SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Partners with the East St. Louis Center
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) has begun a relationship with the SIUE East St. Louis Center (ESLC) that it expects to be ongoing, rewarding and mutually beneficial.
The ESLC is the recipient of grant money that will fund six projects through CAS’ Targeted Funding Initiative (TFI). CAS received $200,000 from the 2017 winter session revenues and earmarked it for TFI. CAS Dean Greg Budzban, PhD, first created TFI grants in 2016.
“It is becoming harder to get external funding, especially in the areas of the arts and sciences,” said Budzban. “I utilized the monies from the winter session to give back to the faculty. This is a good way to invest in the faculty, and what they’re doing. The purpose is to generate innovative ideas, to allow faculty to engage in projects that may not be feasible otherwise.”
CAS faculty were invited to write proposals that related to the four TFI categories, identified by Budzban:
- Instructional innovation and classroom renovation
- Professional development and academic conferences/seminar series
- Student recruitment and retention
- Programs with the ESLC
“One of the things that both Denise Cobb (provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs) and I have talked about is reimagining the humanities and the sciences, both in terms of instructional content and pedagogy.” Budzban said. “We see the idea of community engagement as a way of turning theory into practice and as a critical piece of innovative instruction in those traditional areas.
“Collaborating with the East St. Louis Center is a perfect example of turning theory into practice, by working with students and the community in innovative ways.”
CAS faculty were approved for the following TFI projects at the East St. Louis campus:
- Creative Writing Club with the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School, Valerie Vogrin, professor in the Department of English
- Engaging Upward Bound Students in Place-Based Environmental Research, Ben Greenfield, assistant professor, and Danielle Lee, visiting assistant professor, both in the Department of Biological Sciences
- SIUE East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts, Ricky Haydon, lecturer in the Department of Music, and Mary Jo Pembrook, volunteer music teacher at ESLC
- East St. Louis Center Human Services Campus Day, Roberto Aspholm, assistant professor in the Department of Social Work
- East St. Louis Campus Community Alliance S.A.C.K Lunch & Learn Series, Kimberly Carter and Jayme Swanke, both assistant professors in the Department of Social Work
- African American Podcasts and Visual Digital Collections Project, Howard Rambsy, professor in the Department of English
“Dean Budzban's decision to list the East St. Louis Center as a priority for the Targeted Funding Initiative has served as a catalyst for new collaborations between SIUE faculty and East St. Louis Center programs,” said ESLC Executive Director Jesse Dixon. “We believe that these new and innovative projects will directly benefit the students and families in our programs as well as lead to sustained partnerships between faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and the SIUE East St. Louis Center.”
Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences has 19 departments and 85 areas of study. More than 300 full-time faculty/instructors deliver classes to more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty help students explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region's workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.
With a focus on empowering people and strengthening communities, the SIUE East St. Louis Center is dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals - from pre-school through adult - in the Metro East. Head Start/Early Head Start and a charter high school are among the programs that offer the community renewed hope and an opportunity to reach educational, career and life goals. The Center also assigns first priority to encouraging, supporting and improving the educational success of the residents of East St. Louis and surrounding urban communities. The Center provides comprehensive programs, services and training in the areas of education, health, social services and the arts.
College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gregory Budzban, PhD
SIUE East St. Louis Center Executive Director Jesse Dixon