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January 23, 2020

Welcome back, Illini!

Get cozy— this Update is a long (but good) one!


Alumni Spotlight


Kendall Williamson | From College to Kindergarten

Right after graduating from the College of Education with her EdM in Elementary Education in 2017, Kendall started teaching kindergarten at Bateman Elementary School with Chicago Public Schools. Bateman is a PK-8 school that prides themselves in having an inclusive learning environment supported by a co-teaching model. In her classroom, students are taught by a general education teacher (her!) and a special education teacher (a fellow College of Education graduate!).

Kendall says the College of Education prepared her to teach in this classroom environment by building a solid foundation of best practices through cousework and applying what she learned in well-rounded student teaching placements.

Thinking back to her time on campus, she remembers "instructors, who were passionate about developing new teachers who care about their students and their practice, and the people in my cohort - we had so many engaging discussions in which everyone brought their own perspectives - I learned so much from them!"

Though teaching kindergarten provides its challenges, like "answering 10,000 questions a day while bending over to tie shoes and avoid having students sneeze in my face," Kendall says being in the classroom is so worth it when a student finally understands a concept or just sees you in the hall and runs up to hug you. 

Kendall's advice to students comes in a few forms:

1. SAVE! Save the resources you get from your classes and cooperating teachers in an organized way where you can find them again years later. You may want to recreate them in your own class!

2. Work on your teaching philosophy. When you enter the teaching workforce, you will come across so many different teaching styles—you will always continue to learn from others, but stay true to what you believe is a good teacher. 

3. Practice self care! Everyone is right when they say the first year can be overwhelming. And the second year for that matter! But you can't take care of your kids if you don't take care of yourself!

Events + Opportunities

Take Advantage of FREE Tutoring with the Office of Minority Student Affairs
The Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) Academic Services Center offers matched and drop-in tutoring free to University of Illinois undergraduate students. Sign up and find out more here. OMSA also offers other resources such as mentoring, workshops, and supplemental instruction. Visit omsa.illinois.edu to learn more.

Attend Workshop Wednesdays with the Illinois Leadership Center
The ILC offers a series known as "Workshop Wednesdays." These are offered to all University of Illinois students and are held at the Illinois Leadership Center located in room 290 in the Illini Union. There are a variety of workshops offered for students to attend. Some of the topics for the spring semester are: conflict management, empowerment, and how to lead. Find the full list of workshops and how to register here

Attend an Undergraduate Research Workshop 
The Office of Undergraduate Research hosts various workshops designated to help undergraduate students with their research projects. The spring workshops are: The Value of Undergraduate Research, Getting Started in Undergraduate Research, and Proposal Writing for Undergraduate Research. Learn more and find workshop dates here.

Attend a Spring i-Program
Registration has opened for the Illinois Leadership Center's spring i-Programs. Programs include: Petullo Insight, Intersect, Imprint, Integrity, Inclusion, and Ignite. Learn more and register here.

Take a Free Beginner Ballroom Dancing Class with Illini Dancesport
January 28; 7 - 8 p.m. | Illini Union Room A
February 4; 7 - 8 p.m. | Illini Union Room C

Learn a new skill this semester with Illini Dancesport, an RSO specializing in competitive ballroom dancing. They are hosting a series of free beginner ballroom dancing lessons. There is no dress code and students will rotate dance partners in class. 

Learn About Teaching Abroad
January 29; 4 - 5 p.m.

Education 162
Join the Career Center, School of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and the College of Education to learn more about how to prepare for teaching in other countries, TESOL, and international job opportunities.

Spend Spring Break Abroad
Application deadline: February 1
Spend your Spring Break discovering the impact of different culture and education systems on teaching in classrooms in France, Spain, Costa Rice, or Italy. Learn about course credits, cost, topics of study, scholarships available, and more here.

Research Opportunity: Community-Academic Scholars
Application deadline: February 1
The Community-Academic Scholars Initiative provides undergraduates with an opportunity to gain research experience while addressing critical issues in our community. Scholars from disciplines across campus work with faculty and community mentors to contribute to projects related to health equity, brain health, and poverty or social inequity. This includes research projects, program evaluations, needs assessments, or similar projects. In most cases, applicants will be involved in ongoing research projects or supporting an established collaboration between faculty and community partner, but there are limited opportunities to join existing collaborations. Learn more and apply here.

Attend the Middle and High School Teacher Symposium
February 7; 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Illinois State University
Join more than 300 teachers from across the state for a day of professional development. Inspired by the theme "Hindsight is 2020," 50-minute 
sessions will look to the past to envision the future by exploring topics including: gender, orientation, race, religion, abilities, immigration, civil rights, advocacy, standards & more. Learn more and register here.

Hack for Animal Health!
February 27; 4-9 p.m.
University of Illinois Main Library
Anxiety is a common behavior disorder in dogs, and more prevalent than many people realize. It’s not just hard on Fido – it’s also difficult for owners of anxious dogs. How might we help beloved-but-nervous canines and their families? This year’s #HackForAnimalHealth, presented by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and SCD (and hosted by the Scholarly Commons at the University of Illinois Main Library) explores this question. Participating teams will be challenged to develop novel, humane, and owner-centered solutions for alleviating anxiety in dogs. Learn more and register here.

Check Out the 22nd Annual Ebertfest
April 15-18
Virginia Theatre, Champaign

Roger Ebert’s Film Festival is held every April in Champaign, Illinois, and organized by the College of Media at the University of Illinois. Roger Ebert, the TV and Chicago Sun-Times film critic, was a native of the adjoining town of Urbana, Illinois an alumnus of the University, and founded the festival in 1999. Learn more about the Fest here.

Scholarships + Awards

Become a Golden Apple Scholar
The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois is a teacher preparation and tuition assistance program for freshmen and sophomores in teaching licensure majors who have the determination and drive to be excellent teachers in Illinois schools-of-need. They prepare you for immediate and lasting success in the most challenging teaching environments.

Scholars receive: up to $23,000 in financial assistance, paid residential scholar institutes, extensive classroom teaching experience, academic and social-emotional support, job placement assistance, and mentoring from award-winning teaching faculty. Learn more and apply here.

Apply for the Avery Brundage Scholarship
Application deadline: February 10
The Avery Brundage Scholaship is for students who demonstrate excellence both in academic pursuits and athletic endeavors. Learn more and apply here.

Apply For the Fred S. Bailey Scholarship For Cause Driven Leaders
Application deadline: February 16
The Bailey Undergraduate awards are $3000 awards ($1500/semester) given each year to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois who have demonstrated positive impact and commitment as a result of service, community involvement, leadership, and action. Financial need and academic achievement will also be considered. Find more information and apply here.


Career + Professional Development

Join Illinois Business Consulting
Application deadline: January 24
Join Illinois Business Consulting, the nation's largest fee-based, student-run consulting firm, to work with a team on a semester-long project to solve a business problem for a real-world client. The 250+ members are provided with opportunities for professional networking events, team socials, client visits, and more. IBC allows you to apply what you learn in the classroom in an impactful way and make valuable connections with other members. Apply here.

Attend the Part-Time Job Fair
January 28; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Illini Union, Rooms ABC

Find PAID part-time job opportunities from on-campus and off-campus employers.

Attend the Overseas Recruiting Fair
January 31 - February 1; University of Northern Iowa
Over 120+ American international schools representing 50+ countries will be in attendance at the 44th annual event. The UNI Fair gives you the opportunity to network, interview, and accept a position at the event. Over 1,000 jobs are posted with them annually, and candidates average 5 interviews each. The UNI Fair is unique, fast-paced, and an exciting place to find your next job! It is highly recommended to attend all events on Friday. 
Educators seeking their first international job attend the UNI Overseas Recruiting Fair in order to make the key personal connections that are so critical in deciding on your first overseas assignment. Learn more and register here

Work for the Illinois Leadership Center
Application Deadline: February 7
The Illinois Leadership Center is recruiting undergraduate students for employment for the 2020-2021 academic year. Various jobs include: graphic designers, photographers, workshop coordinators, and researchers. Learn more and apply here.

Save the Date for the Educators' Job Fair
March 2; 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign
There will be over 100 schools and districts in attendence. Register on Handshake to receive detailed pre-fair information on: what districts and schools will be present; booth numbers; and what positions are available. The Hilton Garden Inn is conveniently located on the MTD 10 Gold bus route.


See you next Thursday for another edition of The Update

Go Illini!

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