Thursday, November 30, 2017

Crystal Castilla of McHenry awarded a University of Illinois Springfield scholarship

Crystal Castilla, a resident of McHenry and nursing major at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been awarded the Elizabeth and Herbert Denniss Pre-Nursing Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Castilla, a first generation college student, said she helped care for her five siblings, which piqued her interest in nursing as a career, but it was a first-hand experience in the hospital which finalized her decision. “I remember being in a lot of pain and my nurses would tell me stories and have conversations with me to take my mind off the pain,” she said.

Castilla said that after graduation, she hopes to pursue graduate education in nursing and specialize as a pediatric nurse.

“I chose to become a nurse because it means that I will have a special role in society where I am able to help patients get through their most difficult times,” she said.

The Elizabeth and Herbert Denniss Pre-Nursing Scholarship was established by the Dennisses to support students in the pre-nursing program at UIS. Herbert is a retired Springfield police officer, and Elizabeth, one of Springfield’s first nurse practitioners, holds a nursing degree from Sangamon State University, when SSU offered the degree.

The Elizabeth and Herbert Denniss Pre-Nursing Scholarship is awarded to a first- or second-year UIS student who is preparing to enter the Springfield-based University of Illinois Chicago nursing degree program.

 For more information on scholarships, contact the UIS Office of Financial Assistance at 217/206-6724 or

For a full list of scholarship opportunities visit The deadline to apply for institutional scholarships is February 15, 2018.

If you are interested in creating a scholarship, please contact the UIS Office of Advancement at 217/206-6058 or

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