student kicking sand on a beach during spring break

The SPRING of Academics

With Spring Break just around the corner, we’re all excited to get out of here! You probably already have plans made for the break, but have you made plans for your academics? Spring break is a great time to relax, but it’s also a time to catch up on your work if you’ve fallen behind or work ahead to make sure you have enough time to study for finals. Here are some great tips for keeping yourself in check over break.

Print out lecture slides. Printing out lecture slides is a great way to have the slides with you if you don’t want to take your laptop on vacation. You can dedicate at least an hour a night and go through one lecture a day. Make notes next to your slides and highlight any important information. If you don’t like paper, you can digitalize your work and take your laptop with you too. So, when you’re packing your sunscreen, don’t forget your slides.

Studying to and from the destination. If you’re traveling far distances, you might forget to study while on vacation. Therefore, study on your way and on your way back. If you’re on a plane, you have nowhere else to go so might as well get your notes out and try to get some work done. You might be too exhausted when you land at your destination so take advantage of the travel time. Any amount of studying is better than no studying at all.

Catch up on some sleep. The most important tip of all: sleep! If you haven’t slept at all because of research, lab work, homework assignments, projects, etc. you might want to think about getting some sleep first. You can’t concentrate on your work if you’re tired, and that means you won’t retain any information you study. If you feel tired, take a break. It is called spring BREAK for a reason. Just don’t let it get out of control and sleep all seven days of it.

Asks travel buddies to quiz you. If you’re traveling with friends or family, utilize them. Ask them to quiz you on your amino acids, time periods, cell parts, the human anatomy, table of elements, or any other class subject. There will be moments when you are not doing anything or waiting in a long line to get in somewhere, use your time wisely. You can do this by writing out note cards. It’s also very travel-friendly.

Complete all your assignments within the first few days. If you want to have a peaceful break, try to get all your assignments done before you head out. This takes a lot of stress off your shoulders and you get to enjoy your break without worrying about how much time you’ll need to complete your assignments when you get back. This also prevents you from cramming in poor work into assignments. Even if you don’t finish everything, you have more time when you come back from vacation to focus on the rest of the assignment.

Catch up on some reading. You can catch up on the next few chapters for your class. Getting ahead of the curb is a great way to learn the material before it’s taught and grasp the concept when you hear your professor explain it. This tip is helpful for anyone who has a lot to do during school and needs extra time studying. It will be a buffer for when you don’t have time to read a chapter, yay, you did it already!

There are a lot of other things you can do over break that can help develop your academic cloud. Staying on top of assignments and studying while relaxing are some of the best ways to be productive over spring break. I highly encourage you to seek your own preferred methods of studying over break and let us know how it went!


Speech and hearing Sciences building at university of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

American Sign Language Course Update

An update from Dr. Karen Kirk, Department Head for the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, about courses in American Sign Language.

Due to budgetary challenges and the retirement of one of the long time ASL instructors, the Department of Speech and Hearing Science was unable to offer SHS 121 American Sign Language 1 for spring 2018. The department will begin a search to replace that ASL instructor in the near future. Due to the timing of the search, we do not anticipate having a second ASL instructor in place for fall 2018.  The pending sections for SHS 121 in fall 2018 will soon be canceled so that students will not be able to register for it.  We anticipate offering SHS 121 again in spring 2019. The remaining courses in the ASL sequence (SHS 221 American Sign Language 2, SHS 222 Language and Culture of Deaf Communities, and SHS 321 American Sign Language 3) will be offered in fall 2018 and spring 2019.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this you may contact Dr. Kirk directly at:

If students wish to enroll in either SHS 221 or SHS 321 for the fall semester they will need to complete an online form to request that they be put on a wait list for either of these classes. Each section of these courses will be listed as closed with a message below each section that will prompt them to fill out the form. The link to the URL is not presently listed but it will be timed to go live in time for registration. If there are any questions about the wait list for the ASL classes these should be directed to Andrea Paceley ( in the SHS office.

photo of calendar schedule

Schedule for Fall 2018 is Now Live!

The Fall 18 Class Schedule is now live in the Course Explorer. Choose the term from the drop down menu on the upper right hand side of your screen.

Fall 18 will become the default term starting March 19th, after registration closes for the Spring 18 second 8 week classes.

Spring 18 will temporarily become the default term on May 2nd through the end of the Final Exam period.

Now is a great time for Chemical Engineering and Chemistry students to schedule a meeting with their advisor.

KEP Program

Keeping the Ezra Promise:
Any Person, Any Study

What:REU-style summer research program
Housing and stipend provided
When:Summer 2018 (June to August)
Where:Cornell University Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Who: No experience required. Students interested in graduate school at sophomore level and above encouraged to apply.
Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter by Friday February 23rd. Cover letter should explain how research at Cornell University will help you achieve your career goals.
On UIUC campus interviews held on Saturday March 3rd.
Contact: Josh Walker (

Rejection Stamp

Dealing with Rejection

Tis the season. No, not the holiday season (winter break is over, we need to accept that), but rejection season. The spring semester is filled with No signapplying to graduate school, summer internships, full-time jobs (for those of us graduating), or even just a summer job at home. But with all of those applications inevitably comes rejections. We can’t get every position we apply to, unfortunately.

So you get a rejection letter. What do you do now? Do you get angry? Lose hope? Give up entirely? Or…do you pull yourself together and keep pursuing your passions, your goals, your dreams? Getting that rejection letter can be really hard but here are a few ways to handle it and move forward.

Let yourself feel disappointed

Chances are that if you applied for a certain position, you felt you were qualified and could perform the responsibilities well. You could see yourself holding that position for the foreseeable future, so getting the rejection shatters that image you had for yourself. It is okay to feel disappointed you didn’t get an offer. But the key is to not let the disappointment consume you. It is also worthwhile to remember that a rejection does not determine your worth or the value of the skills you have. It just means that this particular position wasn’t meant for you, so try not to be too hard on yourself.

Take your mind off of it

If you’re anything like me, when you find your ideal position, you start planning what your life would be like while you had that job or that research position. Once you no longer have that opportunity available, it can be hard to return to the present. But I always find that doing something fun can help take my mind off of things for a bit. Whether it’s a movie, going out for dinner or just hanging out with your friends, I find that at the end of the night, I feel better about where I am right now, and I don’t feel quite as bad about being rejected.

Keep going

As much as we hate getting those rejection letters, we are going to be getting much more throughout the course of our careers. Sometimes, there are just too many qualified candidates. I like to think that being rejected from one place only means that I wasn’t meant to be there at this point in my life/career and that something better is waiting for me, I just have to find it. If we quit after our first rejection, we wouldn’t be able to find our dream position. It’s all about perspective.

So you get a rejection letter. What do you do now? Do you let yourself be disappointed? Take your mind off of the rejection? Keep going? Of course, you do! There is something better waiting for you, you just have to go out and find it. Don’t let the rejection letter deter you from achieving your goals.

Undergraduate research

James Scholar Preble Research Scholarship

Current Junior or Senior James Scholars involved in a research project during Spring and Summer of 2018 are encouraged to apply for the James Scholar Preble Research Scholarship!

The purpose of these funds is to provide incentive and support to outstanding James Scholars involved in undergraduate research (e.g., Department Distinction projects, research projects, etc.). Junior and Senior certified James Scholars in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are invited to apply. A limited amount of funding is awarded each term to James Scholars whose academic enrichment proposal is judged most meritorious by the LAS Honors Council.

Scholarships are typically awarded in the amount of $500, although the Honors Council may adjust the award amount if they deem it to be appropriate for a particular application.

Applicants will be asked to provide a description of their project, an explanation of the funding being requested, an itemized budget for the project, a resume, and a letter of reference from the individual advising the research project.

Funds to support the purchase of research supplies and materials may be paid to your PI’s lab account at the request of the applicant following notification that their application has been funded. Funds to support living expenses, enabling dedicated research time, will pay to your student account like a typical scholarship.

Applications are due by Friday, February 16 at 11:59PM for BOTH Spring and Summer funds. The application can be accessed here:

This scholarship opportunity is specifically for Spring and Summer 2018 research.  There is another application opportunity in Fall 2018 for fall research funds.

Study Abroad in Greece picture of city and port

Summer Study Tour in GREECE

Summer Faculty Led Study Tour, open to ALL majors:

FSHN 199 – “Mediterranean Study Abroad” (CRN 33010) will take you to Greece for 13 days at the end of May. Find out why the Mediterranean Diata (lifestyle) is the focus of health/wellness. Thessaloniki Greece has it all. It is a city that has a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere by day balanced with an exciting nightlife after dark.  For more information and to apply, visit:

Faculty Leader:
Toni Burkhalter
Senior Instructor in Food Science and Human Nutrition
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


Summer langauge program picture

Summer Intensive Language Classes

The Summer Institute for Languages of the Muslim World (SILMW) is an annual intensive language program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We invite students to join the 9% of Americans who choose the unique and meaningful experience of learning a Less Commonly Taught Language (LCTL).  We believe that learning these languages will allow students to gain new global perspectives and set them apart as highly qualified individuals for international work and engagement.  Many of these languages have been designated by the United States government as critical to U.S. National Security and can assist students in securing international positions in governmental, development, and academic sectors.

This summer SILMW will take place from June 11 to August 4, 2018, and we will be offering Arabic, Persian, Swahili, Turkish and Wolof.  The program is 8 weeks and is divided into two, 4-week semesters.  This is an immersive experience, complete with instruction, cultural activities, opportunities for language practice, conversation tables, cooking classes, movie nights, and more!

When you complete the program, not only will you be able to hold a conversation in a new language and have earned 10 credits (completing your language requirement), you will have had fun!

The deadline to register is April 30, 2018.  For more information, visit our website at  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at or reach out to Hicham Zemmahi (  We hope to see you this summer!

Winter Break Board Game Events

The International Student Outreach Team at the Counseling Center is having an outreach program for students (both international and domestic) gameday board announcementwho are staying in town during the winter break. We are planning to invite them to gather and play some board games (Counseling Center will provide) and make friends if they are interested. The event is on next Wednesday (01/10/18) from 1-3pm at the Grainger Library, Room433 (flyer is attached). There is no need to register and free to participate. Please share the news with the students you know who may be interested. Thank you very much!