Friday, February 28, 2020

Public invited to provide feedback to new UIS Innovation Center

WHAT:        The University of Illinois Springfield invites the public to attend an interactive input session about the new UIS Innovation Center and Springfield Innovation District in downtown Springfield.

WHEN:       5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, 2020

WHERE:      Innovate Springfield, 15 S. Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield

DETAILS:    The UIS Innovation Center was named the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a system of connected university-community-industry-based hubs throughout the state that will work together to drive innovation, economic development and workforce development across Illinois utilizing a combination of research, public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship and workforce training programs. Gov. JB Pritzker recently announced the release of funding for the IIN.

The goal of the UIS Innovation Center is to advance the regional economy by working with industry partners, government, civic organizations and other higher education institutions to build a robust and inclusive human capital and innovation pipeline.

After learning more about these endeavors, members of the public will have the opportunity to provide input and engage in small-group sessions with UIS faculty in the following focus areas: business incubation and acceleration, technology and research commercialization, social innovation, public policy research and workforce development and education.

Registration is limited. Members of the public who plan to attend are required to RSVP online at If you’re unable to attend, members of the public can also provide feedback at

For more information, contact Bruce Sommer, UIS director of economic development and innovation, at 217-899-3186 or

Thursday, February 20, 2020

UIS Speaker Series presents “Pleasure & Politics of Latino Popular Music” with author Frances Aparicio

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series will welcome Professor Frances Aparicio to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the University of Illinois Press “Latinos in the Chicago and Midwest Book Series.” Aparicio will discuss the history of the groundbreaking series and her own work on Latin music. This lecture and discussion are free and open to public.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday, March 2, 2020

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

DETAILS: Aparicio will introduce the audience to Latino music forms and the ways local music traditions have helped Puerto Ricans heal and grieve after Hurricane Maria. Through her books, she has explored the politics of sonic traditions, the construction of blackness and the role of women in popular music.

Aparicio is a professor emeritus of Spanish and Portuguese and was director of the Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University. She is an award-winning author of books including “Negotiating Latinidad: Intralatina/o Lives in Chicago” (University of Illinois Press 2019) and co-editor of various critical anthologies. A founding editor of the “Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest Book Series” at the University of Illinois Press, she has facilitated and fostered book publications and new research in this field.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Press, UIS Department of Sociology and Anthropology, UIS Department of Women and Gender Studies and the UIS Diversity Center.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217-206-6245 or in advance. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit

UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents “Convergence,” a solo exhibition by Associate Professor Shane Harris

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery presents “Convergence,” an exhibition of recent works by UIS Associate Professor of Visual Arts Shane Harris. The exhibit will open on Thursday, Feb. 27, and run through Thursday, April 9 and is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 in the Visual Arts Gallery.

“Convergence” presents new sculptural works that combine various technologies, such as 3D printing, vacuum forming, laser cutting and mold making -- along with additional various mixed media. Through the use of technology and combining it with mixed media, Harris further explores the background and the base on which a couplings of objects exist. The repetition of colors, textures, materials, and shapes that occur in both the background and couplings illustrate the concept that who we are and how we relate to our environment are connected. These objects, similar to people, have different personas depending on where they are and who they are with. In experimenting with the pieces and with the environments he placed them in, Harris discovered the personality of the objects changed depending on its context.

Harris will present an artist lecture from 12-1 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 in the Visual Arts Gallery. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Harris was born in DeKalb, Illinois. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in ceramics in 2003 and sculpture in 2004. He earned his master’s degree in fine arts from Indiana University in 2007.

His work has been displayed in national exhibitions including the Tampa Contemporary Museum of Art, Manifest Gallery, Kolva-Sullivan Gallery and the Archie Bray Gallery. He has work in private collections, such as the Kinsey Institute. His work has been published in “The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay” and “500 Sculptures.”

Harris is the recipient of the Windgate Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana and the University of Illinois Springfield College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Scholarly Enhancement Grant. At UIS, he teaches courses in ceramics, sculpture, 3-D design and professional skills.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, Room 201, and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

For more information, visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at or contact the gallery at 217-206-6506 or

Monday, February 17, 2020

UIS Lunch & Learn Series presents “Mysteries of the Past” exploring two historic archeological sites

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield’s Office of Advancement, Alumni SAGE Society and the Illinois State Historical Society presents an expert-led Lunch & Learn Series presentation on “Mysteries of the Past.” The discussion will explore the unearthing of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot site and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2020

WHERE: UIS Student Union Ballroom, 2251 Richard Wright Drive, Springfield

DETAILS: UIS student Katie Brethorst, a senior history major, will discuss her experience as an intern helping to unearth important historical artifacts from the site of the 1908 Springfield Race Riot, located along the 10th Street railroad tracks and Madison Street in Springfield.

William Iseminger, archaeologist, author and retired assistant site manager of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, will discuss the prehistoric mysteries of the largest, most complex archaeological site north of Mexico, considered America’s first city.

The cost for the hot buffet lunch and program is $25 per person. Reservations are requested, as seating is limited. The registration deadline is one week prior the event. A discounted subscription is available for $65 per person through Feb. 24 for those interested in attending all three spring Lunch & Learn sessions. The other sessions are “Architecture of Place and Sound” on April 9 and “Historic Settlements” on May 6.

These lunchtime programs aim to stimulate thinking as they build upon the University’s tradition of open and intelligent dialogue.

Visit to register online. For more information, contact the UIS Office of Advancement at 217-206-6058 or

Thursday, February 13, 2020

UIS, Junior League and United Way seek nominations for the 12th annual Good as Gold volunteer awards

The University of Illinois Springfield, Junior League of Springfield and the United Way of Central Illinois are seeking nominations for the 12th annual Good as Gold volunteer awards. The awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on April 20 in the UIS Student Union.

The awards recognize volunteers who use their time and talents to help improve the lives of others in the Springfield area. More than 40 awards will be given to Sangamon County community volunteers, organizations and businesses.

Individuals and organizations can be nominated in several categories including Heart of Gold, Youth Volunteer, Organization of the Year and Distinguished Volunteer. The ceremony will also recognize UIS and/or Lincoln Land Community College faculty/staff members and students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to service.

Businesses may apply for the Good as Gold Business Honor Roll. The honor roll recognizes businesses that have given back to our community thought direct service and charitable giving.

Event details, descriptions of the awards categories and the online nomination forms can be found on the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center website. The nomination deadline is March 1.

For more information, contact Jill Hawkins, UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center program director, at 217-206-8635 or

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

UIS Speaker Series explores slavery reparations in college as part of Black History Month

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series presents “College Students and Reparations: A Georgetown University Slavery Descendant’s Story” with speaker Melisande Short-Colomb.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, 2020

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

DETAILS: Melisande Short-Colomb was recently informed that two of her ancestors were two of the 272 enslaved people owned by the Jesuits of Georgetown University and sold in 1838 to keep the university afloat. The move paid down the crushing debt that threatened the school, but left a haunting question of reparations and restitution.

Granted legacy status, Short-Colomb enrolled at Georgetown at age 63 and joined other activist students in documenting the university’s slavery history, grappling with the question of reparations, organizing and voting for a semesterly restitution fee and debating how to best use the fees.

After sharing her remarkable story, which includes working as a professional chef and surviving Hurricane Katrina, Short-Colomb will lead a discussion on college students, alumni, a campus community and restitution.

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Diversity Center, Black Student Union, UIS Black History Month Academic Ad Hoc Committee, Brookens Library, Department of Political Science, Global Studies and the UIS Office of Access and Equal Opportunity.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217-206-6245 or in advance. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit

Thursday, February 6, 2020

UIS Speaker Series welcomes Cori Bush, candidate featured in award-winning film “Knock Down The House”

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series will welcome Cori Bush — one of four politicians featured in the award-winning documentary “Knock Down The House” — to discuss her experience, the goal of getting diverse voices into political office and why these voices matter. The documentary screening and discussion are free and open to the public.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, discussion follows screening

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

DETAILS: In 2018, an unprecedented election saw many incumbents face challenges from within their own parties by candidates from diverse backgrounds. The day after the U.S. presidential election, filmmaker Rachel Lear began work on her Sundance award-winning documentary, “Knock Down The House,” about the journeys of four women who entered politics to fight for justice: Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin and Amy Vilela. The film captures this pivotal moment in political history and conveys the importance of pursuing political office to advance social justice.

Featured speaker Cori Bush, a native St. Louisan, single parent, nurse, pastor, activist and organizer, emerged as a community leader on the frontlines of the Ferguson movement. In 2018, she received national recognition for her aspirational campaign that centered everyday people, as she sought to become the first black congresswoman from her state. Bush works to address problems in her community — including those that trace to racism, sexism, misogyny, inequality and corruption — to pursue justice, equality and equity for all.

This event is co-sponsored by the UIS New Voices in Racial Justice Series, the UIS Diversity Center, Women’s Center and Department of Philosophy.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217-206-6245 or in advance. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Prospective students are invited to Preview UIS on Feb. 17

The University of Illinois Springfield is hosting Preview UIS from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17 (Presidents Day). UIS was recently ranked the top public regional university in Illinois by U.S. News and World Report.

Prospective freshman, transfer, graduate, international and online students and their guests are welcome at the free event. All students may apply for admission to UIS free of charge for the summer and fall 2020 terms.

Attendees will meet UIS faculty, tour facilities, learn about academic programs, admission, financial aid and merit scholarships. The event will also highlight art programs, athletics, student groups and UIS’ commitment to student success.

Preview UIS will also offer resources for adult learners, spotlighting benefits, such as evening, online, and part-time classes; graduate certificates; family housing; teacher certification and educator endorsement options.

RSVPS are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Other upcoming Preview UIS days include Saturday, March 28 and Thursday, July 23.

For more information on Preview UIS or to RSVP, visit or call the UIS Office of Admission at 217-206-4847.