Scotsman John Burnside, author of four novels and several books of poetry and short stories, will read from his works at 4 p.m. today in the Community Room at B. Barnard Birger Hall. The reading is free and open to the public.
Burnside was called "one of the most outstandingly gifted poets in Britain," in The Scotsman, and a writer whose "prose is exquisite" in the Sunday Times of London. His book of poems, The Asylum Dance, won Britain's prestigious Whitbread Poetry Prize in 2000. The judges noted: "Burnside's poems have the rare power to alter one's perception of the world and of language … a sensory delight with an epiphany on every page."
Burnside will read from his latest novel, Living Nowhere, the story of two young men growing up in the sometimes violent industrial town of Corby, England. He also will read from his eighth volume of poems, The Light Trap, published in 2002.
Burnside teaches writing at St. Andrews University in Scotland, where he lives with his wife and son. The event is jointly sponsored by the Department of English Language and Literature, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of Human Resources, and Student Government.
For more information, contact Professor Allison Funk, of the English faculty, (618) 650-2176.
SIUE will present its Seventh Annual Black Heritage Month Program during February, with its theme of Black History is American History. Below is a calendar of events:
• Panel Discussion-Affirmative Action in Higher Education After the Michigan Decision: Local Perspectives, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, Goshen Lounge, Morris University Center.
•Fundisha Dance Ensemble performs African dance, 12:45-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, Goshen Lounge.
•Lecture-KRS-ONE, rapper, hip-hop artist and motivational speaker, will address the lack of common sense and awareness in respect for one another, 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, Meridian Ballroom, first floor of Morris Center.
• "Indigo Dyers in Western Nigeria," 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5, Maple-Dogwood Room, second floor of Morris Center. Author Judith Byfield, associate professor of African History at Dartmouth, will discuss her book, The Bluest Hands (James Currey Publishers, 2002).
• Soul Food Monday-Members of SIUE's Black Student Association will sell soul food dinners from 5-10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at the Cougar Village Commons Building.
• Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, in Meridian Ballroom; admission, $12.50; students, $8.
• Annual Cultural Bazaar-10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 10-11, in Goshen Lounge, offering Afro-centric books, clothing, crafts, jewelry, and other wares, as well as entertainment and prize drawings.
• SIUE East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts Dance Co. performs African dance at12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, Goshen Lounge.
• Lyrics Lounge, 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11-students will read poetry, sing, rap, and perform other types of expression, John C. Abbott Auditorium, ground floor of Lovejoy Library.
• Forum Discussion-"Blacks in America"-7-9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Mississippi Room, second floor of the Morris Center.
• Annual Cultural Bazaar-10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 13-14, in Building D of the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, 601 J.R. Thompson Blvd., offering Afro-centric books, clothing, crafts, jewelry, and other wares, as well as entertainment and prize drawings.
• Poetry Reading featuring Professor Eugene B. Redmond, East St. Louis Poet Laureate, will read from his works 12:30-1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in Goshen.
• Black Heritage Month Networking Fair, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, Goshen Lounge; student organizations to present information about their activities.
• Panel Discussion-Contemporary Struggles for Social Justice, 1-3 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 18-19, in the Missouri Room, Morris Center. Examines both the historical and continuing vitality of social movements as agents for achieving social justice.
• Lecture-Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Movement, will speak on a variety of topics, with the main focus on higher education in American society, from 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, Meridian Ballroom.
• Sixth Annual Black Heritage Month Talent Show, 7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, Meridian Ballroom. Tickets are $3; students, $2.
• Black Film Series: A Historic Perspective-6-10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 23-24, presents screening of films directed by Oscar Micheaux (Lying Lips, 1939), Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree, 1969), Reginald and Warrington Hudlin of East St. Louis (The Great White Hype, 1996), and a fourth film to be announced. Elza Ibroscheva and Bala Baptiste, members of the SIUE Mass Communications faculty, will present a conceptualization of African-American films and filmmakers. .
• Panel Discussion: Blacks, Radio and History, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Goshen Lounge. Local radio talk show hosts and on-air personalities will participate in the discussion.
• Lecture-Are We Still Living Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream?-7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, Maple-Dogwood Room, Morris Center. Former Washington Post reporter Leon Dash will lead the discussion..
• Black Heritage Month Quiz Bowl, 11:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in Goshen.
• Gospel Explosion-6:30-10 p.m., Meridian Ballroom. This event features poetry, rap, praise dance, and gospel music.
For more information, call the SIUE Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686.
Students enrolling for the 2004-05 academic year are now closing in on their selection of a college and will soon be embroiled in the financial aid process. Their first step will be completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and SIUE is offering assistance in that process.
The Office for Student Financial Aid, with co-sponsorship from Edwardsville High School, will conduct a FAFSA Completion Workshop at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 in the Media Room at EHS, 6161 Center Grove Road. A financial aid advisor from SIUE will be on hand to talk with students and parents about how to successfully complete the FAFSA, and to answer questions about financial aid.
"We're encouraging students to file their FAFSA application in February," said Sharon Berry, director of Student Financial Aid. "Applications should be in by March 1 at the very latest. Completing the FAFSA accurately and on time are the first and most important steps to obtaining state and federal financial aid, so we're pleased to be able to offer this all-important workshop to everyone beginning this process."
For more information about the Feb. 7 workshop, call the SIUE financial aid office, (618) 650-3880.
Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur may have missed his calling-master storyteller. The residents of Edwardsville by and large seem to like him as a mayor, but if the kids he was reading to at the Book In Every Home campaign kick-off were any indication, he could probably get work at a daycare anytime.
"What a marvelous program this is," Niebur said. "I applaud the efforts of Kay Werner and the members of the campaign committee. There is no better way to touch our young people by reading to them."
Niebur was at the Goshen Lounge to help with the campaign's annual kick-off, along with SIUE Provost Sharon Hahs, Paul Pitts, assistant to SIUE Chancellor David Werner, and SIUE student Joe Keller. "This literacy campaign is a great way for the university to reach children of the region in a positive way," Niebur said. They were reading to children from the SIUE Early Childhood Center and the Riverbend Head Start in Alton.
Since it began, the BIEH literacy campaign/book drive has helped thousands of children own their own books, something many of them might not have otherwise been able to do. The university is sponsoring the campaign through March 31.
John Davenport, coordinator of the Jan. 15 event, said the mayor and others read from books written for children up to age five, the campaign's target audience for collecting books. "Because we've received a large amount of donated books, each child at the kickoff received their own book," Davenport said.
Literacy is one of the most critical issues facing our educational system. Studies show that children who cannot read are not likely to succeed in the classroom or in life. Recognizing that access to books is a key component to literacy, BIEH not only has placed 30,000 books in homes in St. Clair and Madison counties, it also encourages parents to read to their children.
"Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is advancing literacy at a grassroots level through the A Book in Every Home program,'" said Kay Werner, chair of the campaign. "Our goal is to place an age-appropriate book in the home of every Head Start child in Madison and St. Clair counties, as well as families served by crisis centers in those counties.
"We've also now serve juvenile centers in those counties by donating the books we receive for older youth."
In December, the campaign received a boost from the St. Louis Rams, one of the BIEH sponsors. "We received $5,000 from the Rams at the December 21 football game," Werner said. "The Rams donated $50,000 to five literacy programs and we were the only Illinois program to receive funds. We were mentioned at the game; in fact I represented BIEH and helped hold up the big check at the game," Werner said proudly. "Last year, we received $2,500 from the Rams, so they were very generous to us again."
There are drop-off points for book donations in the St. Clair County and Madison County Head Start programs, SIUE campus sites, all public libraries in Madison and St. Clair counties, the Piece of Mind Book Store in Edwardsville, and B. Dalton Booksellers Book Store, the Borders book store in Fairview Heights, and Fresh Words bookstore in Highland.
For specific addresses and locations of these drop off points, visit the Web site: www.siue.edu/BOOKS or call (618) 650-2020 for more information.
Age-appropriate books are requested for children ages six weeks to five years old. Cash donations also will be accepted. Checks for "A Book in Every Home" should be written to the SIUE Foundation, and mailed to:
A Book in Every Home
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1058
(In the memo part of the check, please write "A Book in Every Home.")
School of Business accounting students will again offer income tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for students and low-income citizens.
The program, which has helped hundreds of people over the past several years, is designed for low-income taxpayers, including students. Those eligible to receive assistance from VITA will be helped by qualified SIUE accounting students under the supervision of James Dixon, instructor in the Department of Accounting.
Tax returns will be prepared in the department offices, located in Room 2114 of Founders Hall, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Fridays, beginning Feb. 9 and continuing through April 5. However, no service is available March 8 through 14.
In addition, VITA student volunteers will prepare tax returns from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays at Edwardsville Public Library from Feb. 7 through April 3. VITA services at the library will not be available Saturday, March 13.
Individuals should bring Social Security cards and driver's licenses for themselves and all dependents, along with exemptions that are being claimed. They also must bring all supporting documentation, such as Forms W-2 and 1099. Individuals also are encouraged to provide a copy of the previous year's tax return.
VITA student volunteers will prepare tax returns for U.S. citizens filing Forms 1040-EZ and 1040-A only. Students do not prepare Form 1040, also known as the long form. No dual state income tax returns can be prepared. A state return will be prepared only if the individual worked and resided in a single state for the entire year. VITA personnel reserve the right to refuse to prepare any return based on their review of the situation.
SIUE men's basketball coach Marty Simmons isn't going to let himself or his 10-9 Cougars look ahead to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in March. "No, it's too early to talk about that," said Simmons. "We just have to keep winning games."
The Cougars are coming off a 60-51 victory at home over Quincy this past Thursday (1/29). SIUE next faces Wisconsin-Parkside on Thursday (2/5) at 7:30 p.m. and Saint Joseph's on Saturday (2/7) at 3 p.m.
Simmons said the team's determination and desire have been very good this season. He said a balanced approach and a move toward stressing defense has helped the Cougars. Simmons is interested in letting his players know they have to set good screens, block out for a rebound and finish their cuts to be successful. "That's what I want our guys to be thinking about out there," said Simmons.
SIUE continues to lead the GLVC in the two defensive categories of scoring and field goal percentage. The Cougars have allowed 64.7 points per game and opponents have hit just 41.4 percent of their shots from the field. Contrast those numbers to last season when SIUE allowed 75.1 points per game and opponents shot 47.6 percent from the field.
SIUE's win over Quincy was the 10th of the season, marking the first time since the 1998-1999 season that the Cougars have recorded double-digit victories.
Simmons said his team is as balanced as any team in the GLVC. The foursome of Ron Jones (Kankakee), Tyler Hackstadt (Okawville), Calvin Sykes (Chicago) and Joel Jaye (Chicago) are all averaging double digits in scoring.
SIUE has road victories over Wisconsin-Parkside and Saint Joseph's this season, but that fact doesn't make it any easier for the Cougars at home this week. SIUE defeated Saint Joseph's 77-64 on Nov. 29 to open the conference season and Wisconsin-Parkside 66-60 on Jan. 10. "It just makes it harder," said Simmons. "After you've played this many games in this league, everyone knows your strengths and weaknesses."
With seven games left in the regular season, every game becomes an important game as the SIUE women's basketball season progresses.
"We keep telling our players that each game is a big game," says Coach Wendy Hedberg. "You don't say it to them to scare them. You say it hopefully to motivate them."
The Cougars have lacked the intensity and consistency needed to win games in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. SIUE's most recent loss to 11th-ranked Quincy saw the Cougars fall behind with a 20-2 Quincy run to begin the second half.
SIUE has picked up a boost from the three-point shooting of Jessica Robert (Carlyle) and Sarah Schweers (Chatham). Robert leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage for the fourth consecutive week, and Schweers is among the top 30 nationally in the same category.
Hedberg said the Cougars will need some improved play from the post players with games this week against Wisconsin-Parkside at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday (2/5) and Saint Joseph's at 1 p.m. on Saturday (2/7).
Wisconsin-Parkside (10-8, 7-5 GLVC) has a strong inside-outside presence in Jen Braier and Sammy Kromm. Meanwhile, Saint Joseph's (6-13, 3-10) is coming off an upset over Southern Indiana.
It will not bother SIUE coach Darryl Frerker if he has to make multiple changes to the record books this season.
SIUE's next meet is the Titan Open in Bloomington on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan. Saturday's (2/7) meet begins at 10 a.m. "We're looking for even more records and some NCAA qualifiers," Frerker said.
The Cougars will be running on a track with softer turns and better straightaways, which could lead to improved marks.
Frerker said freshmen Jamie Thomas (Blue Island) and Valerie Simmons (St. Louis) have been running well in the sprints and hurdles.
Breanne Steffens (Moline), most recently named the Great Lakes Valley Conference's top Scholar-Athlete for women's cross country, will be looking to qualify in either the mile, 800 meters or 1,500 meters. Frerker said he won't make a decision with Steffens about which event she tries to qualify until later in the week.
On the men's side, Brian Taghon (East Moline), an NCAA qualifier for the Cougars in cross country, will likely run at 1,500 meters. Frerker said he also will be monitoring sophomore Steve Landers (Auburn), who threw an NCAA qualifying mark at the Eastern Illinois Mega Meet in the weight throw but misstepped and caused himself to foul.
The SIUE wrestling team has a busy weekend with a home match on Saturday (2/7) at 7 p.m. and a road dual meet at Northern Illinois at 5 p.m. on Sunday (2/8).
SIUE coach Booker Benford said his team will focus on improving to the level needed to advance to the NCAA Championships.
The Central Missouri match is SIUE's final home dual meet. The rest of the schedule is on the road, capped off by an appearance at the NCAA-II Regionals in Edmond, Okla. The top wrestlers coming out of that tournament advance to the NCAA-II Championships in Mankato, Minn., on March 12-13.
SIUE's 149-pound freshman Joe Rujawitz (Belleville) can pick up win No. 30 this week after he improved his record to 29-12 with a dominating win over Truman State's Scott Skinner 20-7.
Cougar 133-pounder Steve Chico (Hammond, Ind.) is nearing the .500 mark with an 11-12 record. He leads the team in falls with seven.
Six more school records fell for the SIUE track and field teams at the Eastern Illinois Mega Meet this past Saturday (1/24). That's 11 records in two weeks, a good indication, said Coach Darryl Frerker. "That's the best start we've had in a season," said Frerker.
Breanne Steffens (Moline), SIUE's All-American in cross country, was part of two records. She broke the 3,000-meter record in 10 minutes, 17.62 seconds and ran the final leg of the record-breaking 4 X 800-meter relay with teammates Natalie Aschim (Rockford), Heather Zipparro (Mt. Prospect) and Mary Witte (Normal).
SIUE's 4 X 400-meter relay also set a new standard in 4:00.02 with Yahshi Rice (Richton Park), Jenny Jaquez (Aurora), Julia Scherer (Sumner) and Valerie Simmons (St. Louis).
Rich Skirball (Granite City), one of six runners nationally who has provisionally qualified at 800 meters, set a new mark at 1,000 meters in a time of 2:31.49.
The field events also saw some rewriting with Callie Glover (Bartlett) setting a new record in the weight throw at 48 feet, 6 inches, and Jamie Thomas (Blue Island) breaking the record in the triple jump at 36-11.5.
Frerker said it would be difficult to single out any individuals with strong performances. "We have a handful of student-athletes that we'll be surprised if they don't make it to nationals," said Frerker.
SIUE's next event is Feb. 7 at the Titan Open in Bloomington.
Coach Marty Simmons doesn't see any games in the Great Lakes Valley Conference as being easy.
The 9-9 Cougars, who are 5-7 in the GLVC, are coming off a pair of road losses to Kentucky Wesleyan and Southern Indiana. SIUE's next test is a return game with Quincy in the Vadalabene Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (1/29). "Quincy is a very competitive team and very well set up. They are a very hard team to score against," said Simmons.
Forget the fact that Quincy is 8-10 and holds a 4-7 mark in the GLVC. Simmons plans to focus on his own team for the week. SIUE has just one game this week being idle on Saturday (1/31).
The Cougars hope to get Kris Crosby (Belleville) and Joel Jaye (Chicago) back into the mix after injuries forced them out of most of the Southern Indiana game.
Ron Jones (Kankakee) was held to less than 10 points in the loss at Southern Indiana, breaking Jones' string of 17 straight games this season in double figures. "He's got to be more than a jump shooter. When teams try to shut down the three-point shot, he has to go to something else to do well on the offensive end," Simmons said.
Tyler Hackstadt (Okawville) led SIUE in scoring with 22 points against Southern Indiana. Simmons said Hackstadt has additional duties than simply scoring. "He gets the job of guarding the best offensive player on the other team," said Simmons. "Offensively, he can score in a variety of ways."
Simmons also is watching the progression of 6-foot-11-inch center Dan Heimos (Waterloo). "Heimos did some things well offensively," said Simmons. Confidence, however, will be a key for Heimos with nine games left in the regular season.
Putting mistakes down to a minimum has become the words of the week for SIUE women's basketball coach Wendy Hedberg. "We're giving up too many second and third chances," she said.
The Cougars played with intensity and picked up the game-winning shot with five seconds left from senior Jessica Robert (Carlyle) in the 75-73 victory at Southern Indiana. "It was a great team effort," Hedberg said of the win at Southern Indiana.
SIUE now turns its attention to a single game this week against 10th-ranked Quincy on Thursday (1/29). Tip-off time is 5:30 p.m. at the Vadalabene Center. SIUE is idle in GLVC play on Saturday (1/31).
Hedberg said she has turned to senior starters Robert and Sarah Schweers (Chatham) as two players who need to lift their roles on the team. "They have to step up and be leaders on the floor."
Freshman center Julianne McMillen (Pana) appears to be close to returning to early-season form when she was scoring and rebounding in the double-digits. McMillen scored 16 points and was a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line against Southern Indiana.
Coach Booker Benford will have his wrestlers focus on what it takes to advance to the NCAA Championships this week as they close out the final month of the regular season. "As a team, we have to stay aggressive on the mat all the time," said Benford. "They know if they stay aggressive, they can win matches."
Some of that intensity was missing in SIUE's 25-16 loss to Truman State on Sunday.
Benford said he'll regroup the team before its next match on Feb. 7 at home against Central Missouri State. The opening whistle starts at 7 p.m.
The Cougars picked up some strong performances this past week. Steve Chico picked up his team-leading seventh pin in 4 minutes, 14 seconds, over Steve Cox of Truman State. Chico is currently 11-12 at 133 pounds. SIUE's 149-pound freshman Joe Rujawitz is on the verge of a 30-win season with a 29-12 record. He boosted his win total in dominating Truman State's Scott Skinner 20-7.