Weekly Round-Up

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Important Dates and Deadlines

February 29: Deadline for Spring Writing Contest submissions
March 4: Registration opens for English & Creative Writing Convocation
March 8: Deadline to drop a full-semester course without a W

As always, if you would like to schedule an advising appointment with Anna or Keshia, please CALL the office at 217-333-4346. We are happy to answers questions via email (englishadvising@illinois.edu) but complex matters require an appointment (in person or virtual).

Spring Creative Writing Contests

Deadline: Noon, Thursday, February 29, 2024
The English Department is pleased to announce its annual undergraduate literary competitions in Short Fiction and Poetry. Prizes range from $100 to $1500 with multiple awards in each category.

Contest rules are as follows:
Short Fiction: Submit no more than one unpublished story (7500 words, maximum length)
Poetry: Submit up to 5 unpublished poems in a single document.

To be considered for a prize, submissions must adhere to the following rules:

  • All submissions must be sent via email as an attachment to: jdudek4@illinois.edu.
  • The subject line of your email message must read as follows: “UNDERGRAD POETRY: Last name” or “UNDERGRAD FICTION: Last name”
  • If you enter in both categories (poetry and fiction), you will need to send separate emails.
  • In the body of your email, please include your:
    • name
    • address
    • phone number
    • e-mail address
    • status (grad or undergrad)
    • UIN

This year, we are also able to offer new scholarships worth $1000 in both Fiction and Poetry. These scholarships will be distributed to students based on merit, with preference given to students displaying financial need and who graduated from an Illinois high school.

If you would like to be considered for one of these scholarships, please include the following along with the information above:

  • a brief note on your financial need
  • the name of the Illinois high school from which you graduated

Your entry itself is to be contained in one attached .docx file. The name of this file must be the contest category followed by your last name, such as “FICTION JONES.docx” or “POETRY JONES.docx” Your name should not appear within the document itself.

Winners will be announced April 1. Please direct any questions to John Dudek, Associate Director of Creative Writing at jdudek4@illinois.edu.

ESA Upcoming Events

MFA “Alt-Ac” Workshop–Undergrads Welcome!

If you’re an undergraduate who is considering applying to MFA programs down the road, feel free to join current MFA students at a meeting on Feb 21 to talk about post-graduate career prospects (with an emphasis on alternative and non-academic careers–in other words, what might you do with an MFA if you don’t want to teach?). This event is part of an ongoing professional development series open to all.

Join the Skeuomorphics

Skeuomorph Press & BookLab is forming a club! Whether you’re a seasoned printmaking enthusiast or a curious beginner, this is your chance to immerse yourself in the of art of making the book. From zines to chapbooks to comics to digital text, we’ve got them all! Join the Skeuomorphics to connect with fellow enthusiasts and connect with the magic of the book.

If you’d like to learn more, print a cool bookmark, or just grab a free snack, come to our member interest event on Tuesday, February 20th from 4-5:30pm.

Book Talk by Elizabeth Massa Hoiem

The Education of Things: How British Children’s Books and Toys Taught Science and Manufacturing, 1762-1860

Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 3-5pm
University of Illinois Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Room 346 in the Main Library, 1408 W. Gregory.

By the close of the eighteenth century, learning to read and write became closely associated with learning about the material world, and a vast array of games and books from the era taught children how to comprehend the physical world of “things.” Hoiem reveals the class politics behind the playful literature, toys, and learning aids created to teach reading alongside science, technology, and economics. She argues that with the rise of manufacturing, skills such as tinkering, observation, and experimentation became essential new literacies for an industrial economy. As work was repositioned as play, wealthy children were encouraged to do tasks in the classroom that poor children performed for wages, while working-class children honed skills that would be crucial to their social advancement as adults. Rare books will also be on display for you to view. The public event is free and open to all, and refreshments will be served. 

VOICE: Graduate Student Reading

Come hear MFA students read from their work on Feb 22 at 7pm at The Literary Bookbar, 122 N Neil St. in Champaign.

This month will feature:

  • Hannah Thorpe
  • Callan Latham
  • Nina King Sannes

Spring 2024 WRC Book Clubs

Register for February sessions using the links provided:

House of Flame and Shadow (Crescent City, 3) by Sarah J. Maas
Discussion will take place on Friday, February 23 at 3 pm at the WRC. | Books will not be provided for this book club.  However, participants will receive book-related merch.

Get Help with Big Writing Projects

UI-CON is happening in March!

Don’t forget, UI-CON is being held at the Illini Union on March 2nd & 3rd, 2024!

This is Chambana’s first-ever Comic and Anime Convention, and you can register for FREE!

UI-CON aims to provide a free convention for Central Illinois residents through the efforts of various UIUC RSOs. This includes JAC (Japanese Anime Club), CDL (Cosplay Design League), Character Creation Hub (CCH), and many more. Our convention focuses on anime, comics, and WEBTOON. We aim to provide opportunities to students and local artists to sell their art and products, make new connections, and support fan culture in Central Illinois, especially for students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

With the help of the UIUC English Department, this free convention is hosting a wide variety of events, such as performances, a cosplay contest, and a huge hall for artists and vendors. We are also collaborating with multiple high-scale entities such as video game developers, voice actors, and WEBTOON.

Check out all our special events and our latest news announcements here!


Careers in Human Resources

Support for Undergraduate Research

Summer Course Sneak Peek

Humanities in Action (HIA)

Get $1000 to learn, grow, and serve the community 

Interested in applying your humanities training to address a vital area of need in the Champaign-Urbana community? Apply to be a Fall 2024 Humanities in Action scholar. HIA Scholars receive $1000, training, and support for their participation in this semester-long service program. Complete applications are due March 8. View application details. 

Beinecke Scholarship

Looking to gain a graduate degree (PhD or MFA) in the arts, humanities, or social sciences?  If so, the Beinecke Scholarship is a merit- and need-based scholarship that can fund you! 

Juniors who are U.S. citizens, who have received need-based financial aid at UIUC, and who are pursuing a terminal degree in the arts, humanities, and social sciences are eligible to apply

The Beinecke Scholarship provides $5,000 to recipients immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. 

The Beinecke seeks students with demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement, and personal promise. Students who have taken a breadth of coursework (not just artistic performance classes) and who seek a terminal degree (PhD or MFA) in the arts, humanities, and social sciences are prioritized. While eligible, applications for professional degrees such as law or business are generally not competitive. Applicants should have received need-based financial aid at Illinois and be dependent on financial assistance to attend graduate school. 

Get tips about applying from recent Illinois Beinecke Scholars.

The required campus deadline is March 4, 2024, at 12:00pm (noon).

For more information, contact the scholarships office at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit our website at www.topscholars.illinois.edu 

Illinois Student Undergraduate Research Journal (ILSURJ)

Illinois Student Undergraduate Research Journal (ILSURJ) are looking for Copy Editors, Content Editors, Layout Specialists/Graphic Designers, and Public Relations Staff.

ILSURJ has been established for the purpose of advancing undergraduate research in all disciplines at the University of Illinois. Through the biannual publication of student research in both print and electronic format, ILSURJ showcases the dynamic nature of undergraduate inquiry on campus. Our goal is to build bridges between undergraduate and graduate students, faculty among varying disciplines, and the public. 

Through our peer-edited, faculty-reviewed electronic and print publications, we strive to develop and display the work produced by our high-achieving undergraduate researchers in all academic disciplines in the spirit of development towards professional research. We aim to inspire interest in research and individual curiosity throughout the student body, faculty, and surrounding community. To review the roles available check out the application below!


Online Middle Grades Graduate Certificate

The Middle Grades Graduate Certificate program at the College of Education provides a pathway for non-teachers to earn their teaching license in the state of Illinois. This Graduate Certificate (CERT) program is offered with endorsement options in two areas (Literacy and Science) and culminates with licensure to teach learners in grades 5-8. Candidates who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a relevant content area are eligible for this program (NOTE: This program is most suitable for students with undergraduate degrees in English or science). Graduates of the Middle Grades Certificate program may also apply their coursework toward a master’s degree in the College of Education. The deadline to apply for the Summer 2024 cohort is March 15th

Check Out Tuesday @ 7 Workshops

Each week, undergraduate Counseling Center paraprofessionals offer interactive workshops on topics relevant to other students. Please visit our website for login information and upcoming topics.

Here are our workshops for the month of February:

February 20 | Brrrreaking the Ice: Coping with the Winter Blues*

February 27 | Your Lucky Charm to Reduce Harm: Safe Substance Use During Unofficial | La Casa 104 

All workshops denoted with a (*) are held over Zoom. Click here to join the Zoom meeting or check out the meeting information below.

Meeting ID: 863 0232 2916
Password: T@7

New Student & Family Experiences is hiring Orientation Leaders

New Student and Family Experiences is looking for undergraduate students to serve as Orientation Leaders to help us welcome our Fall 2024 new students!  The position description and link to apply are below.

The OL position is designed to offer students the opportunity to implement orientation programming for new first year students and family members. OLs should be knowledgeable about the University of Illinois and have a desire to help new students have a successful transition. OLs attend a paid spring training session to help prepare them to be student leaders for New Student & Family Experience events. All OLs will assist at various events such as International Student Orientation, Fall Orientation/Welcome Days and various other orientation programs. Opportunities for continued fall/spring OL work will also be available. More information will be provided at training. The hourly rate for the OL position is $15.

APPLY NOW: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/438108272

Don’t forget these!

Voyager Scholarship

Have you demonstrated a commitment to public service? Do you plan to purse a career in public service upon graduation?  If so, the Voyager Scholarship is for you!

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients who are entering their junior year (will be a junior in the Fall 2024), with a 3.0+ GPA and demonstrated financial need are eligible to apply. 

The Voyager Scholarship (Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service) is awarded to students focused on public service careers. A career in public service includes a range of occupations in government, non-profits or the private sector, from community organizing to social work and from entrepreneurship to the arts—all committed to solving our biggest challenges together. It provides up to $80,000 toward your education ($25,000/yr of financial aid for junior and senior year, $10,000 for a summer experience, and $2,000 annually for 10 years for travel). 

Learn about recent Illinois Voyager Scholars.

The priority campus deadline is February 22, 2024 at 12:00pm (noon). 
The final submittal deadline is in March 2024, the date is TBA.

For more information, contact the scholarships office at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit our website at www.topscholars.illinois.edu 

Gilman Scholarships

Are you a Pell grant recipient who wants to study abroad or do an international internship? If so, the Gilman Scholarship is for you!

Freshmen through Seniors who are U.S. citizens or nationals, Pell grant recipients, in good academic standing, and will be participating in a credit-bearing study abroad program or international internship are eligible to apply

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides enrolled students, who are Pell grant recipients, up to $5,000 for either study abroad or an internship abroad. If you plan to study a language critical to U.S. national security while abroad, you can apply for an additional $3,000. If you plan to conduct STEM-related research while studying abroad, you can apply for an additional $1,000.   

Get tips about applying from recent Illinois Gilman Scholars.

The national deadline is March 7, 2024.

For more information, contact the scholarships office at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit our website at www.topscholars.illinois.edu 

LAS Career Services Spring Programming

Call for Submissions

You are invited to submit your work to the Madison Journal of Literary Criticism for the Spring 2024 Dream Edition! This edition will encompass what it means to “dream of more,” which includes both contemplating future aspirations and reimagining in a multitude of constructed contexts. Whether it entails the past, present, future, systems, institutions, relationships, methodologies, holidays, politics, fashion, education, emotions…we live in a world of constructs. To break away from these constructs, we dream of something new, something kinder, something better. This edition focuses on how those dreams take shape and will showcase the collective desire—and manifestation—of change that transcends the limits of our current reality. This edition we hope to publish criticism: academic, poetic, in the medium of art or prose or short stories. We hope to have a loose theme as writers and creators are more than willing to interpret, define, and redefine the term however suits them best, so the submitted work does not have to explicitly tie to abolition or social justice. We welcome nuanced perspectives and multiple interpretations, so please submit! 

For samples of work previously published : View MJLC’s Past Editions

If you have any questions, please direct them to mjlc@rso.wisc.edu

Image of Research-Undergraduate Competition

Image of Research – Undergraduate Competition
Deadline to enter: Tuesday, March 19
All undergraduate students are invited to enter the 2024 Image of Research competition. Students should submit a photo related to their research, scholarship, or creative work and a short (100-200 word) narrative to communicate the connection between the image and their research. Awards include 1st ($300), 2nd ($200), and People’s Choice ($100). All submissions will be celebrated at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Opportunity for Pre-law Students

Have you considered summer study abroad and are interested in studying law? Join Cornell Law School faculty and the Office of Global Learning to learn more about the Cornell Prelaw Program in Paris, a three-week academic program in international and comparative law. Study law in a uniquely international and culturally rich environment, combining the excellence of Cornell Law School faculty and the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Prepare for the law school admissions process and acquire the study skills for success in law school.

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