Friday, February 27, 2009

Expanding Your Horizons encourages young women in math, science and technology

Expanding Your Horizons in Math, Science and Technology” – a hands-on conference designed specially for girls in sixth, seventh and eighth grades – will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield. Advance registration is required, and space is limited.

The event is presented by the American Association of University Women - Springfield Branch, and is sponsored by UIS and The Children’s Center, a Memorial Health System affiliate.

Many cutting-edge careers of the future will involve science, math and technology and will be wide open to well-prepared young women. Girls who attend this conference can choose three sessions from more than 20 hands-on, experiential workshops. Separate workshops for parents and teachers will be held concurrently.

Girls’ workshops will allow participants to interact with successful women who are scientists, physicians, engineers, architects and professionals in many other careers traditionally held by men. They will meet other girls with similar interests and learn about career opportunities for women in these fields.

A partial list of topics includes Online Businesses, Bone Engineering, At the Scene of a Crime, Space Walking, Green Architecture, Protecting the Earth with Ethanol and Digital Photography Editing.

The workshops for adults will provide essential information on how to encourage girls to take classes that will keep their options open as they approach college and choose careers. Topics for these sessions include Your Daughter’s Future – Too Important to Leave to Chance, Stress: How to Help Teens Cope and Be Healthy, and Tools for Planning for College…and Paying for It!

For a brochure and registration information, call 217/529-4165 or go to

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UIS presents educational series about 'Caring for Aging Family Members'

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Counseling Center and Gerontology Concentration in the Department of Human Services are presenting an educational series called “Caring for Aging Family Members.” Each session in the series is free and open to the public, and reservations are not required.

The purpose of the series is to provide information and support to individuals who are anticipating providing care or are currently caring for aging family members.

The first session will be held on Tuesday, February 24 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center (PAC), room G, on the UIS campus. Vince Flammini, director of Field Education in the UIS Social Work program, will speak on “Self-care isn’t Selfish! Caring for Others without Killing Ourselves.”

The second session of the series will be held on Tuesday, March 31 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the PAC, room H. Dr. John Miller, emeritus professor in psychology, will discuss “Positive Psychology of Aging.” The third session will be held on Tuesday, April 28 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the PAC, room H. Dr. Carolyn Peck, UIS associate professor of human services, will speak on “Death, Grief and Loss.”

Extensive caregiver resource information will be provided at each session. For more information, contact Dr. Carolyn Peck at 217/206-7577 or

Sunday Night Star Parties held for people with disabilities

The University of Illinois at Springfield is holding several Star Parties for people with disabilities throughout the spring in the UIS observatory, located at the top of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Star Parties are free, but reservations are required.

Weather permitting, the dates of the Star Parties include Sunday, March 8, Sunday, April 5, and Sunday, May 3. The events begin at 8 p.m. and will include a short presentation before the viewing. The featured objects for viewing will be the first-quarter moon and the ringed planet Saturn.

Sunday Star Parties are conducted by Charles Schweighauser and John Martin, UIS professors of astronomy and physics. The sessions use a telescope designed to give people with disabilities access to the sky.

The modified eight-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope at UIS uses a fixed eyepiece that brings the image to the viewer. This eyepiece can be moved backward and forward in its tube to be able to accommodate anyone from a large person in a high wheelchair to a child in the lowest, smallest wheelchair. The telescope is the first one of its kind in the world.

For more information or to make a reservation for a Sunday Star Party, contact Schweighauser at 206-6721 or

Political cartoonist visits UIS for exhibit, ECCE series and PAPS program

The University of Illinois at Springfield series Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS)will resume for the spring 2009 semester with an open discussion with syndicated columnist and political cartoonist Ted Rall on Friday, February 27 at 1 p.m. in the Visual Arts Gallery, located in Health and Sciences Building room 201 on the UIS campus.

Rall's collection of cartoons, called Search and Destroy, will be on display at the Visual Arts Gallery from Thursday, February 26 through Monday, March 23. He will also participated in an Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker’s Series artist’s talk in the Brookens Auditorium on Thursday, February 26 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. An opening reception will follow, including food and refreshments, in the gallery from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit and both events are free and open to the public.

Rall’s first cartoons were published in the Kettering-Oakwood (OH) Times. Inspired after meeting pop artist Keith Haring in a Manhattan subway station in 1986, Rall began posting his cartoons on New York City streets.

In 1991, Rall’s cartoons were signed for national syndication by San Francisco Chronicle Features, and later moved to Universal Press Syndicate. His cartoons now appear in more than 100 publications around the United States, including the Los Angeles Times, Tucson Weekly, Willamette Week, Newark Star-Ledger, Village Voice and The New York Times.

Rall considers himself a neo-traditionalist who uses a unique drawing style to revive the aggressive approach of Thomas Nast, who viewed editorial cartoons as a vehicle for change. His focus is on issues important to ordinary working people. His work comments on un- and under-employment, the environment and popular culture, and political and social trends.

During the PAPS event, Rall’s political cartoons will be on display in the gallery, followed by an open discussion with Rall about his cartoons.

Each month, Political Art and the Public Sphere will feature a showing or performance of some kind of “political art,” followed by a group discussion of the issues it raises. The basic idea behind PAPS is to consider how ‘art’ raises provocative social and political questions, noted Richard Gilman-Opalsky, coordinator of the series and professor of political philosophy at UIS.

“Public spheres are the places where people come together to communicate, to evaluate, and to circulate ideas and arguments,” Gilman-Opalsky said. “In the public sphere, people form a collective political opinion and will. Ultimately and ideally, the public sphere brings the interests and demands of the public to bear on those who hold power.”

For more information about this program or the PAPS series, contact Gilman-Opalsky by phone at 217/206-8328 or by e-mail at

For more information about the Visual Arts Gallery, go to or contact the gallery at 217/206-6506 or Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

UIS hosts three presentations for "Central Illinois: Patchwork of People" educational series

Central Illinois: Patchwork of People,” a thought-provoking three-session educational series examining the people and cultures that have influenced life in Central Illinois, will begin in March at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Sponsors are the UIS Alumni SAGE Society and the Illinois State Historical Society.

The series will begin on Tuesday, March 17, with “How Their Diversity Enriched Us.” Moderator of the series is UIS Alumnus William Furry, executive director of the Illinois State Historical Society. Featured speakers will be Kathryn Harris, director of library services at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, who will address “In Search of Freedom: African Americans in 19th Century Sangamon County.” Also speaking will be Rabbi Barry Marks of Temple Israel, Springfield, who will discuss “The Jewish Experience in Springfield.”

A hot buffet luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Public Affairs Center conference rooms C/D with the presentations from noon to 1:30 p.m. Lunch is $20 per person and must be paid for at least one week before the session, or $45 per person for all three lunches if reservations are paid for by Feb. 17. The presentations are free and open to the public, although those wishing to attend only the presentations are asked to pre-register.

To register or for more information, visit, or contact the Office of UIS Alumni Relations at 217/206-7395 or

The second program in the series on Tuesday, April 21, will focus on “How They Lived at Home.” Speakers will be Dr. Stacy Pratt McDermott, assistant editor of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, who will talk about “Domestic Law, Matrimony and Divorce in Sangamon County: 1837-1861.” Also speaking will be Dr. Stacey Robertson, director of Women’s Studies at Bradley University, Peoria, whose topic is “Myths and Realities in the Lives of Frontier Women.”

The final program, on Tuesday, May 19, will be on “How They Made a Living.” Speakers will be Taylor Pensoneau, retired president of the Illinois Coal Association and an Illinois author. His remarks are titled “Dreams, Hardship and Danger – The Lives of Central Illinois Coal Miners.” In addition, Dr. Debra Reid, associate professor of History at Eastern Illinois University, will discuss “Harvesting the Soil: Central Illinois Agricultural Practices.”

The series is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

Voices in Praise Choir to participate in Old State Capitol event

The Voices In Praise Choir (VIP) from the University of Illinois at Springfield will be one of eight to ten local choirs participating in the “Amazing Grace – A Time of Spirituals” event at the Old State Capitol on Saturday, February 7. The event will run all day with singing from the local choirs and a showing of the movie Amazing Grace, which details the ending of the slave trade in Europe through William Wilberforce.

The day will culminate with all of the choirs joining together at President Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb to sing “Amazing Grace.” The event commemorates Lincoln’s 200th birthday and celebrates the end of slavery.

The Voice in Praise Choir will perform at 11 a.m. at the Old State Capitol and will sing four pieces: “Down by the Riverside,” “Swing Low,” “Wade in the Water” and “Kum Ba Yah.”

The choir will also be performing the same selections at the Faith Temple AME Church during its annual Black History Month Breakfast on February 28 at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

9th annual Technology Day held at UIS

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host its ninth annual Technology Day from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18. The focus of this year’s program is “EnviroTech: Educational Technologies that Advance Sustainability.”

The day features demonstrations, discussions, and poster and breakout sessions led by members of the UIS academic community that highlight a variety of topics designed to showcase interesting and innovative ways that the campus is using technology in education.

All activities will be held on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS and are free and open to the public. Participants are welcome to attend some or all of the sessions.

Dr. Donald Spicer, associate vice chancellor for Information Technology and CIO at the University of Maryland, will deliver the keynote address at 11:30 a.m. in conference rooms C/D. Spicer’s topic is “IT’s Role in Campus Sustainability Efforts.”

Presentations and technology demonstrations will follow the keynote address and continue until 4:30 p.m. Topics include teaching and learning techniques, resources, services and other creative uses of technology.

UIS sponsors of the event include the Academic Technology Committee, Brookens Library, Information Technology Services, Office of Web Services and Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning.

Prizes and light refreshments will be provided. Additional details and information for guests with special needs are available by contacting Tulio Llosa, director of Educational Technology at UIS, at 206-7755 or by going to

Whitney Young program to showcase student fellows

The Whitney M. Young Graduate Fellowship Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will host a spring symposium to showcase the work of students who are current Fellows. The symposium will be held on Friday, February 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in conference room G in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The fellowship program is open to full-time students who are accepted into a graduate degree program at UIS and is designed to help students pursue and complete their degrees in a timely manner. The program also aims to enhance research and leadership skills through regular seminars and by involving students in public service projects that complement their academic disciplines.

The program is named after the late Whitney M. Young Jr., former Executive Director of the National Urban league, educator, and activist. The program carries on his legacy and is focused on graduate students who are underrepresented at UIS, including ethnic and racial minorities, first generation college students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

During the symposium, current Fellows of the program will speak about both academic and public service work they have done this year in the classroom and in the community. Students have been involved with projects this year that include mentoring school-age and college students and working with a variety of community organizations.

Light refreshments will be served at the event. Those interested in becoming part of the fellowship program are also encouraged to attend. For more information about the symposium or the fellowship program, contact Cecilia Cornell, director of the program, at 206-7430.

Monday, February 2, 2009

11th annual Springfield Collegiate Career Fair to be held at UIS

The career planning and placement offices of the University of Illinois at Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College, Robert Morris College and Springfield College in Illinois/Benedictine University will host the 11th annual Springfield Collegiate Career Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 19, in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. The primary audience for the free event is current students and alumni of the four participating institutions.

Representatives from approximately 100 area employers are expected to be on hand. A partial list of those already confirmed includes Archer Daniels Midland, Illinois workNet Center, and Scentsy.

Tammy Craig, director of the Career Development Center at UIS, noted, “This is the most high profile event held on campus for students who would like to talk with local and national businesses as well as agencies of the local, state and federal government. The professional atmosphere gives students the chance to make positive first impressions on company representatives.” Craig added that, in addition to searching for a job, students are encouraged to attend the fair for networking and gathering general information.

Beyond information about actual job openings, the fair is designed to provide an open information exchange about different organizations, hiring trends and the best routes to future opportunities. For potential employers, it is a chance to disseminate pertinent information and to develop a pool of candidates interested in future opportunities, internships and summer openings as well as permanent employment.

Information for students, alumni and others: Pre-registration is not required; business-casual attire is required and participants should bring copies of their resumes to the fair. UIS’ Career Development Center is also offering opportunities for advance preparation with several programs. “Career Fair Prep Expo: Making the Most of Career Fairs” will be held in the Public Affairs Center, across from the Food Emporium, on Thursday, February 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and on Friday, February 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Just In Time Career Fair Prep Workshop” is on Wednesday, February 11, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Career Development Center, Student Affairs Building 50, and a workshop on “Recession Proof Job Search Techniques,” sponsored by the University of Illinois Alumni Association, is on February 18, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Career Development Center.

For current UIS students and Career Development Center clients, a “Last Chance Resume Critique” will be held on Friday, February 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Career Development Center.

Information for employers: Advance registration is required. Free booth space will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is available online at For more information, contact the Career Development Center at 217/206-6508.

UIS’ Career Development Center is located in room 50 of the Student Affairs Building, phone 217/206-6508. An updated list of employers participating in the Career Fair, as well as the web-based programs UIS-SUCCESS and CareerSearch are available on the center’s website at