Monday, April 30, 2012

UIS to hold 41st commencement ceremony on May 12 in downtown Springfield

Commencement ceremonies for the University of Illinois Springfield will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Ninth and Adams streets in downtown Springfield. Of the 1,316 students eligible to graduate, 770 will participate in the ceremony.

Tickets are not required for admission and 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.

Commencement Speaker: Wenguang Huang

The commencement speaker will be UIS Public Affairs Reporting alum Wenguang Huang, a Chicago-based journalist, writer and translator. He is the author of The Little Red Guard, a memoir that chronicles his growing up in central China during the 1970s. The book reveals his family striving to fulfill a grandmother’s last wish during a period of rapid societal change. The book, released by Riverhead, Penguin on April 26, 2012, has been mentioned by O Magazine and selected among the top 10 memoirs by Publishers Weekly for spring 2012.

A former staff member of the New York Times Beijing Bureau, Wen contributes regularly to Fortune, the New York Times, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, the Paris Review, The South China Morning Post and Chicago Public Radio.

In 2003, Wen started introducing contemporary Chinese writers to the West and since then, he has translated Chinese writer Liao Yiwu’s The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up, God is Red, For a Song and One Hundred Songs and Yan Xianhui’s Women from Shanghai. Wen is the recipient of the 2007 PEN Translation Fund Award.

Wen grew up in northern China and obtained his bachelor’s degree in English Literature and master’s degree in journalism from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. In 1989, Wen participated in the student pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square. After the government’s brutal crackdown, he came to Springfield and gained his master’s degree from the UIS Public Affairs Reporting program in 1991. While earning his degree, he interned at Illinois Issues magazine, covering Illinois state government. Following his graduation, he interned with the Illinois Legislative Research Unit, where he gained additional first-hand knowledge of how democracy works at the state level.

Since 1994, Wen Huang has held numerous day jobs for non-profit organizations and corporations. At present, he pursues his journalistic and book writings in his spare time.

Faculty and student marshals 

Stephen Schwark, professor of Political Science at UIS, has been chosen to serve as grand marshal. The student speaker will be Jessica A. Odigie, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Legal Studies.

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: Megan M. Canny – B.A., Preston Todd Searl – B.A. (Peoria), Amanda J. Ball – M.A.  

Biology: Nathan T. Dennison – B.S., Benjamin Briddell – M.S.   

Business Administration: Lawrence Paul Crowley – B.B.A., Javan Daniel Hall – M.B.A. (Peoria), Amruta R. Prabhuwaingankar – M.B.A.   

Chemistry: Mark W. Frakes – B.S. Clinical Laboratory Science: Taylor Danielle Golden – B.S.   

Communication: Ryan B. Ivemeyer – B.A., Emily Jean Fox – M.A.   

Computer Science: Andrew W. Miller – B.S., Timothy W. Robert – M.S.  

Criminal Justice: Lindzee Edwards– B.A.   

Economics: Tyler Daniel McKay – B.A.   

Educational Leadership: Adam Bradley Dean – M.A.   

English: Hannah Rebekah Radford – B.A., Sarah Lauren Collins – M.A.  

Environmental Sciences: Gregory R. Fretueg – M.S. Environmental Studies: Araceli Eva Lopez Martinez – M.A.   

Global Studies: Johanette Druvinka Croos Moraes – B.A.   

History: Zachary James Clifton Watkins – B.A., Eleanor Claire Jerry – M.A.   

Human Development Counseling: Margaret Mary Wheelhouse – M.A.   

Human Services: Ruth Elaine Boardman – M.A.   

Legal Studies: Lisa M. Daykin – B.A., Joseph J. Walat – M.A.   

Liberal Studies: Valeri Jean Cooke – B.A.   

Management: Corey Matthew Curtis – B.A. (Peoria), Debra Sue Schmitz – B.A.   

Management Information Systems: Joshua Daniel Kilhoffer – B.S., Anusha Mathur Subramaniam – M.S.   

Mathematical Sciences: Carlin Thomas Venaglia – B.A.   

Philosophy: John Kevin Byers – B.A.   

Political Science: Caitlyn Elizabeth Barnes – B.A., Robert Joseph Skorczewski – M.A.   

Psychology: Rachel A. Tohme – B.A.   

Public Administration: Anupama Surendran – M.P.A., Nancy Leann Huyck - D.P.A.   

Public Affairs Reporting: David James Thomas – M.A.   

Public Health: Nelson Videnyi Agbodo – M.P.H.   

Social Work: Kendra V. Johnson – B.S.W. Sociology/Anthropology: Tiffany D. Gollahon – B.A.   

Teacher Leadership: Charity Lynn Workman – M.A.   

Visual Arts: Karen Elizabeth Boerema – 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 4. Separate brunches for CAP Honors graduates and online degree graduates are scheduled for Saturday morning, May 12.

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

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