Journal staff win five awards in Illinois College Press Association contest

Staff of The Journal, the UIS student newspaper, won five awards in the non-daily 2016 Illinois College Press Association competition.

Awards were presented Saturday, Feb. 18, at a luncheon that capped a 1 ½- day ICPA convention at the Doubletree Hotel Magnificent Mile in Chicago.

Erica Thomas of Springfield, Journal photographer, won first-place for a sports photo she took of two players in action during a UIS men’s soccer game.

Alex Camp of Chicago, former Journal columnist and assistant editor for sports, won second-place for a spring 2016 column describing his concerns about returning to Chicago after earning his bachelor’s degree. Camp, now a graduate student in the UIS Public Affairs Reporting Program, received an honorable mention for a headline he wrote in fall 2016: “Hell freezes over: Cubs win the pennant.”

Also awarded honorable mentions:

  • Megan Swett of O’Fallon, Illinois, Journal editor-in-chief, for the fall 2016 article, “Celebrating Queertober:

AroAce student discusses her identity, her relationships, and the LGBT+ community.”

  • Former Journal reporter Jeff Burnett of Loves Park, Illinois,  for a story about the Sangamon County Drug Court, which was published in the fall 2016 Journal magazine, Beyond.

Burnett is a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program.

More than 30 college newspapers from throughout the state are members of the ICPA, which holds a convention each year with workshops and a keynote address by  professional journalists, and organizes the annual ICPA contest.

In the non-daily competition, The Journal competed against student newspapers from schools with enrollments of more than 4,000 students, including among others, DePaul, Columbia College, University of Chicago, SIU-Edwardsville, Bradley, Loyola, and the School of the Art Institute.

Professional journalists from different states served as judges for the 2016 ICPA competition.

UIS to honor several Division of Student Affairs staff for their years of service

UIS will honor employees for years of service in an annual recognition event in April.

Several employees of the Division of Student Affairs will be recognized for their years of service:

5 years

Dr. Mark Dochterman, Volunteer and Civic Engagement

Mary Umbarger, Student Life

Dr. Sarah Colby Weaver, Disability Services

Dr.Van Vieregge, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Johnell Greer, Student Work and Financial Assistance

Jolene Vollmer, International Student Services

Jay Swenson, Campus Recreation

 10 years

Jill Briggs, Admissions

Gwen Cribbett, Admissions and Records

Gale Kilbury, Career Development

15 years

Cynthia Thompson, Student Life

Brian Catherwood, Records and Registration

25 years

Christina Ryan, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor

UIS selected for Culture of Respect Collective

NASPA has selected a UIS application to participate in a “Culture of Respect Collective” sponsored by NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

The application was prepared by Dr. Charles Osiris, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, and Jantzen Eddington, Community Standards and Student Conduct Code Coordinator,

NASPA describes the Collective, which includes campuses from across the country, as a ”comprehensive, evidence-based program to improve institutional efforts to prevent and respond to campus sexual violence.”

“The Collective provides participants a six-point strategic roadmap for addressing sexual violence, comprehensive self-assessment, robust skills-based training and technical assistance, and collaboration with other institutions of higher education through a user-friendly online learning environment,” NASPA said.

Volunteer and Civic Engagement, Cox Children’s Center efforts benefit food pantries

trick or treat

More than 180 UIS students helped collect a record 14,085 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank on Halloween night in the annual “Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods” event sponsored by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

A total of 181 students formed 18 teams that went door-to-door in several Springfield and Chatham neighborhoods collecting the canned goods.

Earlier this month, the teams canvassed the neighborhoods and distributed door hangers that explained the project. Collected items were returned and weighed on campus. Prizes were awarded to the teams that collected the most food.

The Central Illinois Foodbank distributes more than 9 million pounds of food annually to more than 150 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21-county region.

Also this Halloween, the UIS Cox Children’s Center participated in the fun by having the center children in costume Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods at campus departments. The children collected 365 pounds of food, which were donated to UIS Cares, a new food pantry on campus open to all UIS students in need.

39th Annual International Festival Nov. 4

Intl FestivalExhibits, live performances, and a variety of cuisine highlighting cultures from around the world will be featured Nov. 4 at The Recreation and Athletic Center at UIS as part of the university’s 39th annual International Festival.

Hosted by UIS International Services, “World as One: Uniting Peoples and Cultures” will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  It is free and open to the public.

Hmong, China, India, Vietnam, Burma, Japan, Mexico and Kazakh, among other international areas, will be highlighted during the festival.

UIS students will be among festival performers.

File FAFSA now for 2017-2018 college year

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, for 2017-2018 is now available, according to the UIS Office of Financial Assistance.

Students previously filed for FAFSA starting Jan. 1; new rules now say Oct. 1. The earlier date is designed to allow families more time to get an accurate amount of how much money they’ll receive from the government.

For more information, visit or

UIS students volunteering across Springfield in the eighth annual Service-A-Thon

serviceUIS students are starting their 2016-2017 school year with service to others by registering for the eighth annual Service-A-Thon sponsored by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

About 130 students will volunteer with the Friday, Aug/ 26, event.

The event is held in collaboration with seven local organizations: Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County, M.E.R.C.Y Communities Inc., the Springfield Urban League Inc., Family Service Center, Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, the Central Illinois Foodbank and St. John’s Breadline.

Among the activities students will be involved with are preparing items for resale at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, cleaning and preparing apartments for new residents in MERCY Communities,

painting and landscaping for the Springfield Urban League, and harvesting and weeding at the UIS Community Garden. In addition, they’ll assist with clean-up and paint work at the Family Service Center,

work on the UIS Cross Country Course, sort and prepare medical supplies for shipment for the Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, and sort and prepare donated food items for the

Central Illinois Food Bank.  They’ll also serve dinner at the St. John’s Breadline.

Last week, first-year students at UIS also participated in a service project sponsored by the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

More photos can be found at:

Student Affairs Staff Honored

Each year, the UIS Division of Student Affairs recognizes staff from across the division for exceptional achievements and acts of service.

Dr. Clarice Ford, UIS Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, announced the 2015-2016 award recipients at a recent retreat held on campus:

Cox Children’s Center Staff, Student Affairs Award for Excellence.Cox Center

Executive Chef Howard Seidel, UIS Food Service, Vice Chancellor’s Award.






Sophia Gehlhausen Anderson, Coordinator of Programs and Outreach for Hispanic/Latino Students, Diversity Center, Mentor of the Year.






Alexandria Cosner, Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness, Campus Recreation, New Student Affairs Member Award.




Johnell Greer, Business and Administrative Associate, Student Work and Financial Assistance, Students First Award.




Margaret Carlen, Admissions and Records Supervisor, UIS Admissions, Quality Service Award.




The Cox Children’s Center, UIS Food Service, Diversity Center, Campus Recreation, Student Work and Financial Assistance, and Admissions are among more than 20 centers and offices that comprise the Division of Student Affairs.

Downtown Springfield Apartment Building for UIS Grad Students