UIS has produced several graduates who have gone on to receive recognition on the local, state, and national levels. Here are just a few of our most notable alumni.
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Vince Demuzio Vince DeMuzio - Illinois General Assembly photo
(’81 B.A. Education and Human Services; ’96, M.A. Education and Public Policy)
Vince Demuzio was an Illinois state senator beginning in 1975 and served until his death in 2004. At the time, he was the most senior ranking member of the Illinois Senate. He also served as chair of the Illinois Democratic Party at one point in his illustrious career. A stretch of I-55 south of Springfield honors Demuzio by bearing his name.
Karen A. Hasara
(’72 BA Psychology; ’92 MA Legal Studies) Karen Hasara speaking at Graduation 2011
Karen A. Hasara began her political career in 1975 by being elected to the Sangamon County Board. She continued serving the state as Sangamon County Circuit Clerk from 1980 until 1985. The following year, she was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, and served until 1992 after being elected to the Illinois Senate. In 1995, she became the first female mayor of the city of Springfield, and has continued utilizing her seasoned leadership skills all over the world since leaving elected office.
Gordon S. Heddell
(’75 MA Legal Studies)
Gordon S. Heddell served as Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor from 2001 until 2008, in that time tackling issues such as labor racketeering, organized crime in the workplace, and fraud against the Foreign Labor Certification Program. In 2009, Heddell was sworn in as Inspector General for the Department of Defense. Heddell is also a recipient of the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award for outstanding government service, and was also selected by the University of Illinois Alumni Association as its recipient of the 2009 Alumni Achievement Award for alumni of the University of Illinois at Springfield.
(’95, MA Public Affairs Reporting)
Dana Perino is a current political commentator for Fox News, and served as the White House Press Secretary under former President George W. Bush from 2007 until 2009. Prior to her duties as White House Press Secretary, she was the Deputy Press Secretary from 2005 to 2007. In November 2009, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency that oversees government-sponsored international broadcasting. She is also the Chief Issues Counselor at Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm.