year that UIS has achieved those rankings. The Master’s category includes colleges and universities that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs but only a few, if any, doctoral programs.

The prestigious rankings placed UIS at 27 on a list of 71 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region that includes, in addition to Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. UIS was ranked fourth best among the 15 public universities on the list.

“With this being the second straight year we have received such high marks, it reflects how UIS is being established as one of the best public universities in the country. Once again, we are thrilled to be recognized in such elite company,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

U.S. News also gave UIS a high ranking in a category called “Great Schools, Great Prices” for being among only five universities in the Master’s category in the Midwest with students who graduate with the least debt. UIS was the fourth best on the list with a total of 76 percent of its students graduating with an average debt of $15,138.

UIS was not eligible to be ranked by U.S. News until two years after the university graduated their first class of freshmen. UIS enrolled its first class of freshmen to the Capital Scholars Honors Program in fall 2001.

The rankings are based on several key measures of quality including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

Ringeisen credited Provost Harry Berman, the deans and faculty in UIS’ four colleges, and the enrollment management staff for their hard work and dedication towards building the quality and reputation of the university.

UIS offers 22 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees and one doctoral degree in Public Administration.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Convocation kicks off 2009-2010 academic year

By Courtney Westlake

The University of Illinois Springfield kicked off the 2009-2010 academic year with a Convocation ceremony on Thursday afternoon, August 20.

Provost Harry Berman welcomed UIS' 21 new faculty members and introduced them to campus, while Chancellor Richard Ringeisen spoke about UIS' accomplishments over the past year and its goals for the future.

"We always have a choice about how we’re going to approach any year," Ringeisen said. "I choose optimism, while being realistic. I choose gratitude for the resources we have, instead of anxiety about what we still want. I choose to be hopeful about the future, and I think we have good reason to be."

Ringeisen began his presentation by highlighting many examples of excellence from UIS graduates, including a recent graduate who was also the first in his family to graduate not only college but high school as well.

He reflected a lot about the past year and the way the public has begun to view UIS. He announced that after last year's U.S. News and World Report listed UIS as the fourth best public in the Midwest for 2009, the 2010 report was released today and UIS achieved the same ranking.

"That establishes us as a top flight public university," he said.

He also touched on UIS becoming a Division II school in the NCAA, being placed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the university's recent acceptance into the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), among many other achievements from the year.

"You may have seen the COPLAC announcement, but what you didn’t hear was the evaluators say to Provost Berman and me that UIS might be the most exciting university in the nation right now, because of everything we’re doing and where we’re heading. It’s why I’m so optimistic and choose to look ahead today," he said.

Ringeisen challenged everyone to pause and "to see ourselves as others see us," he said.

"We’re on the rise. We’re on the journey. I am tempted to declare that we have arrived, three years after finalizing our strategic plan with a bold vision and lofty goals," he said. "In many ways we have arrived – when you see us as others see us."

The state budget hit the university hard this year, Ringeisen noted, but said it's a time to remember "my favorite analogy: 'When a ship is in a storm at sea, you don’t shut the engines down.'"

This year will give UIS the opportunity to continue to focus on its top three goals - academic excellence, enriching individual lives, and making a difference in the world - in addition to focusing more on its fourth goal, strengthening the campus culture.

New faculty and staff hires, new investiture ceremonies for faculty, the creation of customized Web sites called portals, new openings of universities centers, the upcoming celebration of the 40th anniversary and a new Public Safety Building were all highlighted by the Chancellor.

"I commend you for all of your work that has led to the recognition we are now receiving. We don’t do what we do for the recognition, of course; we do it for our students, so that they will have the best possible educational experience," Ringeisen said. "But if you see UIS as others see us, you know this is an institution on the rise."

Watch convocation at

Twenty-one new faculty join UIS for fall 2009

Twenty-one new faculty members have joined the University of Illinois Springfield for the 2009 fall semester. Five will teach in programs within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; six will teach in the College of Public Affairs and Administration; five in the College of Education and Human Services; three in the College of Business and Management; and two will teach in the library.

Atul Agarwal is an associate professor of Production Operations Management. He has an engineering background with an MBA and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington. He was previously on the faculty at the Kettering University (Formerly GMI Engineering & Management Institute) in Flint, Michigan for 13 years where he served as the Director of the MS in Manufacturing Operations program for GM and Delphi corporations until July 2009. Professor Agarwal’s research interests include lean practices in manufacturing and service sectors, modeling for supply chain networks, and quality control systems for health care organizations.

Richard “Curby” Alexander, assistant professor of Teacher Education, was a public school teacher in Texas and Wyoming for eight years and served as adjunct faculty at several colleges before coming to UIS. He received his Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia in 2009. Professor Alexander’s research interests include student engagement with technology and technology integration in the K-12 environment, and his research has been presented at several conferences, including the American Educational Research Association annual meeting and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education.

Amanda Binder, visiting assistant professor/instructional services librarian, previously served as a member of the reference and instructional services team at the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Most recently, she worked as a digital archives consultant and marketing and communications freelancer for Chicago's community foundation, The Chicago Community Trust. Professor Binder has a B.A. in Sociology from Bard College in New York and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Michael Burlingame is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton, and in 1968, he joined the History Department at Connecticut College in New London, where he taught until retiring in 2001 as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. Professor Burlingame is the author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln. In addition, he has edited numerous volumes of Lincoln primary source materials. Professor Burlingame has received the Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize, the Lincoln Diploma of Honor from Lincoln Memorial University, Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize, Gettysburg College, and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2009.

Tosha Cantrell-Bruce, visiting assistant professor of Public Administration, received her D.P.A. in Public Administration from University of Illinois Springfield in 2008. She joined the University of Illinois Extension in 2000 and served as a youth educator for nine years. Recently, she started her own consulting business providing needs assessments and evaluations for nonprofit organizations at the local, state and national level. She also currently serves as a content guide for GoodWorks, an online nonprofit resource center in Illinois.

Michael Cavanagh, assistant professor of Communication, comes to UIS from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he served as assistant professor and interim chair of the journalism program in the Communication Department. Professor Cavanagh earned a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and an M.S. in Journalism – New Media from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. His teaching and research interests center on mass communication, journalism, new media and Web design.

Dana Thompson Dorsey, assistant professor in Educational Leadership, received her J.D. and Ph.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies in Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 and 2007, respectively. She previously worked for the University of Virginia’s National Center for Women and Information Technology Extension Services for Undergraduate Program as the Director of Research and Consulting. Professor Thompson Dorsey’s research interests focus on education law and policy issues, especially the impact that federal legal cases and legislation may have on shaping K-12 policies. She has co-authored several technical reports for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Andrew Dzeguze, visiting assistant professor of Legal Studies, received his J.D. with honors from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1998. For eight years he was in private legal practice with a focus on intellectual property litigation. Professor Dzeguze’s research interests include various aspects of intellectual property law and government reform. His articles have appeared in such publications as the University of Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal, the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law and the Columbia Science & Technology Law Review.

Alexis Halley, assistant professor of Public Administration, earned a D.P.A. degree from the University of Southern California in 1995. She is a founding co-director of the John C. Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program and the Stennis Emerging Staff Leaders Program. Dr. Halley has many publications, including co-editor and author of Who Makes Public Policy: The Struggle for Control between Congress and the Executive and co-author of “The Paradoxical Status of Planning and Time in Today’s Public Environment,” International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior.

Matthew Holden, Jr. is the Wepner Distinguished Professor of Political Science. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Northwestern University. He taught at the Wayne State University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Virginia, where he was the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor of Politics. Professor Holden’s work has included urban and metropolitan politics, public policy and administration, executive politics, law and politics, race and ethnic politics, regulatory policy and practice, energy politics and environmental policy.

Yi-Sz Lin, assistant professor of Geographic Information System (GIS) and environmental planning, currently directs the GIS Laboratory in the Department of Environmental Studies at UIS. He received his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2009. He has a B.S. in Architecture and a M.S. in Construction Science. Professor Yi-Sz’s interests include environmental hazard management, GIS applications in environmental planning and hazard management, and statistical/planning methods. He is certified in GIS, Remote Sensing and Environmental Hazard Management by Texas A&M University.
Shoon Lio, assistant professor of Sociology/Anthropology, received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside in 2008. Shoon’s research interest is in how the boundaries of American citizenship is constituted by racial projects such as the formation of collective memory and the construction of moral panics over racialized “others.” He is also interested in social theory, social psychology, political sociology, social movements, race/ethnicity and the sociology of citizenship.

Stefano Longo will be joining the Department of Environmental Studies at UIS as an assistant professor. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oregon in 2009. His research areas include environmental sociology and political economy, concentrating on the global agri-food system. He has published research in professional journals such as Rural Sociology and Human Ecology Review, and his current research project examines the Mediterranean bluefin tuna fishery, focusing on the modern socio-ecological transformations in Sicily.

Janice Marsaglia, clinical instructor of Mathematical Sciences, has been teaching math for the last 25 years at the secondary level, where she was department chair and a trained mentor. She received her B.A. in Mathematical Sciences in 1984 and her M.A. in Mathematical Sciences in 1998, both from UIS. Since then, she has taught as a math adjunct for Lincoln Land Community College, Blackburn College and UIS.

Peggy Mayfield, visiting instructor of Human Services, received her M.A. in Human Development Counseling from UIS in 1996. After four years as Supervisor of Foster Care Services at Catholic Services, she entered private practice in 2000 as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. She joined the faculty at UIS in 1998, serving as adjunct for Human Development Counseling and recently teaching for both Teacher Education and Human Services. She currently serves as Director of Accreditation Documentation for the College of Education and Human Services.

Michael J. Murphy, assistant professor of Women and Gender Studies, received his master’s and doctoral degrees in Art History (with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies) from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also taught for several years in the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. He specializes in U.S. visual and material culture from 1780-1920, and the history and theory of genders and sexualities.

Stephen Owusu-Ansah, associate professor of Accountancy, taught eight years at the University of Texas-Pan American, and four years at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia before coming to UIS. He received his Ph.D. in Accounting from Middlesex University (U.K.) in 1998. Dr. Owusu-Ansah serves on the editorial boards of The African Finance Journal (South Africa) and Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies (U.K.), and he also frequently serves as an ad-hoc reviewer of many scholarly journals.

Dr. Jenene Case Pease joins UIS as an assistant professor of Human Services, and she will be teaching courses in the child and family studies concentration. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Human Development in 1992 from Mississippi University for Women, a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mississippi College in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences in 2000. Before joining the faculty at UIS, Dr. Case Pease worked as the clinical coordinator at Florida State University’s Office of Employee Assistance Services, and she taught as a visiting lecturer in the FSU College of Social Work. Dr. Case Pease has been a Certified Employee Assistance Professional since 2006, and she is also a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Kate Sheridan, assistant professor of Social Work, received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1993, her Master of Social Work from The University of Alabama in 2000, and is expected to be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009. Most recently, she has served as Program Manager in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work. Professor Sheridan’s research interests include developing an understanding of the familial context of methamphetamine misuse and production in rural Illinois with an emphasis on effects on child development.

Natalie Tagge, visiting assistant professor/instructional services librarian, was the State Virtual Reference Coordinator at the Illinois State Library prior to joining UIS. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from Occidental College and her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Tagge’s professional interests include web 2.0 applications to the library, library usability and the library’s position as community space. She has done numerous presentations and workshops at state and national library conferences and public, academic and school libraries on integrating virtual reference into a library’s services and the sustainability of library programs after grant funding ends.

Jorge Villegas, assistant professor of Business Administration, received his Ph.D. in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 and previously served on the faculty at the University of Florida. Professor Villegas has received research awards from organizations like the American Academy of Advertising as well as participated as a member of research teams sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Eric Friedheim Foundation. His professional service includes participation in NIMH’s sponsored conference on Stigma and Mass Media, consultant for a grant funded by the National Cancer Institute, and reviewer for journals like Marketing Theory.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Despite storms, UIS freshmen move-in goes smoothly

By Courtney Westlake

The new freshmen class at UIS braved the storms and tornado sirens on Wednesday, August 19, as they loaded up all of their suitcases, computers and other personal items from their cars and carried everything in to their new rooms in the two campus residence halls during move-in day at UIS.

"In the 29 years of openings that I've been involved with in campus housing, this is the first year that we've operated under a tornado warning, so that's added a new wrinkle to the organized chaos," laughed John Ringle, director of UIS Housing. "I think it went fairly smoothly, all things considered."

When the campus notification came through from the campus police that there was a tornado warning in the mid-afternoon and the sirens began to sound, the housing department moved in all of the students, their parents, and campus volunteers who were helping outdoors and made sure they were under cover, Ringle said.

"It's not something we plan for, but we had contingency plan that went into effect virtually flawlessly," Ringle said.

Ringle noted that UIS is likely to surpass the 1,100 number of on-campus students, which the university has never reached before.

"In fact, last year we cracked the 1,000 barrier," he said. "I think we've got more students living on campus, and we also have more transfer students and graduate students. I always like to be 100 percent occupied, or even 101 percent to be on safe side, but I think we'll be in the high 90s."

Move-in day for the freshmen class is always a team effort from many people on campus, Ringle said.

"I want to thank the groups we had helping - all of the volunteers -and it's been a great opportunity for them to network and meet some of the new students as well," he said.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

UIS accepted by Apple for listing in iTunes Store

The University of Illinois Springfield has announced that it has been accepted by Apple for listing in the iTunes Store, effective Tuesday, August 18.

Content from UIS is now available without charge to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide, noted Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the department of Information Technology Services at UIS. Being a part of the iTunes stores allows UIS to create a presence in front of more potential students, alumni and donors.

“The iTunes Store is a great social outreach and recruiting tool. It enables UIS to create a stronger presence and get our story out in an inexpensive manner,” Khaund said. “Our university is now listed alongside universities like Berkeley, Cambridge, MIT, Stanford, Yale, as well as museums and public media organizations.”

UIS has been an internal iTunes U campus in January 2007. iTunes U is a free, cross-platform multimedia distribution and learning environment system that provides easy, online access to educational content such as lectures, seminars and student assignments. Public access recordings from campus activities such as sporting events, news broadcasts, and concerts can also be made available through iTunes U.

Apple has well-defined guidelines for educational institutions that want to be included in the iTunes Store. Quality and quantity of podcasts is one of many criteria to be listed on the iTunes Store.

“When we first launched our podcasts on iTunes in the fall of 2005, we had one course podcast and one publicly available podcast. Now we have more than 25 course podcasts and 22 publicly available podcasts,” Khaund said. “Additionally, the 'UIS Guidelines and Policies for Podcasting' was the first podcasting policy in higher education, and as a result, several universities have contacted us to help them create their own guidelines for educational podcasting.”

More information on podcasting at UIS is available at To access UIS on iTunes U, go to

To access UIS in the iTunes Store, open iTunes, click on the iTunes Store, then click on “iTunes U” in the menu at left. In the box labeled “find educational providers,” click on “Universities and Colleges”. On the “Universities and Colleges” page, find "University of Illinois Springfield” alphabetically under “U”. The public is also able to search for any podcasts from UIS that are publicly available by using the “Search the iTunes Store” box.

For more information, contact Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the department of Information Technology Services, at or 217/206-6764.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Governor Quinn visits UIS Emiquon display at State Fair

Governor Pat Quinn visited the University of Illinois Springfield's Emiquon Field Station display at the state fair on Friday, August 14th. Emiquon advisory board member and "super volunteer" Michael Purnell greeted the governor.

Purnell was impressed with Governor Quinn's knowledge of the UIS presence in the Emiquon Project and the UIS online programs.

Dr. Keith Miller, along with Purnell, and Dr. Hilary Frost-Kumpf set up the display on the first day of the fair and was on hand to greet and talk with state fair visitors.

Click on the video to see and hear about the UIS Emiquon display and Governor Quinn's visit.

The UIS Emiquon Field Station will have a display at the Governor’s Innovation Tent from August 14th through August 23rd from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Governor’s Innovation Tent is located near the intersection of Main Street and Brian Raney Avenue. (Come in Gate One, go straight, and the tent is on the right just pass Ethnic Village. There is a Governor’s Tent and a Governor’s Innovation Tent.)

ADDITIONAL INFO: The UIS display will contain information on the Emiquon Field Station and The Nature Conservancy. There will be a BioBingo game for kids, erosion/wetland demonstration, computer presentations and more. For additional information, contact Keith Miller at 217-206-7327 or To learn more about Emiquon, visit

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

UIS faculty members receive MicrobeLibrary Editor's Choice Awards

Two University of Illinois Springfield professors are the recipients of a 2009 Editor’s Choice Award from MicrobeLibrary as announced by the American Society for Microbiology. The Editor’s Choice Awards were created to spotlight learning resources that demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning in microbiology and biology education.

Dr. Michael Lemke, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Keith Miller, professor of computer science, received the 2009 Visual Collection Award for Video for their work on a video called “Mud and Microbes: A Time-Lapse Photographic Exploration of a Sediment Bacterial Community,” created in collaboration with Roza George of the University of Georgia and former UIS undergraduate.

Lemke and George photographed a window pane of mud each day for one and a half months, and Miller condensed the shots into a 90-second video. Noticeable changes can be seen in the mud during that time due to the growth of microorganisms with a variety of different colors.

“Even though most people know that microorganisms are all around and in us, we often don’t have a good appreciation for them because they are so small,” noted Lemke. “Once students see the changes and start to understand how relatively quickly the microbes are changing their environment, you have a chance to teach the chemistry and biology behind the changing colors.”

The simple experiment shown in the video highlights the fact that tiny microbes are vital to earth even though they go unnoticed by most people, Miller added.

“The video is short, and we hope it is engaging and entertaining. But we also hope it gets people interested in what is going on inside the mud that makes all those strange colors appear,” Miller said.

MicrobeLibrary is a founding partner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s BiosciEdNet Collaborative, a portal sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library.

The American Society for Microbiology is the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world, composed of more than 43,000 scientists and health professionals.

For more information, contact Dr. Lemke at 217/206-7339 or Dr. Miller at 217/206-7327.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Honors received by UIS faculty, alumnus at national CLS meeting

Paula Garrott, interim director of the Science Division and Emeritus Associate Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science at the University of Illinois Springfield, received the Robin H. Mendelson Memorial Award at the recent national convention of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

Garrott was nominated for the award by the Board of Directors for her continuing advocacy for clinical laboratory science and her work as chair of the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW) over the past three years. As chair of CCCLW, Garrott led the cooperative effort of medical laboratory stakeholders to ensure an adequate supply of laboratory professionals.

The Robin H. Mendelson Memorial Award was established in 1971 to honor the memory of a young man who struggled for five years to survive kidney dialysis and two transplants during the infancy of the technology. The award honors outstanding service and contributions to clinical laboratory science, and Garrott is one of few people who have received this award multiple times.

Only the president, officers and representatives of ASCLS are eligible for the Mendelson Award. The award was presented at the national meeting held July 21 to 25 in Chicago.

Also at the national meeting, Dr. Timothy Randolph, a 1983 graduate the UIS Clinical Laboratory Science program, was elected to be Region VI Director and to serve on the Board of Directors of ASCLS. He was also awarded the Grant-in-Aid, Unrestricted, for research in clinical laboratory science. Randolph is currently an associate professor at St. Louis University.

ASCLS is the preeminent organization for clinical laboratory science practitioners, providing dynamic leadership and vigorous promotion of all aspects of clinical laboratory science practice, education and management to ensure excellent, accessible cost-effective laboratory services for the consumers of health care.

For more information, contact Linda McCown, director of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program at UIS, at 217/206-7550, or Paula Garrott at 217/206-7348.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Seven students receive awards from EXS-L Programs at UIS

Seven students at the University of Illinois Springfield have received Outstanding Student Awards from Experiential and Service-Learning Programs at UIS. The awards were presented in May for placements and portfolios undertaken in 2008.

Katherine Shaffer and Stephanie Miller are recipients of the Craig Brown Outstanding Applied Study Term (AST) Student Award. The award honors Craig Brown, Political Studies professor emeritus who also served as a member of the AST faculty for more than 20 years.

Applied Study Terms are individualized field experiences, approved and supervised by UIS faculty, that give students an opportunity to apply theory, expand knowledge, determine additional learning needs, and explore careers while earning academic credit. To be nominated for an Outstanding AST Award, students must demonstrate excellence in several areas, including self-learning, personal growth, reflection, and the acquisition of new skills.

Shaffer served as a Marketing Intern at the Laketown Animal Hospital, helping to manage the hospital’s “Healthy People, Healthy Pets” event, writing press releases and a monthly newsletter, creating employee incentives and learning about the industry.

Miller created a portfolio titled “Forensic Scientist for a Semester” based on her experience in the Illinois State Police Research & Development Laboratory. Miller’s work helped to produce a report that recommended a change to the state police forensics manual.

Kemberly Martin is the recipient of the Walden-Irwin Credit for Prior Learning Program Outstanding Student Award. Credit for Prior Learning is a portfolio-based assessment for students who have acquired college-level, experiential learning outside the classroom. CPL evaluates experiences such as professional training, certification, volunteer work, independent research projects, military service, and more that may qualify as college credit.

Martin’s portfolio spans from her childhood years through her adult life including her time serving as a Medical Laboratory Technician in the U.S. Air Force and as a civilian employee working in the Pentagon during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Through her Narrative Essay, Martin incorporates learning theory from her AST class and also from her own independent learning to help her thoroughly identify, evaluate and describe her experiential learning.

The Barbara Jensen-Schweighauser Outstanding Public Service AST Award was given to Scott Allen and Shana Stine. The award is named for a UIS emeritus AST faculty member who worked in AST for 19 years and is given to students who demonstrate excellence in self-learning, personal growth, and the acquisition of new skills in their individualized field experiences and who intern in the public service sector.

Allen was placed in the Illinois Department of Corrections Jail/Detention Standards Section and assigned to review inmate grievances and determine if investigations were necessary. He conducted investigations and had to work with personnel issues that were beyond the scope of a normal internship.

Stine created a new non-profit organization named “Jump for Joel” after having served as a volunteer in the Gathiga Children’s Hope Home in Nairobi, Kenya. With her leadership, Jump for Joel has raised more than $17,500 to support the orphanage.

Lastly, the Dr. Elaine Rundle-Schwark Service-Learning Award was given to Rebecca Brown and Teela Whyte. The award was named for the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs director who wrote the first Service-Learning course offered at UIS and designed the minor in Social Responsibility and Leadership Development. The award recognizes students who go above and beyond what is required in their Service-Learning coursework.

Brown enrolled in two online service-learning courses in 2008. In the spring semester, Rebecca worked with the hospice in her local area, visiting a family regularly and also working to educate youth on what hospice does. In the fall, she worked with an organization that supported youth with cancer, serving as an activities director for the semester she served there.

Whyte enrolled in “AST 202- Learning and Serving with Homelessness in LA” during summer 2008. Even after the course was over, she continued to volunteer with one of the organizations in the L.A. area, and during the fall 2008 semester, Whyte volunteered to assist with recruitment of students for the course.

All UIS Experiential and Service-Learning Programs courses can be used to fulfill ECCE Engagement and Elective categories. For more information, contact the EXS-L office at 217/206-6640, e-mail or go online to