Packing boxes in the administrative offices of the Morris University Center are the first signs of the $19.3 million renovation that the school's "living room" is about to undergo.
In the spring of 2000, SIUE students voted their approval for major improvements to the University Center that opened its doors in 1967. With the largest voter turnout for a student election in the university's history, voters approved a tuition fee increase to fund the project that focuses on infrastructure improvements and a wide range of expanded offerings in the center.
Now, after months of planning and budgeting, the work is beginning.
The center's administrative and business offices will be relocated to the second floor Mississippi and Illinois Rooms-usually reserved for conferences and events-until the first phase of construction is completed.
Shoppers at the center's Union Station will need to make their purchases from the store's temporary location in a corner of the Goshen Lounge.
In addition to improving the administrative offices, the first phase of renovation will result in the creation of a cyber coffeehouse and a larger Union Station with greater product selection. The university's information desk will be moved to a more visible location.
"This phase of construction is just the first of four with completion of the renovations scheduled for late spring or early summer of 2003," said Mary Robinson, director of the center. Among the improvements and changes the University Center will see are:
• A reconfigured and enlarged food court-The Center Court-on the center's lower level, that provide more menu offerings, additional food choices, shorter lines and more seating-something that the opening of SIUE's third residence hall in 2001 demands.
• A new Cougar Den that will be changed into a sports-themed, after-hours hangout. Pizza Hut has already been relocated to Cougar Den and is serving a full line of pizza menu offerings, and a new Mexican cantina will be added.
• Improvements to the recreational center including "Cosmic" bowling with automatic scoring at the Cougar Lanes and a larger video arcade.
• A computer lab with 20 to 30 stations.
• Major changes in Meridian Ballroom to provide better entry, seating and sound for concerts and events.
• Outdoor dining added to the University Restaurant.
"The proposed plans reflect the types of things students told us they wanted to see in the University Center," Robinson said. More than a year's worth of student focus groups and surveys were held before recommendations were made in the winter of 2000 on improving the 35-year-old building.
Robinson said students-as well as the rest of the university community-will be kept abreast of construction activities, changes in renovation schedules, and relocations through a regular flow of information to The Alestle, WSIE-FM (88.7), and in The O.
"The best source for up-to-the-minute information will be the Web site we've established for construction-related news," Robinson said. "Everyone can access that information 24-hours a day by visiting www.siue.edu/facelift."
In the meantime, Robinson and her staff continue to pack as the days of hammering, sawing, plaster dust, and other renovation activities have arrived.
James Walker almost got on the bus to go from Atlanta to Memphis in April 1968; his girlfriend-who is now his wife of 33 years-talked him out of it.
"She said she just didn't have a good feeling about the trip," Walker told a full house gathered in Meridian Ballroom to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Walker, SIU's president and a former SIUE faculty member, was anxious to join with King to demonstrate on behalf of Memphis' sanitation workers.
But, he listened to his girlfriend's advice, which proved prophetic; King was killed days later as he spoke to his fellow civil rights protesters.
Walker, who, as a 19-year-old college student, first met King in Montgomery, Ala., said he observed as King was pulled reluctantly into civil rights activism. He said King originally turned down a leadership role in the local NAACP. Spurred by Rosa Parks' stand on giving up her bus seat, and the urgings of Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, King began to become more active and visible in the community.
"I only knew him as 'the Rev. King,' "Walker said. "Obviously, I had no idea he would become the Martin Luther King."
Walker said King was the subject of violence and violent tactics by law enforcement agents, yet maintained his belief in non-violent civil rights activism.
Chancellor David Werner also spoke at the event, updating the audience on SIUE's progress toward its diversity goals. Werner said the university has made considerable progress over the last 10 years, but cautioned that the university must continue its efforts to ensure that the faculty, staff, and student populations at SIUE mirror state and national demographics.
He cited a drop from 2000 to 2001 in the number of African-American SIUE graduates as a reminder that the university cannot rest on its accomplishments.
Dave Valley, professor of speech communication and chair of that department, received the Humanitarian Award and drew the biggest reaction from the audience. In his award-acceptance remarks, Valley told his wife, Vicki, "You are my dream come true." Several community members also were honored.
There also were several performances, including Lisa Bandele, artist-in-residence in the Department of Theatre and Dance; Courtney Giles, a senior majoring in vocal performance; Angelina McLaughlin, a senior music education major; Taimica Neita, a junior dance major; the SIUE Gospel Choir; and the SIUE Jazz Combo.
The event was SIUE's 20th MLK celebration.
The Black Heritage Month Planning Committee will present its Fifth Annual Black Heritage Month Program during February, with its theme of Africa, My Roots: America, My Home. Below is a calendar of events:
• Delyte W. Morris Center Gallery Exhibit, Perspective and Perception XI, by Ambrose Wesley; 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-3 p.m. Saturday.
• Black Theater Workshop presentation of George Wolfe's The Colored Museum and Something Between Us, a collection of scenes; 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, all in the James F. Metcalf Theater.
• Art Exhibit, Africa My Roots: America, My Home; Morris Center (second floor, south wall), during regular business hours.
• Cultural Bazaar and Marketplace, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 4-5, first floor of Morris Center.
• SIUE Concert Jazz Band performs a tribute to Quincy Jones and Count Basie, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 4-5; first floor of Morris Center.
• Black Student Association presents MUC Showcase, 11:30-1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 and 18; first floor of Morris Center.
• African Drum and Dance Co. of Cahokia, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13; first floor of Morris Center.
• SIUE East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts Dance Co., 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, first floor of Morris Center.
• Fourth Annual Black Heritage Month Talent Show, 6:30-10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, Meridian Ballroom, first floor of Morris Center.
• Reading by East St. Louis Poet Laureate Eugene Redmond, acclaimed poet and author and SIUE professor of English Language and Literature, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26; first floor of Morris Center.
• African American Dance Ensemble, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, first floor of Morris Center.
For more information about Black Heritage Month, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686.
George Mimms faces many job and family demands. But he always makes time to play with blocks, finger paint, and draw with his four-year-old son Langhston at Emily Willis Head Start Center.
It's part of Mimms' parental responsibilities, which he takes very seriously. "I love being with my children," he said, "and nothing takes the place of me spending time with them."
Mimms plans to take part in the upcoming Emily Willis program, "Dad's Doing It!" Children will make a picture frame, a pencil holder, and a collage with their fathers from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 8, at the Early Childhood Center, 10th and Ohio streets in East St. Louis, Ill.
"It's wonderful that fathers see the need to become actively involved in their children's lives," said Fannie Johnson, center coordinator for Emily Willis, operated by SIUE. "At our center, we have many fathers who are present in their children's lives. This is very encouraging to see."
Mimms is one of several active fathers at Emily Willis. "There are a couple of key important roles that we as fathers play," said the
34-year-old Mimms, husband of Chree Mimms, president of Emily Willis Head Start Parent-Teacher Organization. The couple is also parents of two-year-old Ellis Mimms.
"One role is redefining the image of fathers for society and the media alike," he said. "Both have portrayed the image of a father of being absent and or incapable of producing productive citizens. We as fathers have an obligation to our children and programs like this one that provides us with a starting place."
Children, especially African-American ones, need to see black men taking on positive roles in their lives, Mimms said. "Children can look inside of us and see the kind of people they want to be. Those include kind, strong, loving and exciting people."
Mimms said he is encouraged by recent statistics that implies more black male involvement in their children's lives. According to the report, "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2001," the number of children living in single-parent homes increased from 20 percent in 1980 to 26 percent in 2000. Contributing to this jump is the rise in single father households, which rose from 2 percent in 1980 to 4 percent in 2000.
"Dad's Doing It" is the second such male involvement program for Emily Willis Head Start. The first one was last year's "Dads and Donuts." The program is one of many joint efforts that have resulted through collaboration with SIUE Head Start and East St. Louis School District 189.
"A part of our national Head Start standards is to have male involvement is to have male involvement in our program," Johnson said. "I thought this would be one good way of doing that."
William R. Heineman, distinguished research professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati, will deliver the 26th Annual William J. Probst Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18.
Appearing in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of the Delyte W. Morris Center, Heineman will speak about Chemical Sensors: Why They Are Important To You. In addition to the evening lecture, a student research symposium will be conducted earlier in the day, and a session is scheduled the following morning for faculty and students, New Concepts for Chemical Sensors.
The Probst lecture, named for the late SIUE Chemistry professor, is presented by the SIUE Department of Chemistry and the SIUE Chemistry Club. The lecture is funded in part by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, and the department, as well as student activity fees and the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. For more information, call the department, (618) 650-2042.
You remember the day you brought it home-your first "personal computer." Jimmy Carter was president. Charlie's Angels was a hit TV series, and Star Wars had not yet changed the meaning of "special effects."
Since then, you've had half a dozen or more "PCs" and a couple of laptops, but you've kept that first computer on the vague notion that it might be worth something someday.
So, it's still back there in the corner of your basement, under the boxes of Christmas decorations, that rocking horse you've been holding onto in hopes of giving it to your first grandbaby, and that box of papers you've been meaning to go through.
And today it's worth far less than the 300 or so dollars you paid for a machine that allowed you to play games, do some word processing and maybe had a program on it that helped you balance your checkbook. Chronologically, it's only 25 years old. But in "computer years," that's about 125. It's an artifact.
Here's your chance to unclutter your basement and preserve that artifact. The School of Business plans to create a computer museum this summer. The school already has commitments for several computers and is looking for further donations. Bob Carver, dean of the School of Business, said the exhibit will be used as a teaching tool for students.
"The history of computers-particularly personal computers-is a relatively short one," Carver said. "But it is an interesting study in terms of the technology, the marketing efforts that have been employed, and the way computers have entered popular culture.
"For example, Bill Gates suggested many years ago that he saw no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home. Now look how the landscape has changed. There are many lessons to be learned from the evolution of computers. The exhibit will be a way of bringing those lessons to life."
The list of businesses that have learned "lessons" the hard way is littered with the names of those still active in the market and those that are subjects for nostalgia buffs: Apple, Atari, AT&T, Coleco, Commodore, Compaq, DEC, GE, IBM, Magnavox, Mattel, Tandy, Texas Instruments, Wang, and Zenith. Their machines ran the gamut from a "Digital DECmate," with an external hard drive and an aluminum case to carry around the components (the case weighed almost as much as the computer), to the Kaypros that were relatively small and may have been the forerunner of the laptop computer.
"We're looking for any and all donations of computers, mostly from the 1970s and 80s," Carver said. "We're particularly interested in the Altair 8800, Osborne, Compaq LTE, and Commodore 64.
"Each machine set some sort of technological or marketing precedent-either for futility or establishing a new direction for the evolution of the market."
For more information, contact Bob Carver, or Dawn Munsey, (618) 650-3823, or Jim Mussulman, (618) 650-5029.
Nomination-applications for the Carol Kimmel Scholarship and Community Service Award for Faculty and Staff are now available in the Kimmel Leadership Center on campus. Deadline for the nominations is Friday, Feb. 22.
The annual award and scholarship were established to recognize students for their outstanding leadership and community volunteer service contributions, as well as academic excellence, and for faculty and staff who are community volunteers. The awards were named for Carol Kimmel, a former member of the SIU Board of Trustees, who has been very active in dedicating her time and talent to volunteerism.
For the scholarship, individuals may nominate a student, or students may nominate themselves, according to the following criteria:
• currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student at SIUE, with sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate standing;
• an accumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale);
• demonstrated volunteer contributions within the last two years in leadership, service, and/or citizenship, including leadership in a student organization or at least one elected office;
• and more than 30 hours of nonpaid service to a community agency or community organization.
In addition, a nominee must provide two letters of documented University service and leadership, as well as two letters documenting community service and leadership. In order for a student to be considered for a second Kimmel Scholarship, documentation submitted for previous Kimmel Scholarships will not be reconsidered. The scholarship provides one full year of tuition at the SIUE in-state rate.
For the Faculty-Staff community service award, the following criteria apply:
• Organizations, agencies, businesses, or individuals, including colleagues, may nominate those who they have known through professional association for at least two years;
• who have been a full-time, continuing employee of SIUE for at least two years;
• who have demonstrated continuous service to a single community agency, organization, or business for at least two years.
• Nominees must have demonstrated a variety of community service contributions for an extended period of time;
• outstanding voluntary community service, as well as a commitment to the citizens of Illinois or Missouri.
• Nominees must document leadership roles and responsibilities, and provide two letters of recommendation. Prior recipients are ineligible to apply.
Winners will be recognized Thursday, April 4, at the Kimmel Leadership Awards Banquet. For more information about nomination procedures or for a nomination-application form, call the Kimmel Center, (618) 650-2686, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2686.
The month of December brought honors and recognition to two faculty members in the School of Nursing.
Associate Professor Arleen Fearing received the 2001 Illinois Nurses Association (INA) Nurse Educator of the Year Award, while Professor Wendy Nehring, acting associate dean for Educational Services, was invited to participate in a conference on health disparities and mental retardation sponsored by U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher.
Fearing is the fifth recipient of the INA award, established to recognize a faculty member in Illinois who, as a role model, inspires students, contributes to the improvement of nursing education, demonstrates excellence in teaching, and promotes the profession and the association to nursing students.
"Arleen personifies the criteria of this award," Nursing Dean Felissa Lashley said. "While we value the excellence of all our faculty, we're particularly proud that this recognition should come Arleen's way."
Fearing teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and has participated in course and curriculum revisions. She has been active in school and University committees, research projects, publications, presentations at local, national and international conferences and conventions, and serves as a leader of several nursing organizations, including District 10 of the INA. She has been a member of the School of Nursing faculty since 1995.
Following an invitation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wendy Nehring participated in "Health Disparities and Mental Retardation: A Surgeon General's Conference" in Washington, D.C., during the first week of December. She was one of a few nurses invited to the conference that was attended by many of the country's top health care professionals working in the area of medical services for the mentally retarded.
"Being invited and participating in this conference has been a high point in my career," said Nehring, who has been active in the American Association of Mental Retardation (AAMR).
The conference studied topics related to access to health care for the mentally retarded and to health care professionals knowledgeable in the medical issues of this population. As a follow-up to the conference, AAMR President Steven F. Warren has charged Nehring with leading the efforts to develop an action plan for the association in addressing these needs.
"I wasn't alone in putting forth Wendy's name as a conference participant," said Lashley. "Her reputation for dedicated and significant involvement in the issues of health care for the mentally retarded is national. Her representation of the nursing profession and her contributions to this conference-much like her work at SIUE-were noteworthy."
The SIUE softball team picked up some national notice with a No. 15 ranking in the preseason NCAA Division II poll
by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
SIUE returns three All-American players: Erin Newman (Fairfield, Calif.) is a two-time All-American while Valerie McCoy (Bethalto) and Katie Waldo (Peoria) have been named once.
The Cougars kick off the 2002 season on Feb. 15 at the Delta State Tournament in Cleveland, Miss.
The USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 is voted on by eight NCAA Division II coaches representing each of the eight Division II regions. Records are from 2001. First-place votes are in parentheses.
School Record Pts.
1. Nebraska-Omaha (7) 54-6 199
2. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 44-7 183
3. Kennesaw State (Ga.) (1) 48-11 181
4. Lewis (Ill.) 55-12 180
5. UC Davis 44-14 165
6. West Florida 55-17-1 148
7. Humboldt State (Calif.) 53-14-1 145
8. Eastern New Mexico 32-10-1 143
9. North Dakota State 53-6 137
10. Alabama-Huntsville 52-14 129
11. Indiana (Pa.) 35-11 106
12. North Florida 41-12 104
13. Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.) 33-14 94
14. Grand Valley State (Mich.) 48-7-1 89
15. SIU Edwardsville 41-17 77
16. Dowling (N.Y.) 39-17 70
17. Mesa State (Colo.) 42-12 65
18. American International (Mass.) 32-21 51
19. California (Pa.) 33-9 43
20. Coker (S.C.) 44-6 42
21. (tie) Barry (Fla.) 29-20 33/St. Cloud State (Minn.) 35-14 33
23. Cal State Stanislaus 43-22 31
24. UC San Diego 34-17 29
25. Southern Colorado 52-14-1 27
Others Receiving Votes: Merrimack (Mass.) 25, Missouri Southern State 16, St. Mary's (Texas) 14, Truman State (Mo.) 13, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 9, Cal State Bakersfield 8, Florida Southern 6, Wayne State (Mich.) 5.