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December 10, 2020

This week's Student Spotlight is...

Rayna Zirkelbach 

Transferring to a new school can be challenging, but for Rayna, the warm environment of the University of Illinois made the transition an easy one. Once Rayna was welcomed with open arms to campus, she soon found her place in the College of Education, but not how you might think. When asked about her decision to become an educator, she replied, "I didn’t know for a long time. On a whim I got a job at a daycare, and this is where I fell in love with education. I knew I wanted to do this as my career." Rayna's story is a great example that you don't have to have it all figured out right away. Sometimes the longer road is the one worth taking! 

We feature Education students in our weekly Student Spotlight to build community within the College, and we’d love to highlight YOU. First-year students and sophomores, juniors, and seniors please complete this quick survey if you've not yet been featured.


Virtual Opportunities


Socially Distant Study Spaces on Campus
Need a quiet, socially distanced place to study on campus this finals season? The University Libraries offer individual study spaces available through appointment only. Library spaces must be reserved 4 hours in advance, and an I-Card is required. Schedule your quiet study space here! For group work, spaces are available in the Courtyard Cafe and lower seating levels of the Illini Union.

New Credit/No Credit and Drop Deadlines
Academic changes have been made to the Fall 2020 semester that acknowledge the unique and challenging pandemic-related circumstances and the additional stress it has caused for students. Please refer to the recent massmail for details on the new drop and credit/no credit deadlines, as well as other information to consider before making changes. Please know the university is working on a more detailed document and FAQ, which will be available on the Office of the Provost’s policies website.


Scholarships + Awards


Dr. Kazys Grinius Endowment Scholarship
Application Deadline: December 14,
Full-time undergraduate or graduate students of Lithuanian decent, and/or of Lithuanian history, culture, or language are welcome to apply to this endowment scholarship. Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded! Email uspscholarships@uillinois.edu to request an application.

The Boren Scholarship
Application Deadline: January 19, 2021
The Boren scholarship provides undergraduate study abroad scholarships up to $25,000 for a full academic year or up to $12,500 for a semester. 
These are merit-based scholarships, and approximately one in five eligible applicants receive awards. In order to receive the scholarship, award winners must enter into a service agreement requiring that they attempt to work in a paid position for the federal government in an area related to national security. For more information, undergraduate students should contact the National and International Scholarships Program at topscholars@illinois.edu.

Golden Apple Scholars
This teacher preparation program provides their scholars up to $23,000 in tuition assistance and mentoring that supports the development and success of new, highly-effective teachers for Illinois schools-of-need. Illinois needs passionate resilient young educators like you! High school seniors and first and second-year Illinois college students are eligible to apply.

For more information on scholarship opportunities, contact the National and International Scholarships Program at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit their website.


Student Wellness


Drop-In Mindfulness and Meditation Workshops
Every Weekday at 4:15 p.m. CST
Zoom Meeting ID: 922 2891 7050,  Password: CCMind.

Many students have let us know they would find benefit in daily guided meditations, so the Counseling Center is now offering daily 30-minute mindfulness drop-in workshops on Zoom. Each day has a theme, Mindfulness Mondays, Intuitive Eating Tuesdays, Body Awareness Wednesdays, Thoughtful Thursdays, and Forget-it Fridays (Leave all of your stress about multiple pandemics, sociopolitical events, and everyday frustrations behind.) These workshops are not therapy. They are available to any student and are not confidential.

Support in Times of Stress
As the final exams approach, now more than ever we must look out for each other in whatever ways we can. Please remember to be kind and take notice of peers who show signs of panic, depression, anxiety, excessive fatigue, avoidance, or confusion, they may need your help and encouragement in seeking assistance. For psychological, interpersonal and academic concerns, students may refer to the Counseling Center, or call McKinley Mental Health at 217-333-2700. Stress management and self help resources can be found on the McKinley Mental Health website, or contact the Health Resource Center in the Illini Union at 217-244-5994. If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychological emergency, call the Crisis Line at 217-359-4141. You and the mental health professional can strategize about the best way to make certain help is received.


Career + Professional Development


Undergraduate Research Symposium
April 26 - 30, 2021

Application Deadline: March 19, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CST
The Office of Undergraduate Research is now accepting submissions for the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), set to be on display April 26 - 30, 2021. All undergraduate students currently involved with research are eligible to present, just fill out the application! For more information on URS, please visit their website.



Please visit our COVID-19 site for the latest info & resources.

That's a wrap on The Update for this semester! Finish strong, have a restful break, and GO ILLINI!

The Student Academic Affairs Office welcomes student input for issues of The Update.
Please submit your events, announcements, and comments via the links below.

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