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The Update from Education at Illinois

The Update is a student newsletter that provides news,
career opportunities, and events to undergraduate
majors and minors in the College of Education at Illinois.

Student Spotlight
Jessica Shapiro, in Mexico over last New Year's 
Jessica Shapiro, in Mexico over last New Year's 

Jessica Shapiro
Jessica, a junior ELED major, played school with friends and family when she was younger and was always the teacher. This along with being a camp counselor and swim instructor in high school helped confirm her decision to teach. She had an unforgettable experience while studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic: Using English as their common language, she was able to work with 10 and 11 year olds during an optional volunteer opportunity at a local elementary school. Jessica will be spending the summer as an assistant teacher in a Montessori school near her hometown - "excited to see what the differences are" between Montessori methodology and her other classroom experiences. Jessica encourages Education students to get into classrooms early and find the balance between observing and interacting with students and teachers. This, she says, will "help you decide what age you would like to work with in the future." 


Free Movie Screening of Keep On Keepin' On
May 22
Art Theater Co-Op (126 W. Church St., Champaign)
This critically acclaimed 2014 film tells the story of a student-teacher relationship that will move and inspire you. Keep on Keepin' On depicts the friendship of music legend and teacher Clark Terry, 89, and blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin, 23. A discussion with film director Al Hicks will take place after the film.

Service and Sightseeing Trip to Chicago
June 4
The Illini Union Office of Volunteer Programs has organized a service trip for students who will be on campus this summer. Students will volunteer with a community organization and explore the city. Applications are due May 22, and participants must attend the mandatory pre-trip and post-trip sessions on May 31 and June 7. The $40 cost covers travel expenses, one sightseeing activity, one meal, and a T-shirt.

Build Your Own TI-Nspire CX CAS Calculator Workshop
June 14-16
This flexible-model workshop is a great way to learn about newer calculators and will look great on a résumé. The cost is $40 per day or $100 for all three days. Participants will earn six professional development hours for each day of attendance. Contact Robin Gapinski at 224-765-2224 or for more information.

Career and Professional Development

Open Positions at Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center
The H.O.P.E. Challenge Program at the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center is seeking a project facilitator. This program provides non-traditional yet practical treatment approaches for addressing life's distractions and obstacles faced by youths within the context of their home and community life. The person in this position will have strong written and communication skills, be familiar with using databases, and have a bachelor's degree in education, social work, or sociology. Contact Executive Director Janice Mitchell at 217-954-1749 or for more information.

The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center is also seeking a project director/principal investigator for its H.O.P.E. Challenge Program. Individuals with a master's degree in education, sociology, or social work are preferred, though those with a bachelor's degree in the same areas will be considered. Other preferred requirements include three years of program management experience and familiarity with assessment and evaluation techniques. Contact Executive Director Janice Mitchell at 217-954-1749 or for more information.   

Northeast Florida Teacher Virtual Career Fair
June 29
This free career fair is an outstanding opportunity for aspiring teachers to meet hiring representatives from 12 public school districts in northeast Florida. Educators are invited to interact via chat sessions and meet individuals from school systems who are looking for qualified candidates. Learn more and register.

Valley View School District Seeking Teachers
The Valley View School District, located approximately 35 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, has employment opportunities for future graduates of the College's teacher preparation programs. The district is especially looking for educators in the areas of elementary and early childhood English learning education (bilingual and/or English as a Second Language-certified). Learn more about the district and view its current job openings. For more information, contact Ricardo Sanchez at 815-886-2700 or

Happenings and Deadlines

MCAA Offering Prizes for Exceptional Student Work
Submission Deadline: June 8
The Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, which will take place Oct. 14-16 on the Illinois campus, is offering prizes for undergraduates who have written excellent papers on topics pertaining to Asian Studies in any field. Submissions can be emailed to Anne Hansen at Read more about submission guidelines and prizes and get details on this year's conference.

Apply for a Grant for Back-to-School Supplies
Application Deadline: June 30
The Meemic Foundation and have partnered to offer 1,500 grants of up to $100 each to be awarded for school supplies. Applying is simple and recipients will be notified by Aug. 1.


To submit information or a story, or to make inquiries or provide feedback, please email
the Student Academic Affairs Office at