Monday, April 30, 2012

UIS Springfest welcomes Jenga XXL as new sports day competition

The University of Illinois Springfield introduced Jenga XXL as a new competition during this year's Springfest, a week-long event during which students compete in a variety of fun and educational events. As students found out, Jenga is a game that requires both skill and focus.

A total of 38 Springfest teams competed to see who could create the tallest Jenga tower without it falling. The game forced teams to remove lower blocks, which in turn made their towers unstable. Winner in the first round were determined by the number of block removed after two minutes. Six teams competed in a final round where the final tower standing won.

“I play every now and then,” said Dyllan Tiburzi, a chemistry major. “I heard we were having it for Springfest this year, so I’ve been doing a bunch of research like a nerd trying to find a perfect strategy for it.”

Several teams practiced for the Jenga competition before the event in an effort to develop their own winning strategies.

“We went in with a strategy of take out the middle ones, stack as high as we can, keep on going as fast as we could,” said Leigha Light, a clinical laboratory science major.

Many of the students grew up playing Jenga as a child, but had never seen a set this large.

“Jenga is really cool. This is the first time I’ve seen something like this,” said Prerna Khullar, a business major. “I’ve always seen it as little blocks.”

The Jenga competition came at the end of a long day of physical activities. Caitlyn Clausen, a accounting major, said she enjoyed the game because it was something different.

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Cluasen. “It kind of focused on team strategy more and playing a game and you really had to work on your communication with your teammates.”

The eight Jenga sets used during Springfest were donated by the company. Student Life plans to utilize the sets again during Welcome Week and next year at Springfest.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Scavenger Hunt marks the start of the 20th Springfest

A record number of over 500 students helped to kick off Springfest 2012 with the annual Scavenger Hunt on April 23, 2012. Springfest is an annual tradition on campus, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Scavenger Hunt participants were given a surprise list of over 200 items to collect during a one-hour period. Points were awarded based on the number of total items collected. Students were not allowed to use cars, bikes, or other transportation and had to collect all of the items on campus.

“It was amazing. We were running around and the whole team was kind of scattered. There was a time when we kind of all panicked, but we all had fun,” said Sam Zhang, a junior global studies major.

While some items on the list were straightforward, other items were a little harder to locate. Some of the stranger items on this year’s list include a hockey stick, asparagus, and bacon.

“Everything was weird. There was not a normal thing on there, but we got a lot, so that’s all that matters,” said Ethan Morris, a senior accounting major.

Springfest is one of the longest running student traditions on campus, which started in 1992. The number of students involved continues to grow each year.

For a complete list of Springfest activities, visit

UIS presents "Epilog" Senior Art Exhibition 2012

The University of Illinois Springfield is proud to present “Epilog”, an exhibition of works by the graduating seniors of the Visual Arts Department. The exhibition will open on April 30 and run through May 11, 2012 in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, located in the Health and Sciences Building (HSB) and the Access Gallery, located in the Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Building.

Students have their own media, intention and style and the works are a summary of the inspiration and abilities they have acquired during their experiences at the university. The exhibition includes paintings, ceramics, digital media, photography, screen-printing and installations of mixed media. “Epilog” signifies the conclusion of one chapter and the start of another. It is not the end, but a new beginning.

Prepare to see many unique works of art by twelve talented visual arts majors. The seniors are Karen Boerema, Pablo Ramos-Nieves, Skan Jolly, Nick Davis, Kelly M. Thompson, Natalie Woodrum, Brad Balster, Sara Joseph, Kelli Wilson, Dave Warren, Jennifer Cosby and Christy Riley. The artists will show a collection of works representing numerous disciplines and mediums.

An opening reception will be held on May 3 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Visual Arts Gallery and in the Access Gallery. The reception is open to the public. D’Arcy’s Pint and Bella Milano will provide refreshments.

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is located in HSB, room 201. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Access Gallery, located in VPA, is publically accessible Monday through Friday.

For more information on “Epilog” and future exhibitions, contact the gallery at 217/206-6506 or email

Hundreds of UIS students to plant over 3,000 tree saplings at two Springfield parks on Arbor Day

WHAT: Over 400 students from the University of Illinois Springfield are expected to help plant 3,500 tree saplings at Carpenter and Gurgens Park in Springfield on Arbor Day. The effort is being coordinated by the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

WHEN: Friday, April 27 from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Take Peoria Road north to The Rail Golf Course in Sherman and turn left. Park in the Rail Golf Course parking lot.

DETAILS: The tree planting will provide a valuable service to the Springfield Park District, while teaching students about the importance of sustainability and physically engaging them in environmental responsibility. Gurgens and Carpenter parks are both forest preserves, but large areas throughout the parks lack trees. This planting will help to reclaim approximately 100 acres of open land with native oak species.

The tree saplings for the project were donated by the East Moline based non-profit group Living Lands & Waters as part of their MillionTrees Project. The initiative began in 2007 as a way to aid in the protection, preservation, and restoration of the natural environment. Saplings for the project are grown at a nursery in Beardstown, Ill.

The UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center is receiving additional support from Bunn-O-Matic Corporation in Springfield that will help purchase biodegradable tree guards to protect the saplings from wildlife, and The Rail Golf Course, which is providing parking.

The effort is part of UIS’ annual Springfest Celebration, a week-long event where students compete in a variety of fun and educational events.

For more information on the project, contact Mark Dochterman, director of the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center at

Monday, April 23, 2012

UIS Chorus to perform free concert at Lincoln Land Community College

The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus will perform on Sunday, April 29, at 4 p.m. in the Trutter Center on the Lincoln Land Community College campus. The public is invited to attend this free concert event.

The UIS Chorus is directed by Melinda Pitt Kaye, LLCC music instructor, and assisted by Pamela Scott on piano.

Selections at the concert will include a wide range of styles and languages with a focus on contemporary composers. Traditional works include selections from Antonio Vivaldi's "Gloria,” while more contemporary works include "Jai Ho!" from the movie, “Slumdog Millionaire,” "Lux Aurumque" by Eric Whitacre, and "Baba Yetu" by Christopher Tin.

The music ensembles at UIS include students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

UIS to celebrate Earth Week (April 22-27)

The University of Illinois Springfield will celebrate Earth Week (April 22-27, 2012) with a variety of fun and educational events.

Sunday, April 22
  • “Don’t Waste, Stuff Your Face” - 6 p.m. on the Quad - Pick up recycling bags at Housing Commons beginning April 19 to participate. Collect the most recyclables and win pizza for your housing unit. This event is sponsored by the Social Work Club.
Monday, April 23
  • “Sustainable Landscaping & Unusual UIS Plants” at 11 a.m. in PAC F - Come learn about unusual UIS Plants with Joan Buckles or take a campus tour of plants starting at 12:30 p.m. at the colonnade.
Tuesday, April 24
  • “Picnic on the Quad” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Bring your lunch and head out to the Quad where games and blankets will be available.
Wednesday, April 25
  • “Environmental Fair” from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Brookens Library tunnel
Thursday, April 26
  • UIS Carpool Day - Email Jay Gilliam at to find a carpool near you!
  • “What’s in Your Trash?” exhibit starts at 10 a.m. in the PAC Concourse. The exhibit will be on display through Friday, April 27.
Friday, April 27

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good as Gold Ceremony honors over 40 community and campus volunteers

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), the University of Illinois Springfield Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center and the Junior League of Springfield hosted the Good as Gold Ceremony, a recognition event to acknowledge community members and organizations for their volunteer efforts.

The ceremony took place on Wednesday, April 18, in the lobby of the Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus. More than 40 people were recognized during the event for their achievements and efforts.

Jack Sunderlik, a One Hope United Foster Grandparent was honored with the Distinguished Volunteer Award. He volunteers 40 hours a week at Dubois Elementary. According to his nominator, Sunderlik is called “Grandpa Jack” by all 430 students at Dubois. He meets a critical educational need for the students and provides special needs students with the individual special attention that they need to improve their academic, social, and behavioral skills. Students with the most serious behavioral and academic needs are paired with him each year. Sunderlik is a retired high school teacher and coach of 40 years.

Finalists for the Distinguished Volunteer included Virginia ‘Jenny’ McFeeters and Lynn Wilson, both American Red Cross volunteers; Lori Coultas, a volunteer at the Inner City Mission, and Mike Kennedy, a volunteer from Friends of Sangamon Valley. Jewel Richards, a One Hope United Foster Grandparent volunteer and Frank Fegan and Betty Lou Hicks, both American Red Cross volunteers were nominated for the award.

UIS student Justin Rose was honored with the Star Student Award and employee Jan Kirkham with the Star Staff Award for their exceptional commitment to service and volunteerism. Rose devotes at least 20 hours a week to volunteering with youth in the local Springfield Community. He created an initiative with Boys and Girls Club to mentor at-risk youth males on Saturdays, he’s a big brother, and in addition to these efforts off campus, he is a mentor to first-year first-generation college students at UIS. In her role as the Director of Experiential & Service-Learning Programs at UIS, Kirkham has been a career long advocate for service as part of the college experience. She has helped faculty create Service-Learning classes, helped incorporate service into the general education requirements, and fostered the Applied Study Term program. She spends time volunteering on campus and in the community.

Community members Isis Thompson, Logan Quance, Lance Quance, Melina Hale, Noah Siltman, and Nina Bishop were honored with Youth Volunteer awards. As part of the 21st Century Program, the teens have collectively volunteered over 200 hours in after-school programs this year. They provide teachers with hands on quality assistance, mentor children on the playground, and help to make sure the children stay on task.

Thirty-four local volunteers were also honored with the Heart of Gold Award. Recipients included: Linda Bradbury, Charles Beard, Alison Cappellin, Elizabeth (Liz) Dady, Judson DeVore, Karen Giannone, Rose Haas, Robert Hall, June Harmon, Joan E. Ingram, Wimer Kern, Louise Lee, LeGrand L. Malany, Elizabeth Muench, Deshanee Miner, Diana Odin, Fannie Patheal, Renee Piphus, Brenda Rauscher, Jean M. Reader, Jim Richbark, Michelle Ryan, Glenna Schlemm, Dick Smith, Donna Stimage, Joan Swearingen, Gail Tucker, Cecelia Upshaw, Carl and Roberta Volkmann, Julie Waldrop, Christina M. Whitehorn, Brenda Will, Mary Yokem.

The West Side Christian Church, genH Coalition, and First Christian Church, Springfield were also honored with Organization Awards for their contributions to the community.

For more information about the awards, please visit, email or call 217/ 206-7716.

Monday, April 16, 2012

UIS student-athletes teach kids how to live healthy

Student-athletes at the University of Illinois Springfield gave back to the Springfield community on April 13, 2012 by hosting “UIS Power & Fitness” for kids.

The Friday evening event was designed to empower children to live healthy and active lives. UIS student-athletes interacted with the students while playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, and participating in other events, such as relay races.

“Childhood obesity is at its all time highest right now, so we’re trying to make sure they know that being active is a good thing for them,” said Dylan Sparkman, a freshman men’s basketball player.

The goal of the event was to encourage the children to spend at least 60 minutes every day being active. The kids also learned how to make healthy snacks.

“As kids get older, it’s important for them to be active and have that healthy regimen in their lives,” said Marne Fauser, event organizer and head women’s basketball coach.

All of the student-athletes who participated in the event volunteered to help out. They consider it part of their responsibility as a college athlete to give back to the community.

“I think of myself as a kid and I remember how much I loved sports and it helps me to remind myself how sports are fun. I like to help share some knowledge with them,” said Tyler Lau, a freshman UIS baseball player.

“We’re their role models and they’re looking to be just like us when they’re old. I remember always looking at college athletes and professional athletes as people I wanted to be when I grew up,” said Cassie Wolfe, a freshman women’s basketball player.

For UIS freshman women’s soccer player Hunter Westbrook the Power & Fitness Night is not the only way they give back. She recently spent a week cleaning up New Orleans as part of an Alternative Spring Break trip.

“I personally love to volunteer,” said Westbrook. “I really enjoy helping people out.”

The Power & Fitness program was open to all K-8 students in the Springfield area and was held at The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) on campus.

Friday, April 13, 2012

UIS Music program presents Spring Showcase Concert

WHAT: The music program at the University of Illinois Springfield invites members of the community, students, faculty, and staff to attend the Spring Showcase Concert, part of the “Wind, Fire, Gold, and Roses” series. The performance will feature the UIS Chorus, Band and Chamber Ensemble.

WHEN: Friday, April 27, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the UIS Public Affairs Center

DETAILS: The Spring Showcase will feature music from a variety of historical periods, countries, with many pieces inspired by nature’s elements. Highlights include Scottish and African-American inspired pieces, Hebrew melodies, Music from the Royal Fireworks, choir arrangements of modern pop songs, Southern Rags, and a Vivaldi Mass in which the UIS Choir and Chamber Ensemble will perform together.

The Chorus, under the direction of Melinda Pitt Kaye, will perform several works including “Jai Ho!” from Slumdog Millionaire and “You raise me up” by Josh Grobin.

Directed by Abigail Walsh, the Chamber Ensemble will perform selections including “Evening in Georgia” by Ippolitov- Ivanov and “Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34” by Prokofiev. Finally, Walsh will lead the Band through selections including James Swearingen’s “A Scottish Portrait” as well as “Encanto” by Robert W. Smith.

The performance is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Donations are welcome and will be used to benefit the UIS Music Student Merit Award, which will be presented at the Fall Showcase.

The UIS Music program began in 2001 and is comprised of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as Springfield community members, all with a variety of skill levels. Anyone who is interested in joining the UIS Chorus, Band or Chamber Ensemble may contact Sharon Graf by emailing or calling 217/206-6240.

UIS Queer-Straight Alliance hosts Alternative Prom

WHAT: The Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) at the University of Illinois Springfield will host its annual Alternative Prom.

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

WHERE: Student Life Building, located on the east side of the UIS campus

DETAILS: The event is open to all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, and questioning youth and their allies in the Springfield area and is presented as an opportunity for LGBTQ youth to express themselves while having a good time with friends in a safe environment.

“Many LGBTQ students feel unwelcome or excluded from their proms,” said Ryan Thoroman, QSA event co-coordinator. “We recognize that prom is an important rite of passage for high schoolers and we seek to offer them an affirming atmosphere where they can have the experience every student deserves.”

Based on the theme "Masquerave," this year's event is a futuristic masquerade which offers rave like music.

One student ID (from a high school or university) will admit the holder and up to four guests. A king and queen will be chosen, door prizes will be awarded, and refreshments will be available. Some of the area's top drag performance artists and a DJ will also perform.

For more information, contact Ryan Thoroman at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Political Correspondent to discuss Middle East 'Peace, Politics, and Plutonium'

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield is hosting a lecture by Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and a regular analyst on CNN. Hoffman will discuss ‘Peace, Politics, and Plutonium: An insider's look at the quest for security, democracy and peace in the Middle East.’

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS

DETAILS: Well-connected to Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Hoffman has interviewed every major figure across the Israeli political spectrum, has been interviewed by top media on six continents and is a regular analyst on CNN, Al-Jazeera and other news outlets.

Called “The most optimistic man in Israel” by Israel Television, Hoffman’s writing and TV appearances provide a behind the scenes look at the intrigue and humor in the Israeli political arena.

Hoffman, who was raised in Chicago, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University’s School of Journalism and wrote for the Miami Herald and Arizona Republic before moving to Israel. A reserve soldier in the IDF Spokesman’s Unit, he has lectured in seven countries and 37 states.

This event is sponsored by the Living Word Bible Study Club at UIS, who recently took on a bold initiative to partner with the Jewish United Fund. UIS co-sponsors include the Office of International Programs and the Diversity Center. Community support is being provided by the Jewish Federation of Springfield.

For more information, contact Danielle Stanley at

UIS hosts "Legendary Illinois Legislators" book discussion and signing event

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield presents “Legendary Illinois Legislators”, a noontime brown bag presentation that will feature authors David Joens and Ed Wojcicki discussing their new books on major figures in Illinois history and politics.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center, Level 1, Conference Room G, UIS

DETAILS: Joens, a UIS alumnus, is the author of From Slave to State Legislator: John W. E. Thomas, Illinois’ First African American Lawmaker (SIU Press, 2012). As the first African American elected to the Illinois general assembly, John W. E. Thomas was the recognized leader of the state’s African American community for nearly twenty years. The book traces Thomas’s trajectory from a slave owned by a doctor’s family in Alabama to a prominent attorney believed to be the wealthiest African American man in Chicago at the time of his death in 1899.

Wojcicki, associate chancellor for constituent relations at UIS, is the co-author with former Illinois Senate President Philip J. Rock of Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello: Reflections on Twenty-Two Years in the Illinois Senate (SIU Press, 2012). The book draws on dozens of interviews conducted by Wojcicki to present Rock’s story in his own words. It takes readers through his legislative successes, bipartisan efforts, and political defeats, giving a rare insider's perspective on Illinois politics over the last three decades of the twentieth century.

The event is free and open to the public. No reservation is required. The authors’ books will be available for purchase. Sponsors include the UIS Department of Political Science, Center for State Policy and Leadership, and College of Public Affairs and Administration Brown Bag Series at UIS. For more information, contact Barbara Ferrara at 217/206-7094.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

UIS conference on "The Symbolist Movement" brings global experts to central Illinois

WHAT: Professors from around the globe will present their work at a University of Illinois Springfield sponsored conference exploring “The Symbolist Movement, Its Origins and Its Consequences”. A total of 45 presenters, including faculty and students from UIS, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and seven foreign countries will participate.

WHEN: April 25-28, 2012 – Check the link below for specific times

WHERE: Robert Allerton Park & Retreat Center, Monticello, Ill.

DETAILS: The conference will explore the origins of Symbolism, a variety of Symbolist manifestations in art, literature, music and philosophy, its consequences in art and literature, and discuss how ideas moved from one European country to another. Many artists and scholars consider that the Symbolist movement had precursors among early Renaissance painters and served as the basis for artistic and intellectual movements that followed it.

Keynote speakers for the event include Dominique Jarrassé, professor of art history at the University of Bordeaux and Ecole du Louvre, France. He is a leading art historian and specialist in Symbolism in sculpture. He will speak on Wednesday, April 25 starting at 8 p.m. The second keynote will be delivered by art historian Liana De Girolami Cheney, professor of art history and chair of the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She will speak at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

Registration for the conference is required, but members of the media and University of Illinois students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend without being registered. For more on the conference and a complete list of events, visit or email Rosina Neginksy at

The symposium is dedicated to the memory of Caryl T. Moy, Ph.D. distinguished professor emerita at UIS.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Speakers Series presents "Off Oil: Pioneering a Sustainable Business Model"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents “Off Oil: Pioneering a Sustainable Business Model”. John Bradford, innovations director for Interface America, will speak as part of Earth Week. The company is on a mission to become a sustainable enterprise that is “off oil” by the year 2020.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Bradford will explore some of the assumptions that have played a role in creating our current economic system and culture and will examine ideas on how to transform our economic system into one that is more sustainable by sharing examples of “big picture” thought in action. He will tell the story of specific resource recovery, energy and water saving measures and other actions that have had meaning in the transformation of Interface, a very successful global carpet company leading the way in Zero Waste actions.

The seven stages of sustainability will be highlighted as described by the founder of Interface the late Ray Anderson, in his book, “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist - Profits, People, Purpose: Doing Business by Respecting the Earth.” By discussing Interface’s journey toward sustainability, Bradford will teach how other individuals and businesses can emulate their success.

Bradford earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1990 from Auburn University. He joined Interface Americas, Inc. in 1997, has held many positions, but today serves as the Chief Innovations Officer. His mission is to develop new technologies and concepts into valid business opportunities.

The appearance is co-sponsored by the UIS Senate Committee on Sustainability, UIS Students Allied for a Greener Earth, UIS Department of Environmental Studies, Springfield City Water Light & Power, and the Julia Henderson Award Fund.

Friday, April 6, 2012

UIS Lunch & Learn Series presents "Illinois - Overhead and Underfoot"

The University of Illinois Springfield Alumni SAGE Society and Illinois State Historical Society will host “Illinois – Overhead and Underfoot” as part of its annual Lunch and Learn Series.

WHEN: Thursday, April 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center (PAC) Restaurant, located on the lower level of the PAC on the UIS campus.

DETAILS: Dr. Jeffery Saunders, curator and chair of geology at the Illinois State Museum, will take us back in time over 10,000 years to explore the Prairie State's vast geological past and extinct species such as mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Guy Sternberg, arborist, retired landscape architect and owner of Starhill Forest Arboretum, will discuss Illinois' shady past and the management of ancient and historic trees.

The cost for the hot buffet lunch and program is $20/per person. Reservations are requested, as seating is limited. Seating is available in the back for those who do not purchase the luncheon buffet.

Visit to register online. For more information, contact the UI Alumni Association at UIS at 217/206-7395 or email

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Political Art and the Public Sphere presents "Breaking the Bank" film & discussion

WHAT: The Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS) series at the University of Illinois Springfield presents a screening of the film “Breaking the Bank”, which will be followed by a group discussion.

WHEN: Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library at UIS

DETAILS: After the massive protest activity in Seattle in 1999, which effectively shut down the World Trade Organization, tens of thousands converged to challenge the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank at their April 2000 meeting in Washington D.C. “Breaking the Bank” was filmed by activist filmmakers and is full of dramatic footage from the streets of D.C. But the film aims to go beyond slogans to examine the issues behind the protests. The film includes segments on IMF/World Bank policies, international militarism, ecological crisis, food production, and poverty within the “First World.” The documentary aims to highlight the creativity and conviction of a growing movement against corporate globalization.

The PAPS series is a monthly event on the UIS campus featuring a showing or a performance of some kind of “political art,” followed by open group discussion. The discussion is hosted by Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky, professor of Political Philosophy and Dr. Heather Dell, associate professor and chair of Women and Gender Studies at UIS.

Each of the installments in the spring 2012 series will explores the meanings and impacts of the phenomenon called “globalization,” highlighting its history and problems. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Dr. Gilman-Opalsky at 217/206-8328 or email

Inaugural Student Arts & Research Symposium

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield presents the inaugural Student Arts & Research Symposium (StARS). The two-day event celebrates student’s achievements in research and showcases their creative activities.

WHEN: Thursday, April 12 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Friday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

WHERE: Sangamon Auditorium Lobby, various Public Affairs Center conference rooms, and The Studio Theatre. Detailed Schedule (PDF)

DETAILS: The Symposium will serve as a culmination of research and creative projects. Undergraduate and graduate students will present their research and creative activities through short oral talks, poster presentations, art exhibitions and performances.

The Symposium events begin on Thursday, April 12 with a Student Poetry Slam and a reading of the play, “Machinal”. In addition to student presentations, the Symposium will feature two keynote speakers.

Cynthia Fisher, Ph.D. professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will deliver a keynote address on April 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. Her field of professional interest is language acquisition; she studies the beginnings of sentence comprehension by infants and toddlers. She will speak on, “Learning Words and Rules: The Early Development of Sentence Comprehension”.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, national book award finalist and acclaimed fiction author of “Once Upon a River” will deliver this year’s Holtz Lecture on April 13 at 8 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. A book signing by Campbell will be held immediately following her lecture.

For more information, contact Rebecca Landsberg, assistant professor of Biology at 217/206-7338 or email

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Health Awareness Fair teaches important lessons

Almost 50 health vendors from the Springfield community and University of Illinois Springfield campus packed The Recreation and Athletic Center on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 for the annual Health Awareness Day Fair.

The day is designed to educate community members, students, faculty and staff about different health strategies and prevention methods. Participants received free screenings, nutrition counseling, and much more.

“We’re hoping this will be a great springboard that people will get some great information, some great tools that then they can use at home,” said Jill Stoops, UIS Campus Health Services Nurse Practitioner.

UIS sophomore Joseph Deveraux came to the fair not knowing what to expect, but left with the knowledge he needs to live healthier.

“I’m here just to take a look and try to figure out where I am health wise and this is a great place to do that,” said Deveraux. “Overall it’s been an excellent experience. I’ve learned a whole lot.”

Deveraux got his cholesterol checked, learned his blood type, and had his blood pressure measured. He also had a chiropractic evaluation and a free massage.

“I didn’t expect it to be this awesome,” said Brytani Young, a Springfield resident who attended the health fair. “There’s so much stuff I’ve learned from and different things I can start doing.”

At first Young could not figure out why the health fair featured a bank, but soon learned the importance of financial wellness. Several booths also taught the importance of mental wellness and offered disaster safety tips.

“There were some here I didn’t know why they were here, until I stepped to the booth and just kind of explained it a little bit,” said Young.

Participants also got to take part in group exercise demonstrations offered by UIS Recreational Sports on topics, such as Yoga, Will Power & Grace, Group Cycling, Interval Cross Training, and much more.

“You’re given one body and you’ve got to keep it for the rest of your life, so you might as well get the most out of it,” said Stoops.

For more information and health tips, contact UIS Campus Health Services at 217/206-6676 or visit

Monday, April 2, 2012

Award-winning attorney & crime author Scott Turow to hold public book signing at UIS

WHAT: Scott Turow, the author of nine best-selling works of fiction, including his first novel “Presumed Innocent” (1987) and its sequel, “Innocent” (2010) will hold a public book signing at the University of Illinois Springfield. The appearance is sponsored by the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project.

WHEN: Mon., April 9 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center Restaurant on the UIS campus

DETAILS: Scott Turow’s books have been translated into more than 25 languages, sold more than 25 million copies world-wide and have been adapted into a full length film and two television miniseries. Additional non-fiction works by Turow include “One L” (1977) about his experience as a law student, and “Ultimate Punishment” (2003), a reflection on the death penalty. His work on the death penalty includes serving on the Illinois Commission to reform capital punishment.

Following the public book signing, Turow will be honored with the Defenders of the Innocent Award by the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project during a private event. The award is being presented for his contributions as an attorney in innocence cases, his tireless work toward the abolition of the death penalty system in Illinois, and his writing, which educates the general public and enhances understanding of the legal system.

Copies of “One L”, “Presumed Innocent”, and “Innocent” will be available for purchase during the public book signing at UIS. Refreshments will be provided during the free event.

For more information on the book signing or the award, contact Downstate Illinois Innocence Project director Larry Golden at

Women's Center presents "Confronting the Reality of Sexual Violence in the University Community"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Women’s Center presents “Confronting the Reality of Sexual Violence in the University Community”. This discussion will be led by David Lisak, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at Noon

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: Lisak conducts and supervises research on the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence. In particular, he has studied the motives and characteristics of “undetected” rapists – men who rape but who are never prosecuted, and the long term effects of childhood abuse in men. His research has been published in leading journals in psychology, trauma and violence, and he was the founding editor of the journal, Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

Lisak has served as faculty for the National Judicial Education Program and the American Prosecutors Research Institute. He conducts workshops and consults widely with universities, the U.S. military, and other institutions regarding sexual assault prevention and policies. He also serves as an expert witness in death penalty cases where issues of child abuse are pertinent.

This event is co-sponsored by the Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series, Student Government Association, Criminal Justice Department, and Psychology Department.

For a list of other ECCE Speakers Series events and more information, visit