The Wizard’s Nook: Session 2

Teacher, Counselor and Administrator Approvals

As you might expect, there are very strict requirements for any institution which prepares future teachers, counselors or administrators.  The programs must initially present comprehensive proposals that include course offerings, faculty qualifications and how they will meet state standards.

In Illinois, this very important oversight role is provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) through meetings of the State Educator Preparation Licensing Boards (SEPLB).  This conscientious group carefully reviews new program proposals, approving, modifying or denying as appropriate.  After an initial approval, programs submit annual reports describing program enrollment, faculty, program changes and test results.  These reports are also reviewed by SEPLB at their monthly meetings.  Continue reading

The Wizard’s Nook: Session 1

Hogwarts has Harry Potter. The Jedi have Yoda. King Arthur had Merlin.  The list of Wizards and the like throughout literature, pop culture, and cinema is never-ending.  They all have unique characteristics that set them apart but  all have one common attribute; making meaning out of the meaningless.

In the College of Education and Human Services, slumbers possibly the most magical wizard of all…the DATA WIZARD!  Dr. Nancy Barrett, the Assessment and Accreditation Officer of the College has long been manipulating statistics to satisfy the needs of accreditation bodies and reporting agencies.

But what does that all mean???  Very few of us understand what actually comprises assessment and accreditation when it comes to our educational programs.  Now we have a resource to learn from.

Every couple weeks the Data Wizard (a.k.a Nancy Barrett) will spell out (no pun intended) the terminology and help us understand the purpose and uses of data in the world of accreditation and assessment.  Read on for Session 1! Continue reading

Sigma Phi Omega Recognizes 3

Charlon Thomas, Clarissa Shea, Sarah McCoy, Dr. Carolyn Peck pose for picture after SPO initiation ceremony

L to R: Charlon Thomas, Clarissa Shea,
Sarah McCoy, Dr. Carolyn Peck

The UIS campus was quiet on just another Friday evening but inside the PAC Restaurant tables were being set and a delicious aroma filled the air.  It was October 28, 2016 and the UIS Sigma Phi Omega (SPO) Eta Chapter was preparing to add to its ranks with the induction of three new members; Sarah McCoy, Clarissa Shea, and Charlon Thomas.

Ruth Bixby and Dr. Carolyn Peck speak to attendees at the Sigma Phi Omega Ceremony

L to R: Ruth Bixby, SPO Alumni,
Dr. Carolyn Peck, Human Services Department, Chair

During this invitation only ceremony and dinner, Dr. Carolyn Peck, Associate Professor of Gerontology and Department Chair for the Human Services Department at UIS, along with Ruth Bixby, SPO alumni, charged the highly deserving students with their duties and presented them with their certificates and pins.  Esteemed colleagues and family members watched on as the background of the inductees was shared.

Sarah McCoy, a Program Service Specialist at SIU School of Medicine, is no newcomer to being acknowledged.  She was awarded with the Harbinger of Goodwill Award in May 2016.  A graduate of the UIS Bachelor’s of Social Work program, Sarah intends on pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work in addition to her current pursuit of a Master of Arts in Human Services, Gerontology concentration.

Clarissa Shea, an Admissions Counselor at UIS, was driven to pursue studies in Gerontology from a close and significant relationship with her grandparents.  She has hopes of becoming an Ombudsmen in the future, in order to advocate for elderly living in facilities such as assisted living and nursing homes.

Charlon Thomas, a United States Air Force veteran, currently is employed as a Medical Assistance Consultant II with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  She is the first person to earn a college degree in her family and plans to pursue a career in social services and as an advocate for those with disabilities and in the prevention of elder abuse.

Sigma Phi Omega, is one national Gerontology Honor Society, recognizes those studying aging and serving with and on behalf of the older population.  The organization has been in existence for over 30 years, internationally, and has been a part of the UIS community since 1981.


Kappa Delta Pi Initiates 7

Group photo of Kappa Delta Pi members, Dean Hanfu Mi, Claudia Pitchford and Dr. Ronda Mitchell

From L to R: Claudia Pitchford, Holly Earhart, Makinzie Yoho, Dr. Ronda Mitchell, Dr. Hanfu Mi, Thomas Kollmann, Samantha Missey, James Shamp and Roberta Kubik

The teaching profession is soon to grow as the UIS Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) Honor Society initiated seven new members during a ceremony held on October 22, 2016.

Family, faculty and staff looked onward as Dr. Ronda Mitchell, Makinzie Yoho and Holly Earhart, KDP Advisor, President and Vice President respectively, swore in the standout students: Nicole Barney, Thomas Kollmann, Katlyn Krones, Roberta Kubik, Samantha Missey, James Shamp and Allie Wright.

Prior to the initiation, the attendees were treated to an engaging and entertaining presentation from Keynote Speaker Kim Thomas, the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year.  The energy and passion for teaching engulfed the room as even those not pursuing a career in the profession were inspired.  It was obvious that the members of Kappa Delta Pi were taking mental and physical notes to fill the coffers of their teaching repertoires.  Ms. Thomas strutted around the room in her high heels doing horizontal kicks and creating positive parabolas on the faces of those in attendance.  The wealth of knowledge being shared was nearly overwhelming as the Teacher of the Year shared inspirational stories, hilarious quips and invaluable tips.

Kim Thomas is a math teacher at Woodruff Career and Technical Academy in

Kim Thomas, Illinois Teacher of the Year, speaks to Kappa Delta Pi members

Kim Thomas speaks to the
Kappa Delta Pi members

Peoria, IL.   She preaches building relationships with the students and is a walking, talking example of how going the extra mile for children of all ages will pay off in the long run.  She made it apparent teaching is a calling, one that the members of Kappa Delta Pi are realizing they have heard.

Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, was founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching.  The name is derived from Greek words meaning knowledge, duty and power.

The University of Illinois Springfield Kappa Delta Pi members plan to have multiple events this year, including a book drive and a social at local micro-brewery Obed and Isaac’s.  For more information check them out at or look for events on the College of Education and Human Services website

College of Education and Human Services Spotlight

heather picture

Heather Nielsen, academic advisor and professional licensure officer for the college, was recently recognized at the Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award reception.  As a nominee, Heather was honored for her work projects, professional development and affiliations, and contributions to the College of Education and Human Services.  She was commended for her enthusiasm and commitment to student success.