Thursday, November 29, 2012

UIS is global!

I had a fascinating conversation this week with UIS international students; Zehra Ozkan Shahidi from Istanbul, Turkey, Yiman Li from Wuhan, China, and Archana Jalamadugu from Chennai, India.  I'm always interested to hear students' stories and it was especially interesting to hear that Zehra, Yiman and Archana were all inspired to study abroad by their parents (especially their strong mothers), who pushed their daughters to grow and try new things.  

I have so much respect for international students and the courage it takes to move to a new culture and face all the day to day challenges such a move brings.  I was pleased to hear that these three exceptional international students are thriving at UIS and very much appreciating the individualized attention that is a hallmark of our faculty.  They also enjoy the "small town" environment of Springfield, having all come from major cities in their home countries.  

International students are a great asset to our university, providing windows into their own cultures at the same time they are experiencing American life.  Thank you Zehra, Yiman, and Archana for a very enjoyable and enlightening conversation!  I appreciate the leadership you are providing here at UIS and look forward to seeing more of you on campus.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m reminded of so many things I’m thankful for here at UIS.  Our outstanding students, faculty and staff remind me daily that UIS is a premier public university. For example, last week, two UIS employees, Keith McMath and Scott Fay were recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense for their support of members of the National Guard and military reserves.   They went the extra mile to provide assistance to a student being deployed to Afghanistan.  Keith and Scott are just two examples of the fact that leadership is lived here every day.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Special night and special lady

The Visual & Performing Arts Building just received a face lift.   Recently, I was happy to be a part of the dedication ceremony held in the Music Room.  It is now the Polly Roesch Music Room.  If you don’t know Polly, you are missing a great person and a great story.  Just a couple years ago, at the young age of 100, she sang with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in the Sangamon Auditorium.  The Guinness Book of World Records certified her as the oldest person to debut with a symphony orchestra.  She was on our campus again to see the plaque unveiled in her honor.  She is a supporter, donor, and friend.  What a special night and what a special lady.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day Salute

Reflecting on Veterans Day.  Thank you to all those UIS alums, students and employees who have served or currently serve in the armed services.  We are grateful for your service.  If you are on active duty today in harms way in Afghanistan or some other place, please know that I am thinking of you, wishing you well and hoping for your safe return.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Election Day message from Eleanor Roosevelt

"May what is best for the country happen today, and may we all remember that whatever happens, this is just the beginning of some years of useful work." - Nov 6, 1940

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"I tell you, lovers are completely mad!"

The UIS Theatre department's Fall, 2012 production is Moliere's famous and funny play, Tartuffe and it was a delight! What is so much fun about this play is that Moliere wrote it entirely in rhyming couplets – 1,962 of them from start to finish! The performers, both the professional actors and the UIS students, delivered their lines almost perfectly throughout the play. It must have been great fun for the actors and it was certainly great fun for the audience. The production also showcased our new theatre professor, Dathan Powell, whose first scene design for UIS provided the perfect setting for the production. Congratulations, Director Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson and all the cast and crew on a fine production and another important contribution to the intellectual landscape of our university!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Trick or Treat …UIS Style

On October 31  most every child in the U.S. gets excited about that special costume and going door to door to get lots of candy.  My brothers and sister and I used to make a huge haul every year in our small town in South Dakota. UIS students go door to door on Halloween, too, except they have a different style of trick or treating.  They collect canned goods or non-perishable items for the Central Illinois Food Bank. It’s the kick off for the UIS Holiday Stars Project, coordinated by the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.  Wednesday night over 150 students and many UIS employees participated in this important annual event.  If you don’t think they have fun giving back to our community, you need to check out the pictures and the video of the night.  This is Trick or Treating UIS style!!