Friday, September 30, 2011

"Road to Reality" at UIS teaches students a lesson about driving drunk

A University of Illinois Springfield student is leading a push to educate high school and college students about the dangers of drinking and driving and texting behind the wheel.

Sophomore UIS Biology major Brandon Valerio organized the first ever “Road to Reality” at UIS. The event started with a party, followed by the mock car crash with EMS first responders rushing into action. Next, family members are shown visiting the deceased, which was followed by a mock trial of the teenage drunk driver.

“You can have people come talk to you about it and they can try and say drunken driving is bad, but until you see it first hand for yourself it really doesn’t impact you all the much,” said Valerio.

He’s hoping “Road to Reality” can help change that by sending a strong message to young adults about getting behind the wheel drunk.

For Gillespie High School student Alexis Burns, drunken driving hits close to home. A drunken driver killed her uncle. That’s one of the reasons why she decided to volunteer as an actor for the mock crash.

“I think it’s important to get the message across because the consequences really are there,” she said.

A number of high school and UIS student volunteers helped play the part of victims. Participants also got to hear from Danny Hicks, a real DUI crash survivor.

“I just really hope this drives home the message that really awful things will happen if you drive drunk,” said John Stewart, a freshman UIS International Studies major who volunteered.

Valerio plans to continue his push to stop teens from getting behind the wheel drunk and hopes students leave thinking about the painful images they witnessed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

UIS hosts "Road to Reality" to teach high school students about drunken driving and texting

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Counseling Center is co-sponsoring a “Road to Reality” mock car crash and courtroom trial for students at four local high schools. The goal is to educate students about the consequences of driving drunk and texting, before homecoming.

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: The event will start in the University Hall (UHB) lobby on the UIS campus and feature scenes throughout the lower level of the building. The mock crash will take place in front of Lincoln Residence Hall (LRH), on Vachel Lindsay Drive. Scenes will continue inside LRH, before returning to UHB.

DETAILS: Groups of participants will walk through different scenes, highlighting a bad decision to drink or text while driving. The event starts with a party, followed by the mock car crash with EMS first responders rushing into action. Next, family members are shown visiting the deceased, which is followed by a mock trial of the teenage drunk driver.

Students from Gillespie, Sacred Heart-Griffin, Springfield Southeast, and Riverton High Schools are expected to attend, with a number of high school and UIS students serving as actors and volunteers. Danny Hicks, a DUI crash survivor will also speak to the students. Following the event, an information fair featuring insurance and healthcare agencies will take place.

“Road to Reality” is being organized by UIS student Brandon Valerio, a Gillespie High School alumnus. Other participants include Valerie Gebhardt, UIS alcohol & drug prevention coordinator and members of Gillespie High School’s MPACT’D (Miners Preparing And Caring for Teen Driving), as well as local first responders from the UIS Police Department.

This event is also open to all UIS faculty, staff, and students. Members of the general public who wish to attend should contact Brandon Valerio at 217/899-0739 prior to the event.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents artist Helen Hiebert as part of the citywide "Partners on Paper" exhibit

The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery presents paper artist Helen Hiebert as part of the citywide exhibition “Partners on Paper”, hosted in collaboration with the Illinois State Museum, the Prairie Art Alliance, the Springfield Art Association and Robert Morris College.

The exhibition will take place Oct. 3–Nov. 3 in the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building (HSB 201). Gallery hours are Mon.-Thurs. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A reception will be held on Oct. 21 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the gallery. A workshop featuring Hiebert will take place at the Springfield Art Association (700 N. 4th St., Springfield) on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hiebert’s work explores all aspects of paper, testing its strength both symbolically and physically. In 2008, Hiebert produced the film, Water Paper Time, detailing her sculptural uses of paper. She is the author of three books on papermaking, has produced commercially successful decorative paper lamps and teaches papermaking classes at her studio in Portland, Oregon.

This show will feature her celebrated work, The Mother Tree. She first exhibited the life-size handmade paper dress in 2010 as part of the Portland Building's Installation Space program funded by the Oregon Regional Arts & Culture Council. Single strands of crocheted thread extend from the bodice of the dress; as the strands cascade to the floor they turn into roots, symbolizing the mother as a provider and nurturer.

For more information contact the gallery at 217/206-6506 or email Find the gallery online at or visit the Partners on Paper Website/Blog at

Speakers Series presents "Adam's Gift"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents a discussion with Jimmy Creech. The event, entitled “Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy The Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays”, is part of Queertober LGBTQ Awareness Month at UIS.

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Public Affairs Center (PAC), Conference Rooms C/D, on the lower level

DETAILS: Jimmy Creech, a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay, and that he was leaving The United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” could not be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.

Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.

The event includes a question/answer session discussion, opening remarks from Chancellor Susan Koch, book signing and catered reception. Students must attend the presentation and discussion to receive credit for this event.

This event is co-sponsored by the UIS LGBTQA Resource Office, UIS Office of Undergraduate Education, Student Government Association, and Diversity Center. For a list of other Speakers Series events, visit For a list of other Queertober events, visit

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Karl Scroggin wins 2011 CARE Award

Karl Scroggin, broadcast music specialist for WUIS radio, was honored with the 2011 Chancellor’s Award to Recognize Excellence in Civil Service during a September 22, 2011 luncheon.

Chancellor Susan J. Koch presented Scroggin with the award. Scroggin’s nomination form describes him as someone who is committed to his audience and the university. His nominator went on to say he works with “passion and zest” and “brings an optimistic attitude to the work environment.”

Scroggins has worked for WUIS since 1977 and is the host of “Classics with Karl Scroggin”, which can be heard Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Scroggin is known for his baritone voice, quiet demeanor, and widespread respect throughout the classical music community.

The award was handed out as part of the 5th annual Civil Service Appreciation Day, which honors the approximately 320 civil service employees at UIS for all of their hard work and dedication. This year’s celebration included a variety of door prize drawings.

In a special recognition during the event, the Staff Scholarship at UIS was renamed in memory of Mike Love. Love was a former UIS employee who was very passionate about the scholarship. Love’s family was presented with a special plaque of recognition. The Staff Scholarship was started in 1995. A total of 23 people have received the scholarship, with a total payout of $27,000.

Other Civil Service employees nominated for the award include:

Brenda Allan, Administrative Clerk, Center for State Policy and Leadership
Lori Atkinson, Admissions and Records Officer, Admissions
Amanda Baughman, Police Officer, Campus Police
Steve Dykema, TV Director/Producer, Office of Electronic Media
Patti Forgas, Customer Service Representative, OBFS
Sue Gibbons, Press Technician Assistant, Service Enterprises
Grant Johnson, Event Administrator, Conference Services
Brian Kroenlein, Catering Supervisor, Food Services
Charlene Lambert, Administrative Assistant I, Office of the Chancellor
Steve Marvel, Building Services Supervisor, Building Services
Normajean Niebur, Office Support Specialist, Criminal Justice
Lori Pinney, Human Resources Assistant, Human Resources
Marcia Rossi, Office Administrator, Library Administration
Patricia Ruestman, Office Support Specialist, Development
Bev Weddle, Office Administrator, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The winner of the CARE award receives $500, plus a $500 donation made to the campus organization of his or her choice.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lunch & Learn presents "Landscapes of the Public: Jens Jensen - Native Landscape Architecture"

The University of Illinois Springfield Alumni SAGE Society will host “Landscapes of the Public: Jens Jensen – Native Landscape Architecture” as part of its annual Lunch and Learn Series.

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 27 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: Jens Jensen was one of the most influential designers to popularize native gardens. He showed that beautiful gardens can have native species, and appear in their respective places as they would without human integration or involvement. Jensen summed up his philosophy by saying: "Every Plant has fitness and must be placed in its proper surroundings so as to bring out its full beauty. Therein lies the art of landscaping". His legacy can be seen today in major parks in Chicago and at Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield.

Sue Massie, a 35+ year veteran of landscape architecture, preservation and restoration, and Jim Matheis, a 30+ year veteran and current executive director of Lincoln Memorial Gardens, will discuss Jensen’s work.

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.

Other upcoming Lunch & Learn events include “Landscapes of the Judicial System: Conviction - Guilty or Innocent?” on Oct. 28 and “Landscapes of Memory: The Civil War as Illinois History” on Dec. 8. A discounted series subscription is available for $35/person.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ECCE presents "Latinas and Latinos in Illinois and the Midwest"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents a discussion entitled “Latinas and Latinos in Illinois and the Midwest: Demographics and Transformations” as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 at 7 p.m.

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

DETAILS: Now that the Census 2010 results are in, we know that there are more Latinas/os in more parts of the United States than previously estimated. What impact is this demographic shift having on society, economics, and politics in the Midwest and Illinois? We will learn about the social transformations generated by the largest minority group today (16% of the U.S. and Illinois populations) from Jorge Chapa.

Dr. Chapa, born in Monterrey, Mexico and raised in Chicago, is a Professor of Government & Public Affairs, Sociology and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and coauthor of Apple Pie and Enchiladas: Latino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest. He also served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Director of the Graduate Opportunity Program at UT Austin. In the first three years of his appointment, the proportion of Latinos entering graduate programs increased by 25% and the African American proportion increased 15%. In the fourth year, the Hopwood decision ended race-conscious affirmative action in Texas. In response, he along with other professors and legislators formulated the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan.

Chapa received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology as well as his M.A. in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley. He has scores of publications reflecting his research focus on policy issues pertaining to Latinos and other groups with low incomes and educational levels. Apple Pie and Enchiladas was nominated for the Senior Book Award of the American Ethnological Society.

This event is co-sponsored by the Sociology/Anthropology Department & the UIS Organization of Latin American Students. For a list of other Speakers Series events, visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

PAPS presents "The War Game" film screening and discussion

WHAT: The Political Art and the Public Sphere (PAPS) series presents a screening of the film “The War Game”, which will be followed by a group discussion.

WHEN: Monday, September 19, 2011 at 6 p.m.

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

DETAILS: Banned by the BBC for being too disturbing, Peter Watkins’ documentary-style drama imagines the devastating effects of a nuclear attack on a small town in England, “collateral damage” from an all-out war between the USSR and the United States. Despite being a work of fiction, the film won the 1967 Best Documentary Oscar. Written, directed, and produced by Peter Watkins for the BBC, it caused controversy within the BBC and the British government and was withdrawn from television transmission in 1965. The Corporation said that “the effect of the film has been judged by the BBC to be too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting.” It wasn’t shown on British television until 1985.

Peter Watkins (born 1935) is an English film and television director. Watkins is known for his political statements about film and television media. He has written extensively about problems in television news and the dominance of the Hollywood style he refers to as “the monoform.”

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 an hour or two of group discussion. Each of the three installments in the fall 2011 series will focus on the works of Peter Watkins, providing a forum for discussing his political content and methods. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky, professor of Political Philosophy at or 217/206-8328.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bullying Not @ UIS program kicks off with screening of "Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Diversity Center will kick off a new Bullying Not @ UIS program with a screening of “Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness”. The film documents the story of a town standing together to take action after a hate crime killing devastates their community.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 from 7 to 9 p.m.

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

DETAILS: The documentary addresses the growing problem of anti-immigrant violence in communities nationwide. Filmed over a two-year period, the documentary follows a New York mayor, a murder victim’s brother, diverse community leaders, residents and students as they openly address the underlying causes of the violence, work to heal divisions and initiate ongoing action to ensure everyone in their village will be safe and respected.

UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch will deliver opening remarks. A panel discussion will follow the screening featuring James Korte, UIS dean of students; Deanie Brown, UIS associate chancellor for Access and Equal Opportunity; Dr. Juanita Ortiz, UIS assistant professor of criminal justice; and Sandy Robinson, director of community relations for the City of Springfield. Representatives from the UIS Organization of Latin American Students and UIS Police Department will also take part. The forum will be moderated by Dr. Tim Barnett, UIS vice chancellor for student affairs.

The Bullying Not @ UIS program is designed to educate students, faculty, and staff to report bullying in all its forms: harassment, discrimination, singling out, hounding, and hazing. The Diversity Center will provide monthly discussions on bullying as part of the campaign.

“Light in the Darkness” is the third PBS special from the “Not In Our Town” project and will debut Wed., Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. CT on PBS (check local listings). The film is narrated by Alfre Woodard.

For more information, please contact Dr. Clarice Ford or Jeannie Capranica at the UIS Diversity Center at 217/206-6584.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Speakers Series presents "Cultural Identity and Pride"

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents a lecture entitled “Cultural Identity and Pride” as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. The event will feature nationally known motivational speaker, educator, and poet Carlos Ojeda, Jr., who will share his personal story.

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 at 7 p.m.

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

DETAILS: Dubbed one of the most dynamic speakers under thirty in America today, Carlos Ojeda extends the touch of mere spoken words, to transform them into powerful thought-provoking, emotionally charged commentaries about life, education and society. His lectures represent a model of transformational leadership throughout the community, speaking on issues of education, empowerment, and progress.

Ojeda’s life began in the streets of Newark, New Jersey and later to Reading, Pennsylvania where his immigrant parents saw opportunities for themselves and for their first generation Puerto Rican children. Not understanding his social, economic and cultural background, many of his high school teachers told him he would never amount to anything. One teacher once called him, “the greatest piece of garbage he had ever seen.” Yet his drive, passion and dreams led him to overcome those obstacles and pursue a career of life learning and educational success, being the first person in his family to graduate from college with honors. His experiences have led him to always remind Latino youth to, “never, ever, ever let anyone tell you who you are or what you will become. That’s your destiny to fulfill, no one else’s.” For more information, visit

This event is co-sponsored by the Organization of Latin America Students at UIS. For more information and a list of other Speakers Series events, visit or contact Kimberly Craig at 217/206-6245 or

Thursday, September 1, 2011

UIS partners with U.S. Department of Homeland Security to host Cyber Citizen Forum

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Computer Science Department, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is hosting a Cyber Citizen Forum. The general public is encouraged to attend the free event, which is designed to educate participants about cyber security.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 from 6 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: University Hall Building (UHB), Room 2034, on the second floor

DETAILS: The Cyber Citizen Forum is being held as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s national cyber security awareness campaign- Stop.Think.Connect™. The forum will bring together representatives from federal agencies, state government and private sector security companies. UIS faculty and students will help lead a discussion on the challenges and opportunities we face today when it comes to Internet safety.

The forum is designed to educate the public about measure they can take to protect themselves against cyber-attack. Discussion will also focus on preparing the next generation to defend against cyber-attack at home and in the workplace.

Speakers taking part in the UIS event include Timothy Fraser, director of Stop.Think.Connect.; Rafael Diaz, chief information security officer for the State of Illinois Bureau of Communication & Computer Services; and UIS Computer Science faculty members Janis Rose and Sviatoslav Braynov.

For more information, contact Ted Mims, chair of the UIS Computer Science Department at 217/206-7326 or email

Record numbers for "Foot in the Door" Fair

A record number of employers attended the University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center’s “Foot in the Door” Fair on September 1, 2011. More than 80 businesses and groups offering full and part-time jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities took part.

“Our attendance levels keep going up and up every year and that just shows that our students are very, very motivated. They know what they need to do in order to be prepared and competitive when they graduate,” said Tammy Craig, director of the UIS Career Development Center.

Senior Psychology Major Kayla Long came to the fair looking for a part-time job in childcare or education. She was also looking for a job for her husband, who recently graduated from college.

“It is so hard to find a job in this economy,” said Long. “It’s just very stressful, so to have everything kind of all set up in one location is really, really nice.”

Other students, like Masters of Public Administration major Anthony Raffety, are also feeling the impact of a down economy.

“It’s nice to be able to actually talk to someone and not just go online and fill out an application and not hear from them again,” said Raffety.

While some students came to the fair looking for paid work, others like Rashonda Williams, were looking for an internship.

“I’ve gotten a few contacts and did some networking, so I think I’ll definitely be successful after leaving this fair,” said Williams, a senior Social Work major.

Craig encourages students to take advantage of internships because they can lead to better opportunities.

“It’s the best way to get experience, so you can get a paid position. It’s also a way for you to really explore what your areas of interest are,” said Craig.