Wednesday, November 30, 2011

World AIDS Day panel to feature HIV positive individuals

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield will host an informational panel as part of World AIDS Day. The panel will feature HIV positive individuals, who will share their stories about living with the virus.

WHEN: Thurs., Dec. 1 from 4 to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Student Life Building (SLB) Multipurpose Room, located on the east side of the UIS campus. Parking is available in lot B, located next to SLB. A map of campus is available at

DETAILS: Worldwide, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death and disease for women 15-49. Of the 1 million people with HIV in the United States, 1 in 4 don't even know they have it and almost 70% of these living with HIV are people of color. Overall, 50% of all gay black men are HIV positive and 78% of all black women infected with HIV contract it through heterosexual contact.

Jonna Cooley, Ph.D., executive director of The Phoenix Center will serve as moderator of the panel. The Phoenix Center serves as Springfield's LGBTQ Community Center providing high quality HIV/AIDS prevention and education to the community as a whole.

The panel discussion is being sponsored by the UIS Diversity Center & LGBTQ Resource Office, the Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services, the Springfield Urban League, Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS, and The Phoenix Center.

For more information, contact Kerry Poynter, director of the UIS LGBTQ Resource Office at 217/206-8316 or email

Monday, November 28, 2011

UIS Lunch & Learn Series presents "Landscapes of Memory: The Civil War as Illinois History"

The University of Illinois Springfield Alumni SAGE Society will host “Landscapes of Memory: The Civil War as Illinois History” as part of its annual Lunch and Learn Series.

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 8 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: During the Civil War, the state of Illinois was a pivotal resource for war efforts. More than 250,000 Illinoisans served in the Union army. The state's geographic location, railroads and proximity to rivers made it ideal for housing military supplies and sites for important "brown water" navy yards. POW camps and prisons dotted the state, processing thousands of captive Confederate soldiers. Illinoisans such as Lincoln, Grant and Logan played prominent roles in the war.

Historians and authors Robert Girardi and Carl Volkmann will share perspectives on Civil War memorials and POW Camps in Illinois.

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 UIS Office of Alumni Relations at 217/206-7395 or email

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Auditions & crew interviews set for UIS Theatre's production of Sam Shepard's True West

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois Springfield will hold open auditions and crew interviews for the second production of its 2011-2012 season – Sam Shepard’s True West - on Thurs., Dec. 1 and Fri., Dec. 2 in the Visual and Performing Arts Building (VPA) Room 170, located the east side of the UIS campus. Parking is available in Lot A. Crew interviews begin at 6 p.m. on both nights; auditions begin at 7 p.m. on both nights.

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 for check-out at Brookens Library. The three available roles are Austin (an aspiring screenwriter), Saul (a Hollywood producer), and Lee & Austin’s mother. In this "Faculty Showcase" production, the role of Lee will be played by Associate Professor of Theatre, Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson.

Those interested in working on the production team (props, costumes, dramaturgy, running crew, sound or light board operator, assistant stage manager, etc.) will be asked to fill out a crew application form and meet briefly with the director.

True West explores the challenging and volatile relationship between brothers Austin and Lee, an unsavory drifter. Austin's attempt at creating his own screenplay to pitch to a Hollywood producer gets undermined by Lee's conman tactics, and the two brothers find themselves in a battle of wills with high stakes.

UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct. Production dates are Feb. 24-26 and March 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 $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens (65 or older with a picture I.D.), $8 for UIS Faculty/Staff and $6 for UIS students with a valid i-card. Please note that a $2 service charge, not included in the prices above, from Sangamon Auditorium will be added to each ticket price, at the time of purchase, for those who walk up to the UIS Ticket Office to buy their tickets. For those who buy over the phone with a credit card or buy online, an additional $3 is added (for a total of $5 as a service charge per ticket).

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Students invited to have "Chocolate with the Chancellor"

WHAT: University of Illinois Vice President and UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch, along with the UIS Student Government Association (SGA), will host the first-ever “Chocolate with the Chancellor” event.

WHEN: Wed., Nov. 30 from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.

WHERE: Lincoln Residence Hall Great Room

DETAILS: The forum will allow students to share their ideas and opinions with Chancellor Koch over FREE hot cocoa and cookies in an informal setting.

Koch hopes the forum will help to create an ongoing open exchange of ideas as she answers questions and addresses concerns. The idea is to make the campus’ top leader more available to students in a comfortable environment.

The forum is the result of a sit down meeting between SGA members and Chancellor Koch. For more information, contact Erin Wilson, SGA president by email at

Monday, November 14, 2011

International Student Festival celebrates cultural diversity

The University of Illinois Springfield celebrated its rich international and cultural diversity with an evening of exhibits, artistic performances, food tasting, and more on November 11, 2011.

It was all part of the 34th annual International Student Festival, the longest running student initiated festival on campus, which this year focused on the theme “Explore Folklore”.

“It draws people’s attention to the diversity that we do have around here. It’s not just a small community with one kind of person it’s actually a lot of variety different types of people with different backgrounds,” said Cassie Bernardi, UIS International Student Services graduate assistant.

The festival was not only open to students, faculty, and staff, but members of the Springfield community, who came to enjoy the traditional festival. International students also enjoyed sharing their culture and learning about others.

“We don’t get to see this back at home, so organizing this type of fest gives us new ideas and we can share our ideas,” said Sanjay Kumar, an international graduate student majoring in Management Information Systems.

The festival featured professional storytellers performing their craft as part of the folklore theme. Participants shared music and tales from around the globe during the cultural exchange.

For more information on services for International Students and programs, please visit

Thursday, November 10, 2011

UIS Assistant Professor of Visual Arts brings interactive Snapshots exhibition to campus

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Visual Arts Gallery proudly presents Snapshots, an exhibition of work by UIS Visual Arts Assistant Professor Shane Harris.

WHEN: The exhibition will be on display Nov. 10-Dec. 1, 2011. An opening reception will take place on Nov. 17 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: The UIS Visual Arts Gallery is centrally located on the UIS campus in the Health and Science Building, room 201 (HSB 201).

DETAILS: Shane Harris explores the concepts of play, intimacy and relationships with the exhibition Snapshots. This interactive installation offers the audience a rare opportunity to handle and play with a variety of small-scale sculptural pieces and create their own “snapshots”. The backdrop for this engaging visual playground will include digital prints and mixed media sculptures.

Harris, an Illinois native, has exhibited nationally and has received awards and acclaim for his work. He develops small-scale objects to communicate, on an emotional and personal level, with his viewers. “I use small scale to represent not only physical intimacy but emotional intimacy as well. I have always liked small objects that carry a powerful meaning,” said Harris. Harris partners his objects with digital images that he has staged, using his small-scale objects as subjects themselves. “Similar to the impact of looking at a photo album, which can evoke memories and feelings, looking at my abstract objects arranged in an intimate picture can also evoke or trigger an emotional response.” To learn more about Shane Harris and his work, visit his website at
The artist will be present throughout the opening reception to engage with the audience and to also present a brief artist talk that addresses his work and concepts. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on Snapshots and future exhibitions, please visit the UIS Visual Arts Gallery website at, or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or email:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scholarship Luncheon connects students and donors

The University of Illinois Springfield honored scholarship donors and gave them a chance to meet the students they support during an annual luncheon on Nov. 9, 2011.

Almost 250 people attended the celebration in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby, including senior Business Administration major Fred Jackson.

“You usually just see a name on a piece of paper and it’s actually nice to meet and get to talk to the donors,” said Jackson.

He would be paying off student loans for years if it were not for the Albert and Mozelle Narcisse Scholarship. The scholarship is one of more than 170 awards available to UIS students.

“It means a great deal. I don’t have to worry about paying for tuition or having to get a student loan,” he said.

Graduate student Holly Fowler was toying with the idea of returning to school before she applied for a scholarship.

“I applied for a scholarship and I got one, so I decided that was a good enough reason to remove some of that financial barrier and come back to school,” said Fowler.

The guest speakers at this year’s celebration were Carol and Clark Esarey, who recently established the Carrie Gibson Esarey and Dorthy Neland Scholarships for women and single mothers.

“There’s just no better way that we can think of to honor our mothers, who were both absolutely champions of education,” said Clark.

Associate Chancellor of Development Vicki Megginson announced a renewed scholarship push during the luncheon. As part of Access Illinois: The Presidential Scholarship Initiative a fund-matching program is being established. The University will work to match gifts and endowments and direct that money towards unrestricted scholarships.

“When one invests in a scholarship for students you’re not only investing in this student in this moment in time, but all of the things that student may become in their future,” said Megginson.

UIS Music program presents Fall Showcase Concert

WHAT: For a musical tour near and far, UIS students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend the UIS Music Fall Showcase Concert.

WHEN: Fri., Nov. 18, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

DETAILS: The event will feature music from a variety of countries, cultures and historical periods. Highlights include Egyptian and Celtic inspired pieces, Swahili language, sounds of October, German atonal music, and a song from Queen.

Sangamon Auditorium doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the evening music begins at 7:30. The performance is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

The Chorus, under the direction of Melinda Pitt Kaye, will open the Showcase with music of Christopher Tin: “Baba Yetu.”

Directed by Dr. Abigail Walsh, the Chamber Ensemble will perform selections including “Egyptian Legacy” by Soon Hee Newbold and “The Creation of Stonehenge” by Jeremy Woolstenhulme.

Finally, Dr. Walsh will lead the Band through selections including Eric Whitacre’s “October,” and Vasilij Agapkin’s "A Slavic Farewell."

Donations are welcome and will be used to benefit the UIS Music Student Merit Award. This year’s awards 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 Dr. Sharon Graf by emailing or calling 217/206-6240.

Monday, November 7, 2011

UIS host 34th annual International Student Festival

Join UIS students, faculty, and staff to share an evening of cultural exhibits, artistic performances, food tasting, and more.

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield presents the 34th Annual International Student Festival with the theme “Explore Folklore”.

WHEN: Friday, November 11, 2011 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Student Life Building (SLB), located on the east side of the UIS campus. Parking is available in lot B, located next to SLB. A map of campus is available at

DETAILS: For over 30 years the University of Illinois Springfield family has celebrated its rich international and cultural diversity with the annual International Festival. Friends from the greater Springfield community will be joining UIS students, faculty, and staff to share a day of cultural games and exhibits, artistic performances, food tasting, and more, all with the international flavor that you have come to expect over the years.

Again this year, in order to make the festival accessible to all, we are not charging admission. We will also have professional storytellers performing their craft to fully embrace the folklore theme. They will be luring us in with music and tales from cultures from around the globe.

Be sure to pick up a program as you enter, so that you can find your way to the exhibits, cuisine, and performances in which you are most interested. Plan to spend some time getting to know people you have never met before, literally from every part of our world!

For more information, contact the Office of International Student Services at 217/206-6678 or e-mail

Political Art and the Public Sphere presents "La Commune" film screening and discussion

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

WHEN: Monday, November 14, 2011 at 6 p.m.

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

DETAILS: “La Commune” was the name of the French revolutionary government established by the people of Paris in 1871. On March 17 and 18, Parisians led an uprising against the national government, which fled the capital and reestablished itself in Versailles. The radicals established a government in Paris that became known as the Commune of 1871, whose members were known as the Communards. Most Communards were followers of Louis Blanqui, a revolutionary held prisoner in Versailles by the head of the National Assembly. Other Communards supported the form of socialism expounded by the French philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Some were supporters of the ideas of Karl Marx.

In “La Commune”, we travel back in time to 1871. A journalist for Versailles Television broadcasts an “official” view of events while Commune Television is set up to provide the perspectives of the Paris rebels. On a stage-like set, more than 200 actors interpret characters of the Commune.

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 Peter Watkins. Watkins (born 1935) is an English film and television director. Watkins is known for his political statements about film and television media. 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.