Friday, September 28, 2012

Getting the most from your college experience.

I read with great interest a recent article by Ken Thomas, who is the University of Illinois student trustee from the Chicago campus of the U of I.  Ken writes eloquently about the importance of getting involved on your campus wherever you attend college. I've spent almost 30 years as a faculty member and university administrator and I've seen this proved again and again:  Students who dedicate themselves to success in the classroom at the same time they get involved in campus life gain the most from their university experience.  On the UIS campus there are countless ways to get involved – joining campus organizations, volunteering in the community, attending various campus events – its all part of what is a really exceptional educational opportunity at UIS.  We call it "Leadership lived."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Typical weekend

There is so much to do on campus and in Springfield that it's sometimes challenging to fit it all in! This last weekend was a good example and my husband and I took full advantage. From UIS Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer games and the performance of "Midtown Men" at our own Sangamon Auditorium to downtown Springfield's famous Route 66 Festival and the Clayville Historical Site's Fall Festival – it was a great weekend! To top it all off, our Alternative Spring Break students (pictured right) had a car wash and did a great job cleaning up the Chancellor's vehicle! Nice.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New food options on campus!

There are a couple of new spots on campus for a quick snack or a beverage and I've tried them both! Last week, the new “Grab n' Go” in Lincoln Residence Hall and a new "Juice Bar" in the TRAC opened to long lines of hungry students. The “Grab n Go” has a nice variety of ethnic and specialty items (including fresh wheat grass) and the “Juice Bar” has some unique offerings as well that include Island Oasis smoothies (good for replenishing energy after a workout)! A special thanks to our international students who made recommendations for preferred food items. I couldn’t resist buying a Pease’s caramel apple at the "Grab n' Go (Pease's is a famous Springfield candymaker) and I also sampled the smoothies at TRAC. Its nice to have a couple new places to take a break! Thanks UIS Food Service!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Leadership is lived at UIS again today!

I was delighted to welcome a large group of Hispanic high school students and their counselors to the UIS campus today! In collaboration with the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, we hosted a day-long leadership and pre-college program and it was a great day. We have outstanding student leadership on campus for OLAS, the Organization of Latin American Students, and I'm pictured here with the UIS OLAS President, Jaime Cruz, who also happens to work in the Chancellor's Office. My thanks to Jaime, the outstanding staff in the Diversity Center, our friends at the USHLI, and everyone who made today such a successful day. I'm looking forward to seeing some of today's visitors enrolled at UIS next Fall and pursuing their University of Illinois degrees.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

International Relationships

One of the most interesting aspects of being a Chancellor is the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all over the world. Today I had an engaging visit here on campus with Rose Yeo, Principal of the School for Further Education in Singapore and Emil Dereinda, Director of Studies at SSTC. They are visiting our campus for the first time to advance an international agreement with UIS that will allow students to complete their first two years of undergraduate education in Singapore and then their final two years here at UIS, earning a University of Illinois degree in Business. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for those students; but also a wonderful opportunity for our faculty and students to develop an international relationship in a very important place in the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Many reasons to celebrate at UIS!

This week has been full of reasons for celebration. Early in the week with official enrollment numbers in, we learned that UIS’ enrollment topped 5,000 students for the third consecutive year. I'm especially pleased that the number of freshmen choosing UIS increased by 16% this year and our freshman class is increasingly diverse! Equally exciting are the 2013 U.S. News & World Report college rankings that were released just hours ago. UIS has now moved up from fourth place to second in the Midwest public regional university ranking category. We also continue to be ranked the #1 regional public university in Illinois. This year's jump in the rankings is a real tribute to the quality of student that we attract and to the exceptional education experience that our outstanding faculty and staff provide. It’s nice to be reminded sometimes that UIS is a great place to pursue the University of Illinois degree!

Friday, September 7, 2012

These UIS students are real STARS!

It was my pleasure to spend some time last night with a very special group of UIS students. Destiny, Malcolm, Julian, Nathaniel, Joseph, Andriana and Christopher are all UIS sophomores and members of STARS (Students Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success). We met for dinner at Saputo's Italian Restaurant (a real Springfield landmark) in downtown Springfield to celebrate their academic success last year and to congratulate each student on their leadership role as a sophomore STAR for the coming year. I really admire the courage and commitment of these students, each of whom has addressed significant challenges in order to attend college. I especially appreciate that, at the same time they each remain dedicated to their own studies, they are serving as mentors and role models for our freshmen members of STARS this year. I wish each of you continued success in the coming year and I hope you continue to aim high. Thank you Tarah Sweeting-Trotter for the invitation to join in your celebration last night and congratulations on the positive impact that your program is having – one student at a time!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A blog about a blog

Have you ever read a blog about another blog?  Well, you are about to.  In case you didn’t know, besides the Chancellor's blog, there is another UIS blog in town.  It’s the Prairie Star Spotlight on the State Journal-Register's website. It has recently featured softball player and student-athlete Tina Buck and UIS Volleyball Coach Noelle Rooke as blog posters.  I'm enjoying keeping up with our Stars via the Prairie Star Spotlight. Check it out and “Go Stars!"