Monday, February 27, 2012

Students MAP out their future

I had the pleasure this past week of sitting down for a conversation with four UIS students; Brittany Henderson from Richton Park, Haydee Franklin from Springfield, Justin Rose from Chicago, and Zach Sullivan from East Moline. I appreciated the opportunity to learn about their experiences here at UIS as well as about their backgrounds and where they hope to be in the future. It’s great to hear that we are doing a lot of things right; but we are always looking to do better. One thing is clear, MAP grants are a crucial part of financial support for a large number of UIS students. We all know that family budgets are tight and a college education is costly. MAP grants are part of what helps insure Illinois students get in school, stay in school, and get that valuable bachelor's degree! The more college graduates we have in our state, the better for our economy and our communities. As Chancellor. I'm working hard to communicate that message to political leaders and decision-makers. Thanks Brittany, Haydee, Justin and Zach for sharing your stories with me!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another thriller

UIS men's basketball players range in height from 5'6" (Keith) to 6'10" (Dylan); but last night they were all giants!! What a thrilling game! The Stars defeated Quincy University on the road 63-62 in one of the toughest and most thrilling basketball contests I've ever seen. Congratulations to all of our student-athletes and coaches. We're looking forward to the first round game of the tournament this Sunday at 3:00 PM in TRAC. This is going to be the place to be this weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Seniors rise to the occasion

What a game! What a win! What a great way for Michael (Fakuade) and Lester (Hart) to celebrate their birthdays!! In case you haven't heard, I'm talking about our Stars men's basketball game and their 1-point victory this past Saturday!! This critical win (70-69) over the University of Missouri St. Louis insures our first-ever GLVC Conference Tournament appearance. Congratulations, coaches and players – we're so proud of you! Since it was Senior Day, it was really nice to meet the parents of our senior players, Michael, Lester, Jermaine and Chigozie. We had the best crowd ever at the game and the Blue Crew gets bigger and louder every week! If you haven't seen our team play – you'll have another chance in the first round of the tournament here in Springfield. Check the UIS athletic website for details and get to the next game!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Showcasing talent

A big thank you to Rashonda Williams, the VIP Choir and all the other UIS students who organized and presented the very first UIS Gospel Music Showcase this past Sunday night. I really love gospel music and it was great to see our talented students performing. We were also inspired by the message of Dr. Clarice Ford, our Associate Dean for Diversity, who also has a lovely voice! The Gospel Showcase was part of UIS's celebration of Black History Month and we have several other events scheduled on campus during the next several days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Heading into the homestretch

Congratulations to both the women's and men's basketball teams on the wins over Rockhurst on Saturday! It was great to see the ever-growing Blue Crew cheering on the teams at the TRAC. I hope everyone will join us for the last home game, Senior Day, this Saturday at home. The GLVC Conference Tournament is coming up in March at the Springfield Convention Center and it will be wonderful if we qualify for our first ever tournament slot! Go Stars! By the way, the popcorn at our concession stand is the best in town – hands down.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Campus connection with Lincoln

As anyone from Springfield, Illinois would know, this past weekend it was all about Lincoln!! Sunday was Abraham Lincoln's 203rd Birthday Celebration and UIS hosted a fascinating symposium over the weekend featuring nationally regarded Lincoln scholars from around the country. I'm proud to know that our own Professor Michael Burlingame is among those scholars and I recommend his wonderful new book, Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way. The book, with text by Professor Burlingame and photos by photographer, Robert Shaw, takes us on a journey from the log cabin in Kentucky where Lincoln was born to the Lincoln tomb in Springfield where Lincoln and most of his family is buried. The book is available at local outlets including the UIS Bookstore.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chili'n with the Chancellor

What a great turnout last night at Chili with the Chancellor. My sincere thanks to Erin, Brandi, Itzi and all the other leaders from Student Government, Black Student Union and the Organization of Latin American Students who co-sponsored the event and brought out the big crowd! I appreciate hearing from our students on whatever is on their minds. Obviously, a student union is a priority and you know I am behind that effort 100%. I hope everyone enjoyed their chili and more importantly, the conversation. I know I did. So what’s next… chimachongas with the Chancellor?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our grounds are in good hands

It was so nice to see that this Sunday the State Journal-Register, our local newspaper, sought out UIS's own Joan Buckles, Superintendent of Grounds at UIS, for her expertise in their feature article on new "plant hardiness zones." Joan (and her campus crew of 11 grounds professionals) is the person responsible for the 370 acres of trees, flowers, shrubs and lawns that make up our beautiful campus. Though we're still waiting for a late winter to arrive; I'm sure Joan and her crew are already thinking about how they will "push the limits" of those planting zones to make our campus even more beautiful this Spring. Given the unusually mild winter, I wouldn't be surprised to see a daffodil or crocus peeking out of the ground in some sunny location. Thanks, Joan and the crew for all you do to maintain this beautiful campus for all of us. We appreciate it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

UIS hoops and more

Husband, Dennis and I are really enjoying following our men's and women's basketball teams this season! Congratulations to women's coach Marne Fauser, men's coach Ben Wierzba and all our great student-athletes who are making the basketball season so much fun to watch this year. We’ve got two straight home games coming up, starting with Thursday night. It is going to be a big night in the TRAC when we play William Jewell University, as we salute all of our UIS student-athletes that made the Athletic Honor Roll during the fall semester. Hope to see everyone there to support our teams and have some fun!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spring is here??!

February has arrived and by the weather you wouldn’t even know it. Even though we will probably get a dose of reality with a winter blast this month, it was great to see so many students and staff outside this past week enjoying the great outdoors. It just adds to the excitement as activities are lining up for the Spring Semester. I’ve noticed the flurry of events that are heading our way like Black History Month , UIS Theatre, Visual Arts Gallery, the Collegiate Career Fair, and the Student Arts and Research Symposium. That is just naming a few. We are a happening campus! Oh and by the way, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention Chili with the Chancellor!