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Illinois State University

'True Blood' Actor, Former ISU Student Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39

Jul 10, 2017
Nelsan Ellis speaks to students
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Former Illinois State University student Nelsan Ellis, best known for his role on HBO's True Blood, has died.

The actor is best known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood. He was just 39 when he succumbed to complications from heart failure. His manager confirmed the news, first carried by The Hollywood Reporter.

Ellis visited ISU in 2013, when he received a distinguished alumni award. Ellis won a national forensics title and distinguished himself in the School of Theatre and Dance while attending ISU.

GLT Datebook: Your Chance To Walk With A Champion

Jul 8, 2017
Family walks inside Hancock Stadium
Courtesy / Easter Seals Central Illinois

At an upcoming Easter Seals event, you not only get a chance to walk to raise money to help kids with disabilities, you get a chance to walk with a champion.

Costuming A Classic With A Twist

Jul 7, 2017
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

With energy, humor and hip hop verse, Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece Romeo and Juliet moves to a new rhythm created by the Q Brothers Collective for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

ISU residence halls
Staff / WGLT

Rape charges were dropped Thursday against a 19-year-old who was accused of sexually assaulting an incoming Illinois State University student during orientation last summer.

GLT's Grow: Downy Mildew Hits Impatiens

Jul 7, 2017
impatiens flowers
Jim the Photographer / Flickr via Creative Commons

Impatiens downy mildew is a growing problem in gardens across America. Defoliation and flower dropping are two signs your plants are infected.

Larry Dietz speaks to crowd
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

The president of Illinois State University said Thursday's passage of a state budget is a welcome relief. Larry Dietz said more work remains to be done, but at least there is a way forward.

"It makes life a lot easier in terms of the planning. Frankly we have felt that nobody cares much about education because there has been no scheme and no plan to fund it," said Dietz.

A Magical, Musical Midsummer

Jun 29, 2017
Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival presents a music-filled version of A Midsummer Night's Dream this season that turns out to be a bit of a family affair.

The Past Is Present In New Exhibition

Jun 27, 2017
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Cynthia Kukla has not put her feet up since retiring from teaching in the Illinois State University College of Fine Arts.  Instead, she's put on her traveling shoes and found inspiration on a far shore.

GLT Datebook: Dennis French Illuminates Inspiration

Jun 17, 2017
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A section of the University Galleries is aglow with the latest works of Dennis French.

GLT's Grow: Battling Spider Mites

Jun 16, 2017
Peter Vogel / Flickr via Creative Commons

Here's a nasty relative of the tick that you don't want in your yard: the spider mite. It's hard to fight a battle against something you can barely see!

A Magical 40th Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Jun 15, 2017
Peter Guither / Illinois Shakespeare Festival

At the first-ever Illinois Shakespeare Festival -- back when it wasn't even called that yet -- the plays were staged on the tennis courts at Ewing Manor in Bloomington.  Forty years later and the acclaimed festival has its own spiffy theater at Ewing and a great reputation as a local cultural gem.

Staff / WGLT

In the wake of another spring legislative session that failed to produce a state budget, two ratings agencies have downgraded state universities including ISU.

Standard and Poor's recently chose not to downgrade ISU, but S and P has a rule that no public university can be more than three grades above the rating for its host state. And so when S and P downgraded Illinois, last week it also gave a technical downgrade to ISU to A minus.

Malls: Love Gone Cold

Jun 13, 2017
WGLT

What was once a ubiquitous part of American consumer culture now seems to be sliding towards extinction.  A recent study suggests 15% of traditional shopping malls will disappear in the next decade.  When we lose the malls, do we  lose something more than just a collection of shops?

GLT's Grow: Planting For Pollinators

Jun 9, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

There's increasing evidence that many pollinators are on the decline, but a few changes in your yard can help pollinators not only survive, but thrive.

Jason Judd / University Galleries

The walls of the University Galleries in Uptown Normal are filled with joyous, colorful works of art.  That's not at all unusual, except that this art was created right in the space where its being exhibited in a celebration of creativity, inclusion and collaboration.

Psyching Out Star Wars

May 26, 2017
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Forty years ago this week, the lines began to form around the block for Star Wars—a film that went on to explode not just box office records, but make a profound impact on culture.

Big Ideas Come From Tiny Particles

May 26, 2017
Google Images

Throw some particles at an atom and what do you get? That's what Dr. Allison Harris wants to know.

GLT's Grow: Tracking Down Native Plants

May 26, 2017
Jack Pearce / Flickr via Creative Commons

Sometimes you just want to plant a huckleberry bush in your yard. And sometimes it's just a pain trying to actually find a huckleberry bush. Finding native plants can be a challenge.

Judith Valente / GLT News

Walking along Shady Hollow Trail at Comlara Park, Sherrie Snyder spots a small flowering plant in the underbrush that contains a series of delicate deep purple blossoms. She stoops to snap a photograph of it on her cell phone.

"I'm going take a picture of this little guy, the dwarf larkspur," she says.

It's all part of a citizen-science project called Flora of Comlara Park. She and other volunteers—you might call them plant Sherlocks—observe and photograph the current plant life so that botanists can compare the plants growing today with those that grew a hundred years ago in central Illinois. 

MVC

The Missouri Valley Conference President's Council has ratified the membership of Valparaiso University. All Valparaiso's sponsored sports will begin conference play in the fall of 2017.

That does not include football in which Valparaiso plays in the Pioneer League.

Illinois State University

State Farm Insurance is giving Illinois State University $3 million to grow the cybersecurity program. The money will create an endowed professorship in the School of Information Technology.
     
School of Information Technology Assistant Director Glen Sagers said ISU is poised to take advantage of one of the hottest areas in workforce growth.

Devon Buchanan / Creative Commons

Anonymous websites like Anon-IB that post nude photographs of women are difficult to control because the law has not kept up with the technology that makes these sites possible.

Pete Sousa / Official White House Photo

A growing number of school-age children have experienced some form of trauma or emotional difficulty. That often translates into behavioral problems both within the family and at school.

Increasingly, however, schools are attempting to prevent and address those problems through a variety of services, according to Brenda Huber, director of the Psychological Services Center at Illinois State University, and Mark Jontry, regional schools superintendent for McLean, Livingston, Logan and DeWitt counties.

GLT's Grow: Grow Your Own Popcorn

May 12, 2017
Karl Baron / Flickr via Creative Commons

What better way to enhance movie night than with a big bowl of  your own home-grown popcorn!

Former mayor with theater director and Actor & Alum Gary Cole
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Illinois State University Alumnus Actor Gary Cole '77 has an IMDB profile that’s longer than a gang member’s rap sheet so you might be surprised he is often asked by random people if he’s famous because they recognize him from somewhere. Cole is among the busiest actors in the business. He’s currently on six TV shows and he has at least two movies coming out this year. 

ISU residence halls
Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University will be trying to broaden international diversity on campus.

Many colleges have sought out international students to bolster revenues because those students typically pay tuition.

ISU President Larry Dietz said ISU probably should have done that years ago, but hasn't until now.

WGLT

Community support is mounting for an independent, citizen-led review board to monitor the actions of the Bloomington Police Department.

Wonder Woman: Heroic Complexity

May 11, 2017
Laura Kennedy / WGLT

One of the most enduring characters in comic book history is Wonder Woman, and a new book lets us take a look behind the cuffs and tiara to gain a deeper understanding of the popular superhero,

Sait Serkan Gurbuz / AP Photo

When asked to characterize the political savviness of the Trump-Pence administration, an ISU political scientist shot back during Sound Ideas with "there is no political savviness."

Learfield.com

Illinois State University Athletics recently outsourced its comprehensive multi-media rights to Learfield Sports Inc. The Plano, TX based company will pay ISU $19.8 million dollars over 10 years for the rights to manage, market and sell Redbird athletics signage, digital, radio play-by-play and coaches shows. 

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