Thursday, August 30, 2012

Annual Involvement Expo helps connect students

The University of Illinois Springfield hosted its annual Welcome Week Involvement Expo in an effort to get students active on August 29, 2012. The expo featured over 100 student organizations, clubs, community groups, and businesses.

“It’s kind of a one-stop shop where they can see what’s all around campus and really find where they fit in,” said Travis Lister, Involvement Expo coordinator.

Freshman English major Grace Latimore came to the expo looking to get involved. She’s not only looking to meet new friends, but gain valuable experience.

“I know college is all what you make it,” said Latimore. “I really want to get involved in a bunch of different groups and activities and just make these next four years special.”

Getting involved has paid off for seniors, such as psychology major Wesley Hill. He came to the Involvement Expo last year and is now president of the Psychology Club.

“It’s a great way to meet people. It’s a great way to do activities that will look good on a resume for the future,” said Hill.

Many students left the event with new found interests and their names on email mailing lists.

“Hopefully I’ll get some information and I can get involved as soon as possible,” said Latimore.

Popular UIS Friday Night Star Parties resume

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Friday Night Star Parties will resume the Friday after Labor Day and run through the end of October. Those dates include: September 7, 14, 21, and 28 and October 5, 12, 19, and 26. Friday Night Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m., weather permitting, at the UIS observatory on the roof of Brookens Library.

Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, assistant professor of Astronomy/Physics. The observatory’s telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including the Moon, when visible; the Ring Nebula; globular star clusters M13 and M15; and other double stars and star clusters.

A typical Star Party begins with a presentation as visitors ascend the stairs to the observatory, learning about galaxies, the sun and stars along the way. On the roof observation deck visitors are invited to view the skies through telescopes and ask questions. Participants are welcome to arrive and leave as they wish between 8 and 10 p.m.

Friday Night Star Parties are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required and groups are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the campus observatory is located outside Brookens Library on the southeast corner of the building.

Star Parties may be canceled for cloudy weather. Questions about whether the weather is suitable for viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 at 7 p.m. on the evening of the Star Party. For more information on Star Parties, email John Martin at or visit

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UIS students to help three Springfield groups during annual Welcome Week Service-A-Thon

The University of Illinois Springfield Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center is hosting a Welcome Week Service-A-Thon to give students a chance to learn about service and give back to the community.

Students can choose to work various shifts throughout the day on Friday, August 31 in Springfield. This year the project will benefit three local organizations: Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County, Springfield School District 186’s AVID tutoring program, and Hospital Sister’s Mission Outreach.
  • Students working with Habitat will help prepare and build a house located on North 5th Street, a block South of North Grand Ave., in Springfield. They will also spend time at the Habitat ReStore (1514 W. Jefferson St., Springfield) helping organize and prepare resalable items.
  • AVID tutoring program volunteers will be aiding teachers in 4 schools (Southeast, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington), as they prepare the students and the materials required for the students to be successful in the AVID program.
  • Students working at Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach (4849 Laverna Rd., Springfield) will be sorting medical supplies for shipment to places worldwide that are in need of specific supplies.
Each project falls under one of the UIS Volunteer &Civic Engagement Center’s areas of priority (Habitat – Hunger and Homelessness, AVID – youth and education, and Mission Outreach – public health).

Media covering the Service-A-Thon should call Derek Schnapp, director of Public Relations, on Aug. 31 to confirm locations and times at 217/206-6716.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nationally recognized artist and curator Claire Hedden presents Vignettes at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery presents Vignettes, a collection of sculptural works from Claire Hedden, a nationally known artist and Curator for the Mclean County Arts Center in Bloomington, Ill. An opening reception, that includes a brief artist talk, will take place on Thursday, September 6, 2012 from 5:30-8 p.m. in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery.

Claire Hedden offers three-dimensional works that are, at once, intriguing, provocative, and charming. While the primary material-focus of her work is clay, Hedden incorporates a variety of materials into her work, among them wood, fabric, cardboard, and foam. She develops often ambiguous - yet familiar - forms, which reference time, place, and transition in an effort to mine a range of emotional potential.

“My work captures and animates liminal moments revealing a world in which objects, beings, emotions, and place are interconnected and in flux. Each sculpture’s form is an adaptation or challenge to its surroundings expressing a range of emotions like defeat, defiance, risk, or hope,” says Hedden.

Her careful selection of materials is deliberate and essential to the success of her work, as is her keen awareness of space.

“I utilize wood furniture or construction lumber supportively to provide context of domesticity or landscape,” says Hadden. “Cardboard, fabric, and foam add softness and counteract the density of the wood and clay while referring obliquely to their domestic roles. By interworking these materials, a dialogue emerges portraying physical and metaphorical spaces in our lives.”

Vignettes will open at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery on Monday, August 27, and will run through Thursday, September 27. The September 6 opening reception is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. To learn more about Claire Hedden and her work, visit her website at

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on Vignettes and future exhibitions, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery at 217/206-6506 or

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Freshmen Move-In Day at UIS

Extra: View photos from Freshmen Move-In Day

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed approximately 275 new students and their parents during Freshmen Move-In Day on August 22, 2012.

“It’s pretty great. Everyone is really helpful,” said Conor Dixon, a freshman moving into Founders Residence Hall.

Dozens of volunteers from the UIS Christian Student Fellowship (CSF), leadership retreat participants, members of the UIS soccer and volleyball teams, and other groups helped with the move-in process.

“It’s a lot smoother here than at bigger universities,” said Ryan McKanna, a resident assistant (RA). “(Bigger schools) just don’t have the manpower to help move everyone in.”

Students were assigned arrival times in an effort to avoid headaches and congestion. Volunteers helped direct parents to parking spaces, helped unload and carry items, and led students to their new rooms.

“UIS is a really nice-sized place, but also has certainly all the big time elements that I think a kid needs in college,” said Dave Anderson, a parent. 

Anderson’s daughter, Erin, picked UIS because of it’s right-size and the biology program was a perfect fit.

Chancellor Susan J. Koch greeted many of the students and their parents as they began the move-in process. She left them with some advice.

“My first piece of advice is to go to class,” said Koch. “Go to class everyday. Don’t miss any classes because that is really the first sign of success.”

The second piece of advice, “get out there” and explore campus. Sign up for student clubs and organizations and become involved.

“You should get out there except, of course, if you have an exam you need to study for, then you should stay and study,” said Koch.

Following the move, parents and students enjoyed a “Welcome BBQ” and a variety of other fun and entertaining events. Fall Semester classes at UIS begin on Monday, August 27.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Auditions set for UIS Theatre's fall production of Tartuffe by Molière

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois Springfield will hold open auditions and crew interviews for the first production of its 2012-2013 season – Molière’s Tartuffe - on Tues., Sept. 4 and Wed., Sept. 5. Crew interviews start at 6 p.m. and acting auditions start at 7 p.m. both nights in the Studio Theatre, located on level one of the Public Affairs Center at UIS. Call-backs will be at 7 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 6.

Auditions are open to students, staff, faculty, and community members with or without experience. Auditions will consist of “cold readings” from the script; prepared monologues are welcome, but not mandatory. Resumes are appreciated, but are not required. Scripts are available to anyone for 3-day check-out at the Brookens Library circulation/reserves desk. Those interested in working on a crew (running crew, costumes, props, stage management) will be asked to fill out a crew application form and meet briefly with the production staff.

Moliere's 17th century comedy is brought to light in a contemporary translation by Ranjit Bolt. The play, subtitled, “The Hypocrite,” focuses on a religious fraud, Tartuffe, who slyly dupes a wealthy merchant, Orgon, into signing over his estate, and even his daughter, to Tartuffe. Orgon’s family readily recognizes Tartuffe’s unscrupulous behavior, and Orgon’s refusal to acknowledge Tartuffe’s fraud creates much of the comedy. Twice banned in the 17th century as sacrilegious, Moliere repeatedly petitioned Louis XIV, who finally allowed the play to be performed in 1669. Tartuffe has continued to gain popularity and relevance ever since. UIS Associate Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

Production dates are Oct. 26-28 and Nov. 1-3, 2012. The curtain time for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night shows is 7:30 p.m. with the Sunday performance starting at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens (65 or older with a picture I.D.), $10 for UIS Faculty/Staff and $8 for UIS students (and all other college-level students) with a valid, current i-card or college I.D. card. Please note that a service charge, not included in the prices above, from Sangamon Auditorium will be added to each ticket price, at the time of purchase. To avoid a higher service charge, buying tickets in person at the Sangamon Auditorium ticket office is highly recommended.

For more information about auditions, the play, or helping behind the scenes, contact Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-8307 or You may also visit the Theatre Program’s website at

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

View the Perseid Meteor Shower at Emiquon

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and the Dickson Mounds Museum will host a lecture and live viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower on Sunday, August 12, 2012 at the Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown, Ill.

The lecture, “Meteor Showers Bringing Visitors from Outer Space”, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Dickson Mounds Museum, located at 10956 North Dickson Mounds Road. The talk is free and open to the public. It will occur rain or shine. The lecture will be given by John Martin, UIS professor of astronomy and physics, who will explain the origin and physics that cause the celestial fireworks show known as the Perseid Meteor Shower.

“On a typical dark night you can see about five or six meteors streak across the sky each hour,” explains Martin. “In August, the Earth will pass through a trail of debris left behind comet Swift-Tuttle. During that passage we will see the frequency of these visitors from beyond the Earth increase markedly during the Perseid Meteor Shower.”

Following the lecture, a Star Party will begin at 9 p.m. at the Lakeside Observatory on Emiquon’s Thompson Lake. Professor Martin will give a guided tour of the night sky and the Sangamon Astronomical Society will share views of the sky through their telescopes. Visitors are advised to dress appropriately for being outdoors and encouraged to bring binoculars and lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. In the event of an overcast sky on August 12, the event will be cancelled. Participants may call Martin at 217/206-8342 after 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 12 for weather information.

UIS’ Therkildsen Field Station is at The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve, located between Havana, Ill. and Lewistown, Ill. near the Dickson Mounds Museum. The program is free and open to the public; reservations are not required. The Thompson Lake landing is located directly off the east side of Illinois Rts. 97/78, approximately half a mile north of the Dickson Mounds turnoff. A sign will be posted at the turnoff. A map is also available online at

Everyone entering the property will be asked to sign a liability waiver. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult and must have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

For more information, contact John Martin at 217/206-8342 or