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The College of Public Affairs and Administration and the Center for State Policy and Leadership, University of Illinois Springfield
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  • Inside the Illinois State Capitol dome

    UIS and the State of Illinois: A Half Century of Collaboration in Public Service

    For nearly 50 years, UIS has been partnering with the State of Illinois to provide graduate students the opportunity to simultaneously pursue their graduate degree while gaining professional experience working at a state agency.

  • Text:  Our Why at iSPI

    What's YOUR "Why" and Why It Matters

    What's YOUR “why”?  At Innovate Springfield, we often challenge the starters that we serve with this question to help them maintain their clarity and focus.

  • "Labor Day...Work...and the New Semester! A Labor Day Message from the Dean" in front of a collage of pictures showing UIS employees working to prepare the campus for Fall2021

    Labor Day…Work…And the New Semester!

    Is Labor Day a recognition or equally a celebration of the concept of work?

  • Photo of international flags in the UIS Public Affairs Center

    How Do Foreign Policy Experts Think About Allies?

    A new experiment by researchers from the University of Illinois at Springfield, the University of Chicago, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs finds that policy experts care about formal alliances. But even alliance relationships have limits.   How Do Foreign Policy Experts Think About Allies?  a blog post by Sibel Oktay, Paul Poast, Dina Smeltz, and Craig Kafura, for the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs.

  • Collage of photos of DPA Graduates and Students in article

    UIS Perspectives: Inspiring professionals as agents of change

    The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program at the University of Illinois Springfield is one of only a handful of professional "public affairs" doctorates throughout the country. The program is a door opener to a variety of career paths as we seek to inspire and equip students to be more effective agents of change.  Read more in this SJR column by Dr. Travis Bland.

  • ILSIP Interns in the Capitol Rotunda

    Legislative Internships and What’s Next

    Change is in the air. It’s that time of year and the UIS Campus is beginning to look like a college campus again with students coming and going in larger numbers than in over a year. Throughout this time, the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program has continued placing students with the Illinois General Assembly.

  • Image of a "Good Newspaper" in front of a turquoise background

    New year’s resolutions for news consumers

    The fall semester begins this week at UIS. To me, this time of year feels more like New Year’s Day than Jan. 1.  So with that in mind, allow me to wish you a Happy New Year and provide you with some new year’s resolutions.

  • Top 5 Reasons to Get a Degree in Environmental Studies at UIS

    Do you want to make a difference? The Department of Environmental Studies provides students with the advanced interdisciplinary training necessary for solving environmental problems.

  • Image of the UIS Public Public Affairs Center and the Colonnade from atop the Health Sciences Building.

    The Value of Education in Public Affairs for Balancing Truth and Emotions in the 21st Century

    Our courses and degrees prepare students for careers where they analyze problems, develop policies, serve citizens and provide leadership in Illinois, the nation and even worldwide.

  • Why Should You Consider A Political Science Bachelor’s Degree at UIS?

    I learned about politics when I asked for a new bike at age seven.  First my mom, and then my dad, asked me if the other parent had agreed to this life-changing purchase.  I was running interference between my parents. I could tell that my mom was supportive of my quest for a bike, so I teamed up with her to convince my dad. A few days later, I was a happy little girl with a shiny new bike.  Come study politics with us at UIS to learn how individuals, societies, and states cooperate and compete with each other to get what they want.

  • Evaluating Plastic Litter Prevention Strategies on Lake Springfield, Illinois

    As summer in Central Illinois rolls on, one thing is sure: Illinois residents depend on and love our waterways. However, some of our main recreational activities and everyday consumption patterns can also lead to high levels of shoreline litter or even widespread pollution, endangering wildlife, ecosystems, and the many summer pastimes that so many of us love.

  • Opening the Pipeline to Public Service

    A common question we get asked by prospective students in the Office of Graduate Intern Programs is, “Am I guaranteed a job after graduation?”

  • July Public Affairs Minute

    July Fourth is upon us and it’s time to celebrate the birth of the nation. In many respects, I hope we can treat this summer like no other in recent memory!  Although there may still be a need for health monitoring and some restrictions to make sure we are fully “out of the woods,” it’s still good to see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”

  • UIS Model United Nations Program - A Standout Experience

    A stand-out experience that I have had while studying Global Studies at the university has been being a part of National Model United Nations, a simulation of the United Nations.

  • Researching the Relationship Between Military Service And Public Service Motivation

    As I was preparing to retire from my military career, and focus on my civilian career in Human Resources, I started the Doctorate of Public Administration program at University of Illinois Springfield.  As I began the program and considered potential research topics, I began to focus on a way to leverage my military experience with a relevant human resource-related concept. 

  • Illinois Bill Explores How to Save Local Journalism

    In the blur of legislative activity that closed out the spring 2021 session of the Illinois General Assembly, state lawmakers passed a bill that would help figure out how to save local journalism. If signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the law would create a group of 15 people to study communities underserved by local journalism and recommend ways to preserve and/or restore coverage in those area.

  • Why the UIS Online Political Science Graduate Program Was Right for Me

    As a Wisconsinite planning a move to Chicago, finding a quality public university that was located in my new home state was my first priority. As a remote learner, I wanted to find a Master’s program that provided the same quality of instruction as in-person learning.

  • New Academic Year, New Interns

    Every Spring, as GPSI says Farewell and Congratulations to a group of graduating interns, we simultaneously go through a process of hiring a new group of graduate interns.  This year, we are celebrating the success of May’s virtual interviews which resulted in 85 new hires for the GPSI program. 

  • Connor Krater: My Experience at UIS

    The reasons I chose the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) are simple. Coming out of high school, I wanted to become involved in Illinois state politics, as Illinois had been my home for my entire life. UIS offered me ample opportunity to get involved in the Illinois state capital and its associated internships while studying its politics.

  • Reform: Restoration, Revitalization, and Representation

    You are invited to Reform: Restoration, Revitalization, and Representation, the first in a series of webinars on critical societal issues resulting from social determinant factors directly impacting historically marginalized populations.  The series is sponsored by The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, the UIS College of Public Affairs and Administration, and the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership.

  • What happens on a university campus during the summer?

    As we recently celebrate our Memorial Day Holiday which is a day to celebrate the many sacrifices made by our veterans over the years to preserve this country and our democracy, it also signifies the “unofficial” start to our summer on campus and in the community.  So I thought I would use this first Holiday of summer to reflect upon what happens here at UIS and the College of Public Affairs and Administration in the summer!

  • 50-Forward 2


    In 2021, our national network and member stations that fund it are celebrating 50 years since NPR started with the broadcast of All Things Considered in 1971. NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS will celebrate our 50th anniversary of broadcasting to central Illinois in 2025. So over the next few years, “50” will have special significance for NPR Illinois. I’m honored to announce the 50-Forward Campaign. As we lead up to 2025, we will be looking for major and planned gifts and/or grants to increase the service of NPR Illinois into the future.

  • Rebekah Grosboll in her office overlooking the UIS campus

    Purposefully Connecting and Collaborating Online

    Like many people over the past year, I found myself at the kitchen counter with my kindergartener as we peered into his computer screen and listened to his teacher.  Eyes glued to the screen, we watched his teacher move two red cubes and then four yellow, explaining the day’s math lesson.  This was a big change for both of us.  His experience being online was limited to a treasured hour on the iPad each weekend, while my work for the last decade revolved around online degree programs.

  • Prof. Anthony, UIS Students, and other volunteers with the Dilley Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Tx, 2019.

    Inside an Immigrant Detention Center

    “Will he hurt me?” She shrank back in her seat, her eyes filling with tears as she clung to the toddler in her lap.  It was the summer of 2019, and a group of six UIS students and I were at STFRC for a week, volunteering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project. We spent 15-hour days working directly with asylum-seeking women and children, preparing them for their credible fear interview—the first step in the asylum application process—and drafting legal documents.

  • Recollections of Springfield

    Being the politics nerd and longtime Springfield resident that I am, I’m always interested when well-known political figures offer their impressions or memories of our capital city.  Two books I’ve read over the last few months include the Springfield recollections of two people on the national stage – President Barack Obama and former White House press secretary and current Fox News host Dana Perino.

  • Two-Generation Solutions Can Empower Healthy Families

    Here at Innovate Springfield, we are always looking for evidence-based solutions to community problems. Two of the largest topics we tackle center around early childhood education and development and local workforce development. These two topics are intrinsically linked, not only because children who are supported in early life often have more positive career outcomes, but also because parents’ successes so often become their children’s successes as well. If we want to enable the success of both parents and children, we need to invest in Two-Generation solutions.

  • Honoring GPSIs 2021 Milbrandt and Madalla Award winners

    On April 22, 2021, the Office of Graduate Intern Programs hosted a virtual event to honor our graduating interns and their supervisors. Springing Forward was meant to symbolize the commitment GPSI has to the growth and expansion of this vital program as well as celebrate all the student and supervisor accomplishments over this tumultuous year. Molly Lamb, Executive Director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, gave an exciting overview of the Center and introduced many resources to our state agency partners. Additionally, our viewers received an update on the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) from Barbara Van Dyke-Brown, Director.

  • Dr. Adriana Piatti-Crocker in class

    VIDEO: Why Women's Descriptive Representation Still Matters: The Case of Argentina

    In this presentation, Dr. Piatti-Crocker explores the gender-diversifying effects that well-conceived and implemented gender quotas and parity laws have had in Argentina’s national and subnational legislatures. She examines how institutional factors  (electoral, party systems, quota design) have contributed to the relative success of quotas in Argentina, though more unevenly in its provinces due to wide-ranging institutional and cultural factors. 


  • Legal Studies professor Deborah Anthony. Storyteller's Studios filming 2021 Commencement video in Sangamon Auditorium Thursday, April 22, 2021.

    Graduation from CPAA: An End and a Beginning

    The 2020-2021 academic year is coming to a close and our spring graduation celebration will be held on May 13 and 14.  In the midst of one of the most turbulent, unsettled and confusing academic years to date, our graduates have stayed the course, completed their studies and will receive their diplomas. They and their families and friends and loved ones all deserve our sincere congratulations!

  • Together We Thrive, Fifty Years of NPR

    Last week marked the 50th anniversary of NPR. The first broadcast of All Things Considered with the founding mothers (Cokie Roberts, Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg, and Linda Wertheimer -- at the time precedent breaking as the assumption was the news audience preferred a deep, authoritative make voice) has led to one of the largest networks of journalists in modern media.

  • Photo of Hannah Meisel

    PAR Alumni Spotlight: Hannah Meisel returns to NPR Illinois

    Hannah Meisel has made a handful of stops on her journalism journey since completing the Public Affairs Reporting program in 2014. But she’s never strayed too far from the Illinois political beat.

  • Mapping Inequality

    Confronting Inequities in Springfield

    Our community is faced with significant inequities that have persisted over time.  The redlining map of Springfield shown in the picture above shows the mortgage lending categories used in 1940, which segregated our city and discriminated against people of color (  The red-shaded areas show the portions labelled as “hazardous” for loan making. Unfortunately, over 80 years later, the legacy of the redlining practices remain.

    In recognition of the need to address inequities, the Citizens Club of Springfield, in partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield, will be hosting a series of programs titled Confronting Inequities in Springfield. The steering committee for this event states: “The Series seeks to engage the broader public in an educational dialogue about the lasting effects of inequities and their destructive legacy in our own backyard. The series also seeks to spur discussion and action to create a more just and equitable community and write the next chapter to our story.”

  • Lesser bamboo rat (Cannomys badius) at a market in Phongsali, northern Laos

    How Can We Prevent the Next Pandemic by Addressing the Wildlife Trade?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world, infecting 134 million and killing nearly 3 million people. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease is thought to have likely originated in bats, a misunderstood and often maligned order of mammals that includes over 1,400 species. How the virus jumped the species barrier remains unclear, but strong evidence exists linking the wildlife trade to human exposure to the virus.  So, what can be done to prevent the next pandemic?


  • 5 Reasons to Pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs Reporting at UIS

    Since 1972, the Public Affairs Reporting program at UIS has jumpstarted hundreds of careers in journalism and communications. There are dozens of reasons why a PAR master’s degree is a smart option to level up your chances at a job reporting on government, politics and other high-profile topics. Read on for five of the best reasons.

  • GPSI Springing Forward

    As each academic semester comes to a close, students, faculty, and staff take time to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year and look forward to the coming year. In GPSI, the month of April is a time for celebration, recognition, and new beginnings. As we say “See you later” to one group of graduating interns, we are simultaneously interviewing for their successors. For the past many years, GPSI has hosted a Recognition Breakfast that highlights graduating interns, special projects, and shares new updates with our community members. At the breakfast, GPSI awards one outstanding intern the Brian T. Milbrandt Memorial Intern Award for Academic and Professional Excellence and one exceptional supervisor the Sagarika Madala Memorial Award for Exemplary Leadership. Both awards are named in memory of two former GPSIs.

  • Video: The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education

    In case you missed this panel discussion on March 4th, watch the video of this UIS COVID Engaged Series, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education" with moderators Dr. Magic Wade, PSC, Collin Moseley, SGA Vice President, and Mackenzi Matthews, SGA Parliamentarian, with panelists Francie Diep, Chronical of Higher Education, Randy Witter, UIS Alumnus.

  • Join us April 28 for a discussion about nonprofit news

    As privately owned media companies fight for survival and search for a funding model that is both sustainable and provides vital and trustworthy news coverage of local communities, we’ve seen more nonprofit journalism organizations (NPJs) emerge to report on specific topics and/or geographic areas that other newsrooms won’t or can’t adequately cover.

  • The Centerpiece April 2021

    The first week in April hails annually as the National Public Health Week where the public health system, practitioners and agencies across the country celebrate and promote public health.  Over the course of the last 15 years serving as a public health practitioner, often times, I remember wanting friends, family and others to better understand public health and my actual professional world.  The majority of those years I spent planning, preparing, and training for public health emergencies and not if but when they would occur.  However, even with experienced public health situations, like H1N1, and knowing the “when” would happen, never did I wish a true pandemic of this magnitude to occur.  What we have now though is a population with better understanding of public health – what it is, why it is important and how the practice of public health impacts EVERYONE.  We need to remember though that public health is more than COVID-19.  

  • NPR Illinois is happy to say our newest program, Community Voices, is passing the six-month mark.

    When you’re young, it’s important to announce you’re not just six or seven, but “And a half!” NPR Illinois is happy to say our newest program, Community Voices, is passing the six-month mark. Co-host Bea Bonner and I have enjoyed the start of this new concept in elevating the perspectives and the breadth of our listeners and neighbors. You hear this phrase every episode, “Community Voices is events you might have missed and conversations with neighbors, artists, and area business people.”

  • Stop Complaining, Stop Blaming Others, & Look in the Mirror

    You're the cause of many of your own problems in the workplace.  Ouch! It hurts, but it is the truth. You are the cause of many, if not most, of the problems you experience in the workplace. By the way, so am I.

  • Photo of off-shore wind turbines

    New executive orders target climate change, job creation, and environmental justice

    A new Presidential Administration brings with it new people, priorities, actions, and policies. Presidents’ approaches to environmental policy, in particular, have oscillated drastically during the last several administrations depending on which party the then-President identified with. This oscillation is so familiar to us it may feel like a given - but it wasn’t always this way.

  • Photo of stepping stones across a stream

    My UIS Experience

    UIS has been an incredible steppingstone in building my future. UIS encouraged me to be open minded, adventurous, independent, and confident. These qualities led me to become the successful Attorney I am now.

  • Tree

    Helping Preserve and Enhance our Urban Trees

     Urban trees are the pillars of our community. They help decrease air pollution, reduce flooding, produce valuable resources, provide a habitat for wildlife, promote physical and mental health, and encourage a sense of community (Turner-Skoff & Cavender, 2019). We marvel at these benefits, but we also have a responsibility to take care of these trees. 

    You are invited to join us on Wednesday, March 31 from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. for a virtual program on Urban Trees: Planning, Policy, and Planting. This program, which is sponsored by the Citizens Club of Springfield in partnership with the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Center for State Policy and Leadership, is part of the National Endowment of the Arts Big Read: Sangamon County. Programs and activities are taking place throughout our community in March and April based on the featured book Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.

  • What Are the Research Areas of the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies?

    One of the roles of ILLAPS, as outlined in a previous post of ours here, is to leverage the knowledge, resources, and expertise of our staff and faculty to solve information problems for government entities and non-profits. Another important role of ILLAPS since its foundation has been conducting our own original research on topics that are of use and interest to academics, policymakers, and engaged citizens to solve public problems. In the spirit of building on previous successes and our goal, this post is going to discuss some of the current ILLAPS research.

  • IIP Banner

    Preparing the Next Generation of Attorneys to Prevent and Remedy Wrongful Convictions

    The legal maneuvers required to free an innocent person after a wrongful conviction are notoriously complex. Yet few criminal law courses address post-conviction law. To help bridge the gap, the Illinois Innocence Project (IIP) serves as an extern site for law schools.

  • Continuum of Support from Cradle to Career

    Consider the following questions for a moment,

    Why do some children achieve on grade level and others do not?

    Why are some high schoolers prepared for college and careers and others are not?

    Why is it necessary for some businesses to recruit highly-qualified applicants from areas outside of Sangamon County?

    In 2005, local educational and business leaders asked themselves these and more questions about how education and the local economy are tied together. The more they dug into these questions, the more they realized that the answers were interconnected. Educational attainment is linked to grade-level achievement and social-emotional support. Grade-level achievement and social-emotional learning are connected to healthcare, nutrition, executive thinking skills, motor skill development, literacy skills, parental support, and on and on. It wasn’t long before these experts realized that in order to support Springfield’s economy, they had to focus on supporting youth through the entire continuum from cradle to career.

  • Photo of woman's hands holding dollar bills

    Other People’s Money: Married Women and Indebted Husbands in U.S. Law

    I am currently writing a book that explores the rights of debtors in the United States in the late nineteenth century.  In the chapter I’m currently revising, I focus on these themes as they related to married women. Under the common law of marriage, married women had no independent legal personality. All of this meant that wives were largely dependent on their husbands’ financial fortunes.

  • M Jones GPSI

    March GPSI Student Spotlight

    The Graduate Public Service Intern (GPSI) Program has over 200 interns at any given time throughout the year. While we cannot showcase all of the incredible work our students do on a daily basis, we have decided to highlight one intern or supervisor each month. March’s feature is Marissa Jones, a second year intern working at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

  • Sunshine Week - Your Right to Know

    Celebrate Sunshine Week!

    As I’m writing this on Monday, thick, gray clouds are streaking across the sky above the UIS campus. The view out my window reminds me of what it’s like sometimes trying to get information from government agencies.  March 14-20 is Sunshine Week, an initiative that began in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors to promote the public’s right to know what its public officials are doing.

  • I Believe in Being 18

    Another ten area high school seniors have been selected by our community committee for the 2021 edition of This I Believe on NPR Illinois. That’s 150 students since the program started with the 2007 selected authors. The program continues to pull at your emotions and remind you of when you were about to enter the adult world.