Friday, September 25, 2009

UIS honors distinguished professors during Ceremony of Investiture

The University of Illinois Springfield honored three newly named distinguished professors during a Ceremony of Investiture on September 25, 2009 at Sangamon Auditorium.

Dr. Matthew Holden Jr., Professor of Political Science; Dr. Karen Swan, Professor of Educational Leadership; and Dr. Keith Miller, Professor in Computer Science received medallions that symbolize their new positions. Investiture is one of the highest honors that a faculty member can receive and gives them the financial resources to continue their research.

“Having three investitures-- and in three of UIS colleges at once-- is really very rare. It is a real testament to the investment of our citizens and businesses that we now have through private gift support funds for six named professorships and one named chair, with additional chairs on the horizon,” said Vicki Megginson, Associate Chancellor of Development at UIS and Senior Vice President, University of Illinois Foundation.

The university and students benefit enormously from professorships. They allow UIS to attract top-level academics that have extensive expertise, who deepen and broaden our curriculum, and who serve as beacons to other professors who want to come and work with them.

“Each of these professors adds vigor to UIS’ academic excellence and strengthens our ability to provide a challenging yet intimate learning experience for our students,” said UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.

Award Winners:

Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., professor in Political Science was named the Margaret L. Wepner Distinguished Professor of Political Science. Dr. Holden, previously the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia, has wide-ranging scholarly interests in political science, other social sciences, history, and law. His current work includes research on public administration and political power, executive politics, energy and climate change politics, and the Department of Justice as a working system.

Related to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln is his interest in how democratic systems can accommodate the facts of multi-racial and multi-ethnic populations. A widely published author, Dr. Holden’s 1973 book, The Politics of the Black “Nation,” along with its companion, The White Man’s Burden, was a classic in the early political scholarship on race and politics.

Dr. Holden, who retired from the University of Virginia in 2002, also taught at Wayne State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He served as president of the American Political Science Association in 1998-99. He was also President of the Policy Studies Organization, and Editor of the National Political Science Review. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Senior Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

His public service work includes service on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and a variety of local, state, and Federal advisory committees. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Dr. Karen Swan, professor in Education Leadership was named the James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership. Dr. Swan’s research has been focused mainly in the general area of media and learning, and her current research focuses on online learning, data literacy, and ubiquitous computing.

She is particularly known for her research into the effectiveness of online teaching and learning, and for her work on communities of inquiry as it relates to online education.

In 2006, Dr. Swan received the Sloan Consortium for Asynchronous Learning Networks Award for “Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual.” This award recognized her for national innovation, research and service in online learning.

Dr. Swan has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters as well as two books and several multimedia applications on educational media and technology topics. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, on the program committees for three educational technology conferences, and currently chairs the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning.

Dr. Swan came to UIS from Kent State University, where she was Research Professor at the Research Center for Educational Technology in the College & Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Keene State College, and Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees in Instructional Technology from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Keith Miller, a professor in Computer Science since 1993 was named the Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Miller’s research specialties are computer ethics and software testing. He is author or co-author of over 300 publications and presentations and is currently the editor-in-chief of IEEE Technology and Society and associate editor of IT Professional magazine. He was one of the authors of a code of ethics for software engineers adopted by international organizations and translated into seven languages.

Dr. Miller’s research is aggressively inter-disciplinary. He has collaborated with computer scientists, biologists, philosophers, lawyers and psychologists, and he is the associate director of UIS’ newly named Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, site of The Nature Conservancy’s floodplain restoration project on the Illinois River. He is also pleased to serve as an associate faculty member in UIS’ Philosophy Department.

Named a University of Illinois Scholar in 2000, Dr. Miller has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Sloan Foundation. He also received the Outstanding Service award from the Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computers and Society in 2006.

An early adopter of online education at UIS, Dr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska; his Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary; and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Iowa.

About the Awards:

A member of the Committee for Higher Education in Central Illinois, Wilbur Wepner helped found Sangamon State University (now UIS) in 1969. His wife, Margaret, supported her husband’s efforts. He died in 1994. Before her death in 2005, Mrs. Wepner cast the couple’s final vote of confidence in UIS’ future by leaving an “unrestricted” estate gift of $1.2 million to the university, part of which was used to create a distinguished professorship named in her honor.

The James J. Stukel Distinguished Professorship was created by the University of Illinois Foundation to honor James Stukel, the 15th president of the University of Illinois system (1995-2005). The professorship includes support for research and grant work and was created for a candidate who possesses expertise in and scholarly accomplishments relating to online teaching and learning issues.

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

To watch the video of the Investiture click on the link below

UIS Career Development Center Twitter page honored

The University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center’s Twitter page is attracting national attention. The Pongo Resume blog ranked the UIS page on the ‘Top 15 College Career Centers You Should Follow on Twitter’.

The Development Center has been using the Twitter page to post daily tips on everything from job interviews to upcoming career fairs.

“After attending conferences it is quite apparent a new recruitment source for employers is to connect with students through social networking venues. The department would like to encourage UIS students to establish Twitter and Linked In accounts to research companies and expand their professional network,” said Tammy Craig, Director of Career Services.

"A number of individuals have already landed jobs through Twitter, and the department would like to encourage more UIS students to try it out by establishing a professional account," added Craig.

Pongo Resume is a web site for the active job seeker that offers resume and cover letter building services. The company has been featured in national publications like the New York Times, Boston Herald and U.S. News and World Report.

If students need assistance either establishing a professional account or navigating social networking sites, please contact the Career Development Center.

Read the Pongo rankings:

Follow UIS Career Development Center on Twitter:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chancellor honors Civil Service employees

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen honored more than 300 Civil Service employees during the 3rd Annual CARE Awards. A luncheon ceremony was held on September 23, 2009 in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby.

“You’re really important people, front line people. You’re the people whose smile makes a difference in students and parents lives,” said Ringeisen.

Sharon Heflin, who works in the Office of Graduate Intern Programs, was honored with the 2009 Chancellor’s Award to Recognize Excellence in Civil Service. Heflin started as extra help in the GPSI office, and was hired into the Center for Legal Studies full time in October 2001. Then, in 2002 she was hired to work in the GPSI office again, and has been there ever since.

The person who nominated her for the award said about her, when you look up “ethical” in the dictionary, you see a picture of Sharon.

Other Civil Service employees nominated for the award include:
Carolyn Cerven, Account Technician II, OBFS
Deborah Dove, Admissions and Records Specialist II, Admissions
Bobbie Fults, Office Support Specialist, Computer Science
Normajean Niebur, Office Support Specialist, Criminal Justice
Marcia Rossi, Office Administrator, Library Administration
Dawn Tompkins, Staff Clerk, Experiential and Service Learning
Carol Wendling, Administrative Clerk, Academic Affairs

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall into Volunteer Fair teams students with community

The University of Illinois Springfield invited nearly 25 non-profit groups to campus on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 in an effort to get students to volunteer.

It was all part of the first ever "Fall into Volunteer Fair" organized by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, UIS Housing and the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs.

"I think volunteering is a great way for students to find something to do during their free time on the weekends that gives them some type of extra meaning in their lives," said UIS senior and event organizer Andy Shaffer.

Representatives from Lincoln Memorial Gardens, Illinois State Museum, Boys and Girls Club, Planned Parenthood and Memorial Medical Center attended the event.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Students share stories about studying abroad in Peru

A dedicated group of nine University of Illinois Springfield students spent 17 days this summer learning in Peru. It’s the first time UIS has sent a study abroad group to South America.

The students shared their experiences with the UIS campus during a presentation on September 17, 2009.

The students lived in the former imperial capital of Cusco for a week, they climbed Machu Picchu, a place of retreat for an Inca king and one of the new Seven World Wonders; they navigated Lake Titicaca located 12,500 feet above sea level and stayed with host families on Amantani Island, and also took 28 hours of immersion Spanish!

As part of the class activities and requisites, students in the Peru study abroad course kept a bilingual journal where they wrote (in Spanish) about culture and many learning activities of the day, and they wrote (in English) critical reflections about issues related to social responsibility, environmental practices, cultural practices, history, and political resistance.

Students say they’d love to have the chance to go back to the country and say next year’s study abroad trip is already being planned.

For more information on Study Abroad visit the Office of International Programs website or contact Veronica Espina at 217/206-8300 or

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Health Services works to prevent seasonal and H1N1 flu

University of Illinois Springfield Campus Health Services is now offering seasonal flu shots to students, faculty and staff. The shot does not protect against the H1N1 virus, but Health Services expects to have that vaccine on hand by mid-October.

The seasonal flu shot costs $15.00 for UIS students and is free to employees who have State of Illinois insurance. Non-insured staff can get the shot for $18.00 and employee’s significant others for $20.00.

Campus Health Services Director Lynne Price says the best way to prevent either flu is by washing your hands. She says people also need to cough or sneeze into their sleeves and stay home when they have a fever over 100.

Price says H1N1 is milder than the common flu, but it spreads more readily. She says about 97% of the flu cases happening now are H1N1 and only 3% appear to be seasonal.

Seasonal Flu Shot Clinic Dates:

Thursday, September 17, 2009
9am - 3pm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
9am - 5pm and 6pm - 7:30pm

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
9am - 5pm

Monday, October 5, 2009
9am - 5pm

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

9am - 5pm and 6pm - 7:30pm

All shots will be given in Public Affairs Center (PAC) Conference Rooms C & D.

If you have questions call Campus Health Service at 206-6676

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brookens Library Shows Off Research Tools

Brookens Library
at the University of Illinois Springfield held its first ever open house for students, faculty and staff. The goal was to show the campus community what they have to offer when it comes to research tools.

Christine Ross, Director of Collection and Research Services says in the high-tech age students sometimes turn to Google first, but the library has better tools. Vendors from Elsevier, Lexis Nexi, CQ Press, Wiley Blackwell and more were on hand to show off their systems.

Ross says the best part of the open house was hearing students get their questions answered so they know where to look the next time they come back.

Students also got a chance to win an iPod Touch and other prizes donated for the open house.

Monday, September 14, 2009

UIS Hosts Campus Blood Drive

University of Illinois Springfield students, faculty and staff members rolled up their sleeves to help save lives Monday. The Clinical Lab Science Club sponsored a blood drive and bone marrow typing event at Lincoln Residence Hall.

The drive was put on by the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, which is the main source for blood for 19 hospitals in central and southwestern Illinois.

This is the first time the blood center has teamed up to offer bone marrow typing, which puts donors on a match registry for people in need.

Almost 50 people donated blood during the drive at LRH.

Future UIS Blood Drives:

Monday, November 16 , 2009
Public Affairs Center (Sponsor: Graduate Professional Union)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Public Affairs Center (Sponsor: Student Government Association)

Monday, April 19, 2010
Lincoln Residence Hall (Sponsor: Clinical Lab Science Club)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

MAP Grant Cuts Felt on UIS Campus

State budget problems could mean less financial aid for students at the University of Illinois Springfield. The Illinois General Assembly cut all funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) for the Spring 2010 semester. The Fall 2009 semester is still being fully funded by the state.

The cuts to the MAP program would affect about 750 students at UIS who on average receive about $1,900 a semester from the program. The UIS office of Financial Assistance has sent out an e-mail to students warning them about the cuts.

Many students have traditionally used the MAP grant program to help them fund their college education. UIS Director of Financial Assistance Dr. Gerard Joseph says the university is talking to lawmakers in an effort to get them to restore MAP funds.

“We are hoping that students will not panic and get anxious and just drop out of school and not wait until we figure out where we stand in this situation,” said Joseph.

MAP grants are awarded to about 150,000 college students statewide every semester.

For more information about MAP grants visit the Financial Assistance office website at or call 206-6724.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

UIS sets record for fall enrollment

Enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield this fall is the largest ever in the institution’s 39-year history. The total number of enrolled students at UIS is 4,961. It is a 5% increase (250 students) over last fall’s total of 4,711 students.

“We are very excited about the fall enrollment numbers. They demonstrate the value attached to the high quality education UIS delivers for students from all over Illinois. These numbers are attained by programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, in many academic areas. And this in spite of some very tough economic conditions. We are most gratified,” said Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

There are 3,027 undergraduates at UIS this fall, compared to 2,889 last fall. UIS has 1,934 graduate students, which is 112 more than last fall.

“The retention of students continuing their education at UIS continues to grow, which reflects the quality of education that is offered here,” said Admissions Associate Director Lori Giordano.

Additionally, the university has a record number of students living on campus this fall. There are 1,089 students living in the UIS apartments, townhouses, and Lincoln and Founders residence halls compared to 1,030 last fall.

Online learning grows in popularity

Online programs at UIS are continuing to experience overall growth, according to Ray Schroeder, Director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service.

More than one-fourth of the student body at UIS is majoring in online degree or certificate programs, with online majors totaling 1,301. This represents an increase of 8.4% from last fall’s 1,200 online majors.

“Online enrollments at UIS have increased for a remarkable 33 semesters and summer sessions in a row,” Schroeder noted. “This fall’s numbers once again included significant increases in the number of students majoring in online degree and certificate programs. UIS has built a national reputation for excellence in online teaching and quality online degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.”

General online enrollments are also higher than last fall, with 4,300 students enrolled in at least one online class, compared to 3,875 last year – an increase of almost 11%. Online enrollments, also called seat counts, are the total number of seats that are filled in online classes.

With increases in online enrollment, UIS is also seeing a 10% increase in faculty members who are teaching an online class, with 154 this fall compared to 140 in fall 2008.

“While the growth of the online program at UIS has spanned more than a decade, recent increases seem to be fueled by the economic downturn. The quality of UIS online classes, coupled with the flexibility and accessibility of the classes, has made UIS online an attractive option for students seeking to advance their education while continuing to work,” Schroeder said.

Friday, September 04, 2009

UIS alumna to serve on U of I Board of Trustees

Governor Pat Quinn has appointed former Mayor of Springfield and UIS alumna Karen Hasara to fill a vacant position on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Hasara graduated from UIS with a B.S. in Psychology in 1972 and got her M.A. in Legal Studies from the university in 1993.

Hasara started her career as an elementary school teacher and became the first woman to be elected Springfield mayor in 1995. Before her time in city government Hasara was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1986 and the Illinois Senate in 1993.

Hasara has played an active role in the University of Illinois Springfield community speaking at leadership round tables and other events on campus. She has been a member of UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen’s Advisory Committee since 1998 helping to shape the direction of the campus.

Hasara is a board member of the World Affairs Council and has worked in Russia and Eastern Europe in tourism and economic development. She also serves on the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation board and is a member of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

The governor also named four other U of I graduates to the board: Timothy N. Koritz, Staff Anesthesiologist, Rockford Memorial Hospital; Edward L. McMillan, Principal and CEO, McMillan LLC; Pamela B. Strobel, retired Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Exelon; and Carlos E. Tortolero, President, National Museum of Mexican Art.

For more information visit:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Theatre Open House & Season Preview

UIS Theatre held an open house to show new and returning students what they have planned for the 2009-2010 season. Three productions featuring a mix of student and community actors will start in November.

The first show is Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things set to run November 13-15 and 19-21, 2009. The play is set in a liberal arts college, in a conservative Midwestern town. In the production, four characters struggle to find their voice in matters of love and art.

UIS “Student Directed Scenes,” which showcases the final projects of the students in the Fall ’09 “Directing for the Theatre” class will take place on December 8 and 9, 2009.

The last performance will be Milan Stitt’s The Runner Stumbles set to run April 23-25 and 29-May 1, 2010. The play is set in a remote northern Michigan parish in 1911 where a young nun mysteriously dies. The parish priest is charged with the crime.

Performances will take place starting at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays in the Studio Theatre in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

For more information about the plays and auditions visit the UIS Theatre website at: