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The Update is a student newsletter for undergraduate
majors and minors in the College of Education at Illinois.

Student Spotlight - What did you do during winter break?

Carly Bessinger
"I went on a Royal Caribbean cruise called the Oasis of the Seas. It stopped at ports in St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Haiti. It was a great experience to have with my family, and I really enjoyed learning about the history of Puerto Rico by walking through the castle and fort that the Spaniards built in 1783. When we had days at sea I got to relax out by the pool. It was great to spend a lot of time with my family!"  


Madelyn Biron
"This break Jessica Covaci and I, both second-year Special Education majors, went to Hollywood, Florida. During the trip we decided to go parasailing! It was a blast, and I highly recommend it to others! The trip was also special because this was the first time Jessica and I have been somewhere outside of the Champaign region together! Glad we chose a warm place!"

Grace Liu 

Kaylee Gerhardt
"I went on a mission trip to Guatemala. We built 16 clean, efficient stoves for families. Usually the families cook over open fires, which can be dangerous and produces a lot of smoke. The smoke they breathe in is equivalent to smoking 20 packs of cigarettes a day. So with these new stoves they can cook without the smoke getting into their houses, and it prevents burns from the fires. It was a life-changing experience, and I can't wait to go back!"  


Morgan Havel
"I visited Vail, Colorado, for a week of snowboarding with my family. Although I went from one cold place to the next, I had a lot of fun exploring the mountain by snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing!"


Natalie Hernandez
"Over break I was able to visit Morelia, Mexico, a city where my family is from. I was able to visit downtown, the artisan markets, and try the local food. I had a magnificent time as I felt connected to the place where my family is from. My family and I were able to look over the city from a place called El Mirador, which enables you to go to a place above and look over the city."


Elizabeth Jolie
"I traveled to the Northern Highlands of Peru to visit the community where I lived and held an after-school program a few summers ago. Along with adventuring in the Northern Highlands, I spent some time in Lima!"


Jill Nicklas
"My family and I went to London, England, the day after Christmas! We toured all of London and had a great time! I spent the rest of break getting ready for the upcoming softball season with workouts and practices. Go Illini!"


Margaret Parks
"I didn't do many interesting activities over break. I mainly just hung out with family and friends and played with my pets! It was very relaxing."


Ayesha Patel
"I had the pleasure of road-tripping to Arizona with fellow Illini and Professor Mark Dressman. We visited some beautiful sites, but most importantly I had the opportunity to take over a history class at a high school in the Navajo Nation. It was both a humbling and eye-opening experience that made me realize I chose the right career path in becoming a high school history teacher. This is a trip I will never forget."


Caitlyn Ryba
"I watched a lot of Netflix, but then got to spend a week in Florida and go to Disney and Universal for the first time! And of course I got to hang out with my friend Alex."


Jackie Shannon
"I spent time with friends and family in the midst of preparing for my semester abroad in Paris! One highlight during break was playing laser tag during a staff reunion at the summer camp where I work."  


Steven Waddell
"Myself and several other students took a road trip to Kayenta, Arizona, to visit the Navajo reservation and teach high school students at Monument Valley High School for a week. We also visited beautiful sites such as the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Canyon de Chelly. It was a wonderful experience to get exposed to Native American culture and get a different perspective by teaching high-need students."


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Jan. 16; 1-4 p.m.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service offers a chance for students to participate in hands-on service projects that will benefit community organizationsBoth individuals and groups can sign up. Learn more    

Cultural Celebration Series at Spurlock Museum
Jan. 22; 1 p.m.
Spurlock Museum will begin its new Cultural Celebration Series on the fourth Sunday of every month. The entertainment in January will be by Gah Rahk Mah Dahg, a Korean percussion group. The performances at Spurlock will be free, and everyone is welcome. Contact Kim Sheahan at 217-244-3355 for inquiries.     

Center for Children's Books Hosting Book Sale
Feb. 13-15; 10 a.m. - Noon
The Center for Children's Books on campus will be hosting a mid-February book sale for children that will include a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction titles. Board books, picture books, chapter books, novels, and activity books will all be available at low prices. Learn more and contact Lauren Gray at 217-244-9331 or for more information.

Career and Professional Development

Fairfax County Public School Instructional Job Fair
Feb. 11
The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) public school system in Virginia is hosting its annual instructional job fair in which invitation-only candidates will be interviewed and possibly offered jobs. FCPS is the nation's 10th largest public school system and serves more than 187,000 students in the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Inquiries can be directed to the FCPS Department of Human Resources at 571-423-3000 or via the HR Connection Web page
Learn more ...          

Project L/EARN Research Training Internship
May 30-Aug. 4
Rutgers University
The Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University is offering an exciting internship opportunity for sophomores and juniors. The program is designed to increase graduate school enrollment among students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in health-related graduate programs. Project L/EARN is an intensive 10-week internship for qualified students who are looking to obtain research skills and hands-on experience in health-services research under the guidance of a distinguished faculty member. Learn more ...   

College of ACES at Illinois Seeking Head Teachers
The Child Development Laboratory in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at Illinois has two open positions for head teacher. The selected candidates will run a full-day child care classroom at the facility. A bachelor's degree in child development, early childhood education, or a closely related field is required, and a master's degree in any of the fields is preferred. Apply or contact Brent A. McBride at 217-333-0971 or 217-333-2550 for inquiries.

Soccer Coach Needed at YMCA
The Stephens Family YMCA in Champaign is searching for a volunteer soccer coach from now until Feb. 18 for kindergarten and first-grade teams. This is a great opportunity to gain coaching experience, work with young children, and help a team in need of a coach. Learn more about the YMCA's winter indoor soccer league for youth, and contact Kathy Martensen at for inquiries.    

Happenings and Deadlines

Upcoming Sessions Available on Minoring in Global Studies
January through April
The Global Studies department in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences will offer numerous information sessions this semester for students who are interested in minoring in Global Studies. Contact Tanu Kohli at or 217-333-0178 for inquiries.  

Transatlantic Educators Dialogue
Feb. 5 - April 30
Application Deadline: Jan. 15
This 12-week online program coordinated by the European Union Center at Illinois is an opportunity for students to talk to other teachers about educational issues beyond classroom management. Along with learning about differences in education among nations, the TED program will cover topics such as immigration, youth culture, and education in rural versus urban contexts. Online sessions are 90 minutes and up to 30 professional development contact hours (CEU/PDHs) are available through the program. Learn more and contact Lucinda Morgan at for inquiries. 

Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation Scholarships
Postmark Applications by March 7
The Illinois Retired Teachers Association is offering $1,500 scholarships to aspiring educators entering their junior or senior year of college. Learn more and contact Susan Goetz at or 800-728-4782 for inquiries.

Beckman Institute Offering Awards for Undergraduates
Application Deadline: March 10
The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology has a number of awards available for undergraduate students. Specifically, the institute is offering the Cognitive, Lifespan Engagement, Aging, and Resilience Award and the Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Award. Contact Maeve Reilly at for inquiries.

Office of Undergraduate Research Accepting Symposium Submissions
Application Deadline: Feb. 1
The Office of Undergraduate Research is taking submissions for the April 27, 2017, Undergraduate Research Symposium. The symposium is the signature event of the campus's Undergraduate Research Week, which takes place April 23-29 and brings together students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines. Apply for the symposium and email for inquiries.


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