Wednesday, June 21, 2017

UIS announces Spring Semester 2017 Dean’s List

The University of Illinois Springfield has released the Dean’s List for Spring Semester 2017.

A total of 548 students were selected; 75 are students in the College of Business and Management, 51 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 347 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 58 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 17 are non-degree seeking or undecided.

In order to qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours and maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester.

Below you'll find a printable list of student's names listed by the city of residence on file with UIS Records and Registration.

Spring 17 Dean's List PDF | Spring 17 Dean's List Excel

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

UIS Society for Human Resource Management student chapter wins national Superior Merit Award

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has awarded a 2016-2017 Superior Merit Award designation to the University of Illinois Springfield SHRM student chapter for providing superior growth and development opportunities to its student chapter members.

Of the 327 student chapters from across the United States, UIS was one of 149 winners.

The SHRM student chapter merit award program, which began in 1972, was created to encourage student chapters to require ongoing excellence in the following areas: student chapter requirements, chapter operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession and SHRM engagement.

“These chapters truly represent the future of the HR profession,” said Susan Post, SHRM-SCP, East Divisional Director at SHRM and the lead for SHRM’s Student Programs. “Their achievements go above and beyond their everyday academic and work commitments and we applaud the positive impact their efforts have on their schools, their local communities and beyond.”

Recently, the UIS SHRM Chapter opened its speaker series events to the entire UIS community, including both UIS students and faculty, in order to learn, discuss, and network with professionals in Human Resources. The chapter also coordinated tours of businesses and organizations in Springfield to help students better understand the field.

“Students who are interested in finding and preparing for their future career had the opportunity to see in person how people really work in an organization in term of human resource management perspective,” said UIS student Chapter President Adella Nguyen.

The UIS SHRM chapter has also been working to improve its communication among chapter members and with other UIS students through social media, forums and cell phone applications.

For more information on the UIS SHRM chapter, visit their website, UIS Connection or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Questions may be directed to advisers Donna Rogers at or Ashley Miller at

About the Society for Human Resource Management 

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

UIS welcomes the Class of 2021 during KickStart Orientation

The University of Illinois Springfield is welcoming hundreds of new students to campus during its summer KickStart Orientation events in June, July and August. A total of six different orientation sessions are planned.

The two-day overnight events helps students understand UIS requirements, meet their fellow classmates and learn their way around campus.

“Today students will be meeting with advisers, learning some of the basics about what their requirements would be for academic majors and minors and doing some pre-advising where they start to think about what courses they will take in the fall semester,” said Lisa McGuire, UIS director of new student orientation and parent relations.

Incoming first-year student Brielle Marten chose UIS because of the nursing program. She’s from Litchfield and will be about 45 minutes away from home.

“I’m really excited to just be able to kind of move onto that next chapter and have a little bit of a new start somewhere different,” said Marten.

Diana Vazquez, a first-generation college student from Round Lake Beach, chose UIS because she wants to study politics and law. She knew that the Springfield would be the perfect place.

“I’m just really excited to make friends and register for classes and just kind of get more of a feel of the campus,” said Vazquez.

McGuire says she hopes students and parents leave orientation with all of their questions answered and feel ready for the first day of class.

“They’ll leave with their schedule, so they’ll know what classes they’re taking and what that schedule will look like,” said McGuire. “We’re hoping people will take the time to meet with our financial assistance office and meet with their financial assistance counselor.”

Vazquez says she can’t wait to start classes and begin a new chapter in her life.

“Becoming my own person and becoming independent is something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” she said. “I guess college is somewhere where you can start to become your own person and figure out who you are and where you fit in the world.”

For more information on orientation, visit

Monday, June 05, 2017

UIS Illinois Innocence Project client walks free after 22 years of wrongful imprisonment

Last week, William (Bill) Amor, a client of the Illinois Innocence Project (IIP) at the University of Illinois Springfield, walked free from the DuPage County Jail after 22 years of incarceration. His release came two months after a DuPage County judge overturned Amor’s 1997 arson murder conviction, finding that new arson-related scientific evidence was new evidence of actual innocence.

“It is undisputed by the experts in this case that fire science has evolved, and it has changed to such an extent that the original findings in this case are unreliable,” said Lauren Kaeseberg, legal director of the Illinois Innocence Project Chicago office, who represents Bill Amor. “In fact, the evidence points to an accidental fire – which is what we believe occurred here. Bill Amor did not murder anyone and the science finally supports that which he has claimed for 22 years – he is innocent.

“We are so happy that Bill is free,” said Kaeseberg. “He’s ready to move on with his life and hopefully soon he can close this chapter of injustice.”

Amor’s case is particularly important because it is believed to be the first of its kind in the state of Illinois in which a court has found that advancements in fire science constitute newly discovered evidence of actual innocence. In Judge Liam Brennan’s ruling vacating Amor’s conviction in April, he concluded:

“…there can be no question that the lynchpin of the State’s case at trial was the defendant’s confession, which the State and Defense experts today agree is scientifically impossible. Whatever the reasons for the Defendant’s scientifically impossible confession, the new evidence places the evidence presented at trial in a different light and undercuts this Court’s confidence in the factual correctness of the guilty verdict.”

Prosecutors have indicated they plan to retry the case and a September trial date has been set.

“Bill has already served almost his entire sentence and we remain hopeful that prosecutors will decide that it is the legal, ethical and financial interests of the State not to retry this case,” said Kaeseberg.

Bill Amor is represented by four attorneys: Lauren Kaeseberg, Illinois Innocence Project legal director, Chicago office; Erica Nichols Cook, formerly of the Illinois Innocence Project, now pro bono counsel for Amor and currently Director of the Wrongful Conviction Division for the Iowa State Public Defender; Tara Thompson, staff attorney, the Exoneration Project; and Kevin Caraher, of the law firm Cozen O’Connor and pro bono attorney for Amor.

On the evening of September 10, 1995, Amor and his wife left their Naperville apartment (which they shared with Bill’s mother-in-law, Marianne Miceli) to go to a drive-in movie. They were gone for several hours and when they returned, they found that a fire had broken out at the apartment and Miceli had died from smoke inhalation.

Amor would be convicted two years later, on September 17, 1997, of murder and aggravated arson for setting the fire that caused Miceli’s death. Amor was convicted based upon a “confession” (which has been proven false) and arson findings that are no longer scientifically reliable. What stands out in this case is that Amor’s “confession” was the basis for the fire investigators in 1995 to change their initial finding of an “undetermined” cause of fire to an arson. With the exception of giving a false confession in this case, Amor has maintained his innocence from day one. He was ultimately sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The statement attributed to Amor was given to police after he had been in jail two weeks, after 15 hours of questioning and immediately following Amor being served divorce papers at the station. The “confession” included details as to how Amor purportedly started the fire with vodka and a lit cigarette – which, at a December 2016 hearing, all experts, including the State’s own witness, testified is not possible.

“False confessions and faulty forensic science are two of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in this country,” said Tara Thompson, one of Amor’s attorneys. “We hope that the Amor case can set a new standard in this state for how old, unreliable evidence is to be viewed in light of modern advancements. We know of too many other innocent people in this state and around the country who are suffering from wrongful arson convictions.”

At the December hearing on Amor’s case, attorneys presented evidence that showed the original arson findings are no longer reliable when analyzed under modern fire science techniques. Nationally recognized arson experts testified about the new science that undercuts the conviction in this case, including: Doug Carpenter of Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland, and John DeHaan of Fire-Ex Forensics in Vallejo, California. Further, ATF Senior Special Agent John Golder, called by the State at the hearing, conceded that the manner in which Amor’s confession claims the fire started is impossible and that Amor was not in the apartment when the fire started.

IIP’s work on Amor’s case was made possible by a federal grant to the University of Illinois Springfield for use by the Illinois Innocence Project.

Friday, June 02, 2017

UIS Economic Outlook Survey finds Sangamon County organizations concerned about state finances, less optimistic on health care

The Spring 2017 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey, conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office and The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, finds that local organizations continue to worry about state government finances.

The study examined the economic perceptions, expectations and evaluations of Sangamon County businesses as well as public and non-profit organizations.

Sixty-one percent of respondents, the highest percentage ever, cite state government finances as one of the top three concerns facing their organizations over the next twelve months. This figure is higher than the 56 percent of fall 2016 survey respondents who listed state government finances as one of the three biggest challenges facing their organization.

The survey also finds that respondents are less optimistic about health care now than they have been in the past. While the fall 2016 survey found that more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) expected to see an increase in the healthcare sector, this figure has dropped to slightly over half of respondents (55%) in the spring 2017 survey. This decline coincides with uncertainty in Washington over the future of health care.

In terms of the Sangamon County economy overall, the survey finds respondents more optimistic in terms of capital investment now than the fall 2016 survey (34% compared to 25% expect to see an increase). The survey also finds that strong majorities expect to see increases in interest rates (83%) and inflation (76%) over the next twelve months.

While most organizations report that their organizations recruit from outside the local area (61%) than exclusively locally (34%), those who do recruit from outside of central Illinois report challenges in recruiting and retaining those candidates. Nearly nine in ten (89%) that recruit from outside the local area say that attracting candidates from outside of central Illinois is either somewhat or very difficult and nearly as many (84%) say that retaining the candidates they do hire from outside of central Illinois is either somewhat or very difficult.

The Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey has been conducted biannually (March/April and September) since 2008. The full report contains results for questions asked since 2008. In addition, the spring 2017 report contains a topical section with questions pertaining to work readiness and job training. The results for the spring 2017 survey are from 282 local organizations that were contacted in March via email invitations using Qualtrics Research Suite, a platform for online surveys. The margin of sampling error for the study is +/- 5.6 percent.

The survey is sponsored by the UIS Chancellor’s Office, the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the methodology and to read the full report, visit the UIS Survey Research Office website.

Questions about the survey may be directed to Matt Case, interim director of the UIS Survey Research Office, at 217/206-6293 or