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  • The Public Good

    A Stellar Professor and Passionate Advocate

    The University of Illinois Foundation's William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership recognizes individuals outside of the University structure who play active roles in securing private support for the University of Illinois.

    On April 17, 2019, Dr. Larry Shiner received the Winter award in recognition of his passionate advocacy of UIS. He has a special interest in the art, music and theater programs at UIS, all of which contribute to the Public Good in Central Illinois and beyond. He and his wife, Catherine Walters, generously support UIS financially, including the Suzanna Kay Shiner Scholarship Endowment Fund, created by Larry and Catherine in 2002 in memory of their daughter.

    You can learn more about Larry's advocacy in this video, shown during the award ceremony.

    The Public Good is a Reaching Stellar campaign priority because…

    We are all part of this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Scott Reimers | An Unselfish Public Servant

    Scott Reimers earned a Master’s in Public Administration from UIS in 1995. He currently serves the Public Good as Assistant Vice President for State Legislative Affairs for the Illinois State Medical Society.

    On May 10, 2018, Scott received the prestigious Rail Splitter Public Service Award from the local chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. The Rail Splitter award honors a public servant who exhibits the highest standard of excellence, dedication and accomplishment. According to one nominator, since beginning his career in state government, “Scott has proven to be a bridge-builder and a voice of reason…. He is the epitome of an unselfish public servant.” Upon receiving the award, he challenged those in attendance to choose a student to mentor and make it their business to assist that student as he or she moves from academics into a public affairs profession. Scott is pictured at right with his wife Lori.

    The Public Good is a Reaching Stellar campaign priority: Engagement. Collaboration. Impact. Because we are all part of this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Elise Simmons | Meeting A Need for Illinois

    Providing teachers for Illinois has suddenly become a lot more important. According to a report released by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools,* 85% of Illinois districts report some level of teacher shortage and 19% said they have had to cut programs or classes because of the shortage.

    Elise Simmons, who is majoring in elementary education, will help to meet this need. In addition to her time with excellent UIS professors, Elise also furthers her preparation for teaching by working as an AVID tutor in a local middle school (AVID prepares students for college) and as a 5th-grade teacher's assistant at Butler Elementary School. She also volunteers with Generation Healthy Kids, a program that teaches kids about healthy cooking and the importance of physical activity. So she is contributing to the Public Good now and will in the future as well. Read her story here.

    The Public Good is a Reaching Stellar priority….

    Because we are all on this journey together.

    *Illinois Educator Teacher Shortage Crisis 2018 (Version 2019.2), https://iarss.org/wp-content/uploads/IllinoisEducatorShortage_IARSS_FY19.pdf.

  • The Public Good

    The Public Good | Illinois Issues Forum

    NPR Illinois serves the Public Good throughout Illinois. Last year, NPR Illinois toured the state to hear how the two-year state budget impasse affected communities in Illinois. This year, they continue to travel throughout Illinois, featuring an expert panel and seeking solutions to the continuing fiscal problems in Illinois and discussing prominent issues related to the 2018 election. A recent forum, moderated by Sean Crawford, took place in Naperville, Illinois. Experts Judith Brodhead, Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo and Colin Dalough discussed how economic success and state policy are affecting the development of collar counties. Learn more about the experts and watch the Naperville forum, and stay tuned to learn about the next Illinois Issues Forum. The Illinois Issues Forum is produced and hosted by NPR Illinois with support provided by AARP Illinois.

    UIS serves the Public Good…because we are all part of this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    The Public Good | Illinois Issues Forum

    NPR Illinois serves the Public Good throughout Illinois. Last year, NPR Illinois toured the state to hear how the two-year state budget impasse affected communities in Illinois. This year, they continue to travel throughout Illinois, featuring an expert panel and seeking solutions to the continuing fiscal problems in Illinois and discussing prominent issues 2018 election. A recent forum, moderated by Sean Crawford, took place in Naperville, Illinois. Experts Judith Brodhead, Dr. Stephen Maynard Caliendo and Colin Dalough discussed how economic success and state policy are affecting the development of collar counties. Learn more about the experts and watch the Naperville forum, and stay tuned to learn about the next Illinois Issues Forum. The Illinois Issues Forum is produced and hosted by NPR Illinois with support provided by AARP Illinois.

    UIS serves the Public Good…because we are all part of this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Meet Hannah Warden

    Meet Hannah Warden, Business Administration major. She is the force behind the 2018 UIS Dance Marathon that raised more than $10,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network. Hannah and her team of volunteers spent the year raising awareness and funds for the HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital, culminating in the Marathon where students got a chance to meet some of the patients treated at St. John’s and their families. She volunteers at the hospital most weeks. “There are some of the kids who have spent days, weeks and years in the hospital,” Hannah said, “so anything I can do to give back to them is amazing and it brings me a lot of joy.” Hannah was honored with the UIS Star Student Award at the Springfield’s 2018 Good as Gold Ceremony.

    The Public Good…because we are all part of this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Michelle Norris | Fighting Against Human Trafficking

    A class assignment led Michelle Norris to Grounds of Grace, a Springfield organization that helps victims of human trafficking involved in forced labor, sexual slavery or commercial exploitation. This is a practice that happens throughout the country, not just in big cities. Soon after getting involved, Michelle heard about a task force on human trafficking. She thought she might sit in on the meetings just to learn more, but once there, she began taking on more and more tasks. Now she is leading meetings, recruiting members and handling other administrative duties. "UIS pushed me to want to make a difference in my community," she says. “I am deeply grateful to everyone who has invested in my education.”

    Michelle plans to become a victim specialist after earning a Master's Degree in Social Work from UIS.

    The Public Good…because we are all part of this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Ben Paoletti | Leadership for Life Service Program

    At UIS, new students can choose to live on the Leadership for Life Service Wing, or L4L. As part of this service and leadership community, students take a class together and commit to 40 hours of service each semester.

    Ben Paoletti is one such student. A sophomore political science and philosophy major, Ben says, “My experience at UIS has really sparked my passion for volunteerism and civic engagement." This year Ben is a resident assistant on the Leadership for Life Service Wing. He's looking  forward to helping students get involved on campus, with community events, as well promote school spirit and civic engagement.

    Read more about Ben Paoletti and about funds that support the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

    The Public Good: Because we are all on this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Helping Springfield-area Kids Grow Up Great

    For the past six years, approximately 600 local Head Start children have attended two shows at Sangamon Auditorium thanks to a grant from the PNC Foundation “Grow Up Great” initiative. Prior to the performance, Auditorium staff go to all 36 Springfield-area Head Start facilities to prepare children for the performance and leave a book of the play being performed. The program also provides training in the arts for Head Start teachers, and brings Head Start families for an evening performance at the Auditorium. Teachers appreciate the program, as do the families, who have had responses like this to the evening performance:

    “The kids were full of excitement and wonderment.” “My grand-daughter loved it all.” “Thank you for the opportunity to bring my family.”

    Read more about Arts Start

  • The Public Good

    Illinois Innocence Project | Wrongful Conviction Day

    UIS students interning and volunteering with the Illinois Innocence Project have created a flag display to celebrate the 2018 Wrongful Conviction Day. The display recognizes the 2,266 innocent men and women who were convicted of crimes they did not commit and have been exonerated since 1989. “UIS blue” flags in the display represent 227 Illinois exonerees. The Illinois Innocence Project has contributed to 11 of those exonerations.

    Jayde Schlesinger, master's student in Public Administration and volunteer with the Project, said, "I am excited to go in to the Project every single day. It’s such a long process from someone first writing the Project to possibly being exonerated, but every day is a step closer to the outcome that we all want." Learn more about the Illinois Innocence Project here.

    Because we are all on this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    Alexus Venegas-Rodriguez | Habitat for Humanity
    Guest Post

    "Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity is one of the most memorable experiences I have had at UIS. Five of us signed up together. When we entered the van, we barely knew each other. That was not the case at the end of the day. We had the job of organizing newly donated furniture and supplies. The five of us worked together and learned how to efficiently comply with the needs of the organization and this community. We were not just organizing furniture. We were helping the other workers who spend every day helping people in need. It was a great opportunity to meet fantastic people from widely different backgrounds. Without volunteers, this wonderful organization would not have expanded to its current size. I gained some great friends through this experience while helping my community become its best."

    Each year, UIS students contribute thousands of hours of volunteer service to Springfield and the surrounding communities.

    Because we are all on this journey together.

  • The Public Good

    NPR Investigative Project

    Rachel Otwell, a reporter for NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS, has been awarded a grant from ProPublica for a year-long investigative project that focuses on issues related to sexual harassment and abuse on college and university campuses in Illinois. The grant provides funding, research, editorial and engagement support. ProPublica has provided similar grants to 13 other newsrooms across the nation "to execute accountability stories that would not otherwise have been possible."

    "The issue of sexual violence on college campuses is one I’ve been interested in reporting on for a long time," Otwell said. "I look forward to doing my small part in helping survivors and others have their voices heard, in hopes of change." (Based on a news article from NPR Illinois.)

    For more information on supporting the Public Good that NPR Illinois brings to our community, go to NPR Illinois.

    The Public Good: Because we are all on this journey together

  • The Public Good

    Katie Brethorst | Dana Thomas House Volunteer

    Katie Brethorst, a history major from Carlyle, Illinois, loves telling stories. That love, coupled with her love of history, has led to a deeply satisfying role at the Dana Thomas House in Springfield. Katie first toured the house with her UIS Capital Scholars Honors class. She enjoyed the tour so much that she returned with her mother and boyfriend, which is when she discovered she could serve at the facility as a tour guide. She now volunteers three times a week, perfectly blending her love of storytelling and history: “I fell in love with the history and the house immediately.”

    Like so many UIS students and alumni, Katie is servingthe Public Good: Engagement. Collaboration. Impact. Because we are all part of this journey together.

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Chancellor Koch Narrates Copland's "Lincoln Symphony"

    On October 18, 2018, UIS Chancellor Susan Koch provided narration for the Illinois Symphony Orchestra performance of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," reading texts from Lincoln's State of the Union address, the Gettysburg Address, and selections from a Lincoln-Douglas debate. The concert opened the Symphony's season. The "Lincoln Portrait" was chosen to celebrate both Lincoln and Illinois.

    During this brief video from the Illinois Symphony's "Lincoln Portrait," Chancellor Koch says, "Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen." The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies will celebrate the wisdom and legacy of this great Illinois statesman. Learn more about the Center here, and please consider adding your support to this great scholarly endeavor.

    ...because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates us

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Lincoln's Farewell Speech

    On February 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois, for Washington, D.C. on a special presidential train. His Farewell Address to the crowd was delivered extemporaneously. The following is the version Lincoln wrote down after the train pulled away.

    My friends -- No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe every thing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.*

    These words reveal a man whose character can inspire UIS students as they study his life and works in the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies…

    …because Lincoln still has power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.

     

    * http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/farewell3.htm

    Photo: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1225173

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Chancellor Koch on Abraham Lincoln

    Each month, Chancellor Koch writes a column for a local newspaper, the Springfield Journal-Register. In February 2019, she wrote about UIS and Abraham Lincoln.* Here is an excerpt in which she writes about the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies:

    Lincoln Studies at UIS will take another important step forward in the coming year with the formal launch of the Center for Lincoln Studies – a priority of the current Reaching Stellar fundraising campaign. With planning underway for collaboration with the ALPLM, the Abraham Lincoln Association and other Lincoln-oriented organizations, the Center will provide new opportunities for learning about Lincoln and the impact of his contributions. The Center also aspires to advance research in Lincoln Studies and help prepare the next generation of Lincoln scholars.

    This new Center is an important priority for the Reaching Stellar Campaign…

    …because Lincoln still has the power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.

     

    *https://www.uis.edu/chancellor/koch/remarks/sjr-column-lincoln-february-2019/

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Lincoln Legacy Lecture | Save the Date

    Each year, Dr. Michael Burlingame, the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies, invites nationally renowned Lincoln scholars to join him in presenting original lectures on a contemporary issue from the perspective of Abraham Lincoln and his era. These very popular Lincoln Legacy Lectures link us to a time when many of the biggest issues of democracy came to a head, issues that are still pertinent today. 

    We encourage you to Save the Date for the 2019 Lincoln Legacy Lecture with the topic of Lincoln, Immigration, & Citizenship. The event will be held at 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, in the UIS Student Union.

    The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies is a Reaching Stellar priority because…

    Lincoln still has the power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.

     

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies will be announced during the next academic year, but plans are progressing nicely. In April, at the annual Celebration of Philanthropy on April 17, 2019, Chancellor Susan J. Koch made this announcement:

    "Just this past week, thanks in part to UI System President Tim Killeen’s Distinguished Faculty Hiring initiative, we sealed the deal to hire our second renowned Lincoln Scholar.  He will join Dr. Michael Burlingame in the Department of History this Fall as we move toward the formal announcement of the new UIS Center for Lincoln Studies."

    Stay tuned for further updates about this important addition to the Center!

    The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies is a Reaching Stellar Campaign priority…

    Because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates all of us.

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Why have a UIS Center for Lincoln Studies?

    Springfield is the right place to establish a national center for the study of Abraham Lincoln’s life, his era, his leadership, and his legacy, and UIS is the perfect place for this ambitious endeavor. In Springfield, Lincoln lived and raised a family, practiced law and politics, and prepared for the presidency. Today, Mr. Lincoln’s hometown is a hub for Lincoln research and tourism, attracting thousands of visitors each year from around the globe. But while Lincoln was a citizen of Illinois from 1830-1861, he ultimately became a citizen of the world, so connecting Lincoln to a national and international context will be a mission of the Center, as well.

    Stellar – Because a UIS Center for Lincoln Studies instructs, inspires and elevates all of us.

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Richard Raymond | First Scholarship for UIS Center

    Richard Raymond, UIS alum, began his National Park Service career as a curator during the restoration of the Lincoln Home the late 1970s. Now he has created the first scholarship for the new UIS Center for Lincoln Studies.

    “Abraham Lincoln’s is a great American tale,” Richard says. “He rose from a log cabin to a pleasant home in Springfield on a street of doctors and lawyers. As President, overnight he had to deal with the issue of slavery, and after the war, instead of subduing the conquered, he planned for reconstruction as only a statesman would. Lincoln is certainly worthy of study and emulation.”

    Pictured at right: Dr. Devin Hunter—UIS History Professor, Michelle Levine—UIS student and Park Service intern, Richard Raymond—National Park Service RET, Chuck Schrage--UIS Alumni Relations at the Lincoln Home in Springfield. More about Richard.

    The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies—because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates all of us

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Agnes M. Dzombak | Books about Lincoln

    UIS is pleased to accept a special collection of books from the estate of Agnes M. Dzombak, a longtime Lincoln enthusiast. She collected the books during her lifetime, including eight books by Dr. Michael Burlingame, who holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at UIS. Agnes Dzombak’s son, David Dzombak, Professor and Head of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, arranged the gift. He said, “Michael Burlingame’s affiliation with UIS provides further confirmation that UIS will be a good home for the collection. Perhaps my mother had the opportunity to meet Dr. Burlingame sometime at the annual Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, which she attended every year since its founding in 1995.”

    The Agnes M. Dzombak collection is an outstanding contribution in support of the new UIS Center for Lincoln Studies. It will be housed in Brookens Library.

    Because Abraham Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates all of us

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    2018 Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series

    The 2018 Lincoln Legacy Lecture, sponsored by the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies, will take place on Thursday October 18, 7:00 pm in the Student Union Ballroom.  The event is free and open to the public. 

    This year’s topic is Lincoln vs. Douglas: Slavery and Race in Illinois History

    Please join our moderator, Dr. Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies and our speakers, Dr. Graham Peck, Professor of History, St. Xavier University and Rodger Bridges, Former head of the Lincoln Legal Papers. 

    Because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates all of us.

     

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    With Thanksgiving coming soon, it's worth remembering that on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. He did so after receiving a request from Sarah Josepha Hale, that the day of thanksgiving be celebrated on the same day throughout the United States "to become permanently an American custom and institution." Prior to this, states that celebrated Thanksgiving, mostly in New England and other northern states, chose their own day of celebration. Our country has celebrated Thanksgiving every year since Lincoln's proclamation.

    Best wishes for your own celebrations, and many, many thanks to the wonderful friends and alumni of UIS who have given and will give during this year of 2018.

    Because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates us all

  • UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

    The Chancellor Speaks

    On October 18, 2018, the Chancellor spoke about Lincoln at an event for donors and alumni interested in the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies. A portion of her comments appears below:

    "I was thrilled when the UIS Campaign Planning Committee named the forthcoming UIS Center for Lincoln Studies as one of the Reaching Stellar campaign priorities. That's because there is so much yet to be learned from the study of Abraham Lincoln and because such studies have the power to make us better people, better citizens, and more capable leaders.

    "I'm especially excited for what the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies will mean for our students. By providing access to a a University of Illinois education at UIS, both on campus and online, we attract students from throughout Illinois, the nation and even the world. A greater knowledge of Lincoln, his wisdom and his legacy will enhance students' understanding of themselves and enable them to contribute more in their careers and their communities, here and around the globe."

    Because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates all of us