The Class of 2002 at the School of Dental Medicine earned a fourth-place national ranking recently in test scores on their National Board Dental Part II Exams. The SIU/SDM students were ranked against others at 52 dental schools across the country.
Historically, students from the dental school in Alton score high nationally on the Part II exams. Dr. Patrick Ferrillo Jr., dean of the school, said the scores are attributable to the hard work of both students and faculty. "The Board scores are evidence of the student's genuine interest in learning and understanding the coursework they encounter," Ferrillo said.
"The scores also highlight our faculty's persistent effort to present and convey the curriculum in an effective and intelligible manner."
The fourth-place ranking was SIU/SDM's best since the students of the Class of 1999, whose ranking placed them second in the nation. Ferrillo noted that this year's scores seem to continue a positive trend on the board scores among students of SIU. "When our Class of 1999 earned the second- place ranking, it would have been brash to say that our students could consistently maintain that mark of high achievement on the Board exams," Ferrillo said. "Today, however, our Board scores reveal a record of success.
"For the past seven years, our students have consistently ranked in the top quarter of the nation's dental schools, and now the top five for the second time in four years. In effect, the bar is higher now at the SIU School of Dental Medicine."
This year's fourth-year students earned an 84.4 score on the board exams. The score marks the highest overall class average ever earned by an SIU/SDM class. The national average score was an 82.1. SIU students' average scores this year top the record average scores set by the Class of 2001 last year of 83.7.
Additionally, the Class of 2002 students earned a 100-percent pass rate. SIU/SDM students have earned the highest possible pass rate on three of the past five board exams. They have earned a 95-percent pass rate or better for the past nine years.
Soon, the Rendleman Hall two-step may become a thing of the past, or, at least minimized, with the opening of a new Bursar's window in the university's Service Center.
With the opening of the new window April 22 at the center in the west end of Rendleman's lobby, students will no longer have to make two stops between the center and the Bursar's office when enrolling and paying tuition and/or fees.
Bursar Barry Greenberg is sending reinforcements to the Service Center. "Customer service is the focus of this project," Greenberg explained. "We realize at some colleges the Bursar's office may be across campus from the enrollment office, but our thinking was: 'Let's make this as convenient as possible.'
"Currently, an SIUE student might have to make several trips to both ends of the lobby during the enrollment process. With the opening of this new satellite cashier's window, the Bursar office's services will be a few feet away from the enrollment counter."
Another benefit of the new window is that the Bursar's office will be more accessible than it is now. Currently, the office is only open until 3:30 p.m. on most days, with evening hours on Mondays and Thursdays only. The new window will be open during the same hours as the Service Center-8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays. However, the new window will not be open Saturdays even though the Service Center is open.
Greenberg did point out a few services that won't be provided: "All the transactions you can perform at the Bursar's office will be performed at the satellite window except for picking up paychecks or refund checks, picking up a university key, and making department deposits," he said.
He also pointed out that with the new satellite, the Bursar's office will discontinue evening hours, but will be extending its 3:30 closing time to 4 p.m. "We're very proud of this. We recognize it as a step forward in providing better customer service to students and employees," Greenberg said.
"Where some schools might use the phrase 'one-stop shopping,' they mean in the same building. When we say it, we mean it in its truest sense. Which brings me to the Service Center itself," Greenberg said. "We have had incredible cooperation from the Service Center staff on this project. There is no way we could have done this without their involvement.
"Working together will make the entire process much more efficient for our students and employees."
Michael Shaw of Edwardsville, an assistant professor of Chemistry, is recipient of SIUE's 2002 Teaching Excellence Award, the highest honor that can be awarded an SIUE faculty member.
Shaw will receive a $2,000 prize at the April 21 Honors Convocation, and a plaque of recognition at the May 4 spring commencement.
Nominees were considered by members of a university-wide committee which made the final selection. Shaw was praised by the committee for "his enthusiasm, wonderful sense of humor, careful preparation for classes, openness to questions, and encouragement to never give up."
Teaching Recognition Awards also will be given at the April 21 Convocation to Kathleen Tunney, assistant professor of Social Work, and Anne Valk, assistant professor of Historical Studies. Alan Shiller, an instructor in the Department of Speech Communication, will be given the teaching Recognition Award for Non-Tenure Track Faculty. Each will receive a $500 prize at the Convocation.
Shaw, who earned a doctorate at the University of British Columbia in 1993, came to SIUE five years later. He credits much of his caring approach with students to his experiences as an undergraduate at Mount Allison University, a small liberal arts college in New Brunswick, Canada. "The location of the college in the northernmost part of the Bay of Fundy forced students and faculty to build a supportive, close-knit community, which encouraged academic excellence," he said.
Acting on his philosophy of student involvement in problem-solving as a key to learning chemistry, Shaw has worked with colleagues to organize a system of peer-led team learning or "workshops" in freshman chemistry. Teams of first-year chemistry students work on problems with a sophomore or junior student who has been trained by Shaw. In the second year of these workshops, the freshman teams did 10 percent better than a comparable group of freshmen who attended a more traditional session.
"Each one of us must put forth considerable effort into the private, individual process of learning, but we benefit by building a committed community to motivate us when (not if) we need emotional support for this endeavor."
Students wrote letters to the awards committee in support of Shaw's nomination, calling him "very fair" and an instructor with "an interesting approach to teaching." James Eilers, chair of the SIUE Department of Chemistry, summed up Shaw's influence: "Students in his classes become convinced both that there is something worth learning and that they are capable of learning it."
Tunney, who joined the SIUE faculty in 1997, was praised by the awards committee as a teacher who maintains an excellent rapport with students, both in an out of the classroom, and said she takes pride in "promoting active teaching and learning in the campus culture."
The committee said Valk's teaching style "fosters student interaction and critical analysis." Valk's students say she is passionate about history and as a teacher she is knowledgeable, willing to help, available and open to alternative opinions, and willing to debate many topics. She joined the university faculty in 1997.
Shiller, who is in his second year of teaching at SIUE, is praised by colleagues who say he is "an exceptional teacher" whose students consistently exhibit characteristics sought by the department, the College of Arts and Sciences, and SIUE. They also say Shiller is "a scholar as well as a terrific teacher" whose students characterize him as a teacher with "enthusiasm and friendliness" second to none and who "can transform any student's terrible mood into tears of laughter."
Students will see an increase in tuition, fees, and housing rates in the fall if the SIU Board of Trustees votes on a proposed plan for the university in FY03 and FY04. The plan was reviewed by board members at their April 11 meeting; they will take a final vote on the proposal at their May 9 meeting.
Like other colleges and universities in Illinois, SIUE will see a reduced level of state appropriations next year. And, the current budget already has been reduced this year as the state reacts to a slow economy. SIUE Chancellor David Werner said the tuition and fee increases were necessary to assure continued quality education for students at the university. "The economic situation throughout Illinois is affecting all state institutions of higher learning," Werner said.
"We are confident we can continue the level of quality education at SIUE, but the tuition increases are necessary to assure that quality. Even with the increase, the cost of an SIUE education still remains affordable compared with other Illinois state institutions."
If adopted, the SIUE plan would mean a $396 annual tuition increase beginning fall 2002 and a $228 annual increase beginning fall 2003 for most full-time undergraduate students taking 15 hours each semester. Fees and housing rates previously approved for fall 2002 will remain the same.
For fall 2003, the SIUE proposal calls for increases in fees (University Center, Student Welfare and Activity, Athletics, Textbook Rental), as well as a 6-percent decrease in the Student Fitness Center fee. Housing rates will increase 3 percent in 2003-04. For single students living in the residence halls, the increase ranges from $88 for a shared room to $176 for a deluxe single room.
For Cougar Village residents in 2003-04, the proposal calls for single students to pay an increase ranging from $84 for a shared room to $126 for a single room. The fee for a deluxe single room at Cougar Village would increase by $168. For family housing in Cougar Village, the proposed fee increase ranges from $21 a month to $27 a month.
For example, in fall 2002, the average SIUE undergraduate student, who is an Illinois resident, carrying 15 hours, would pay tuition and fees totaling $3,708.60. Under the proposal for fall 2003, that same student would pay $4,020.60. If the same student resided in a shared room of a residence hall, he or she would pay a total of $8,422.60 in fall 2002 and $9,384.60 in fall 2003.
Also under the proposal, tuition and fees at the SIU School of Dental Medicine would be $12,667.10 in 2002-03 and $13,875.60 in 2003-04.
The SIU Board has long had a policy of establishing tuition and fees under a four-year rolling plan. This long-range approach gives parents and students information with which to plan for the cost of a four-year bachelor's degree program.
Interdisciplinary studies are nothing new at SIUE. Students here have been taking such courses for the past three years in the Culture, Ideas, Values program (CIV), and before that in the General Education program, but Music Professor Steve Brown and other College of Arts and Sciences instructors would like to see the CIV idea expanded campuswide, becoming part of a Freshman Seminar series.
"Interdisciplinary courses cut across departments and focus knowledge on a particular topic," Brown said. "I taught a course with (English Professor) Jeff Skoblow-Art, Wealth, and Poverty-which focused on the idea that a wealthy society can be poverty stricken in art, or vice-versa."
"We looked at this from the perspective of music, literature, and the visual arts. So, our students did a variety of things, such as an opera scene. They used familiar tunes but developed their own dialogue and lyrics to enact a scene that spoke about our culture."
Brown and others believe the IS experience can benefit even more freshman. "IS courses are traditionally the capstone of the general studies curriculum," he pointed out. "A student completes general studies in freshman and sophomore year and then generally takes IS courses in junior and senior year. But, we've had success offering it to all students.
"We believe this new Freshman Seminar series, using the IS approach, can be of benefit to all freshmen, putting some learning excitement into their early college career," Brown said. "We also believe the Freshman Seminar series could become an integral part of the AQIP accreditation program we recently began at SIUE."
Each of the CIV courses is a six-hour interdisciplinary core course, integrating introductory and skills content through lectures, discussion groups, group projects, and individual writing assignments. "Each of the courses within the CIV group introduces a specific topic as an entryway to a range of cultures, including the culture of the present day," he explained.
"Students learn to read the 'texts' of these cultures-where a text can be a poem, a ritual, an account of a battle, a love song, a technology-for an understanding of underlying ideas and values: Culture, Ideas, Values."
Associate Provost David Sill submitted a proposal in fall of last year that states the Freshman Seminar, while different than the usual introductory course, could be structured so that a student would select from a variety of ways to satisfy the seminar requirement and the general education requirement. The proposal also pointed out, however: "An introductory course that serves as a freshman seminar should be more than a small-section version of a standard 111 class. Rather, it should be fundamentally different, more like a graduate seminar in focusing on some issue or problem, and exploring the discipline by seeing how it approaches the issue or problem.
The proposal further stated: "The work of the seminar by its nature encourages team-building and learning about the university, learning about the university both in a straightforward sense of 'where is the library?' and 'how do I use the on-line library catalogue' and in the deeper sense of 'what does it mean to care about ideas?'
"The seminar should, in other words, teach by example."
Brown said CAS Dean Kent Neely supports the freshman seminar idea, but campuswide support is necessary to make CIV part of a seminar series. Under the CIV program, two colleagues teaching a CIV course are given credit for teaching a six-hour course, which means it counts as two courses in an instructor's course load. That results in a department's hiring of a call staff instructor to take up the department's slack.
"Entering freshmen need to learn that as university rather than high school students, they will have to become self-motivating and self-governing, as well as learning what resources are available on campus. They also must improve their writing, reading, and reasoning skills, " Brown said.
"The seminar will speak to these needs and challenge students, with the long-term aim of developing connection and solidarity with other students, an element stressed in all the literature about the benefits of a freshman seminar program."
When one hears of the creation of a concrete bowling ball, the question almost immediately comes to mind: What sort of bowling shoes do you use for such a thing?
Well, as it turns out, four SIUE School of Engineering students won't be needing any special type of shoes after all-although ones with steel-reinforced toes might be advisable-as they take part in the American Concrete Institute's (ACI) Annual Student FRC (Fiber Reinforced Concrete) Bowling Ball Competition on Sunday, April 21, in Detroit.
"Students from all over the world will be competing," said Luke Snell, a Construction professor and director of the Concrete Construction Resource Unit on campus. "Their challenge is to design and construct a fiber-reinforced concrete bowling ball that can achieve optimal performance under specified failure criteria."
In other words, the thing must work.
"Well, yes," said Snell. "The biggest challenge of this project is how do you make a perfectly round ball? How do you cast it?"
Constructed to specific competition standards-including a maximum weight of 28.75 pounds and within a diameter range of 9.8 to 11.75 inches - the ball must have a one-inch hole drilled through the center. During the competition, the ball is positioned at the top of a V-shaped ramp and propelled down the ramp by the force of gravity onto a flat surface where it must pass between two "pins"-hopefully these are reinforced, too-in order to be in the "strike zone." The ball is rolled in two orientations: Once with the hole serving as an axis, once with the hole positioned in-line with the ramp.
Whether the ball performs properly or not, once it has made its rolls, it's up for a crushing fate.
"In addition to constructing the concrete ball so that it will roll appropriately, it must also be constructed for strength," said Snell. "After its attempts to pass through the strike zone, the ball is placed in a testing apparatus. Pressure, or 'load,' will be applied until the ball cracks to discover what its load limit is."
That's where the composition of the ball comes into play.
"We had to construct a ball that is not only light weight but is cast to roll and still have reasonable strength," said Nick Thompson, a Construction Management senior from Mattoon, and one of the four-member team from SIUE. Without revealing the exact formula, Thompson lists mortar sand, Livelite (a commercial lightweight aggregate), cement, vermiculite, fly ash, synthetic fibers, and water as the central ingredients.
Thompson will be joined in Detroit by fellow team members Cory Heart, a sophomore from Cornell; Nick Rothe, a sophomore from St. Louis; and Brett Streb, a junior from Springfield, Ill. All are construction management majors in the School of Engineering.
"The satisfaction of getting the highest score is the real reward," Thompson said. Snell, who has overseen the team's efforts, concurs with Thompson's assessment. "The real prize here is how students learn to bring creativity to their engineering designs."
More than 70 SIUE student-athletes were honored at a dinner ceremony recently for their accomplishments off the playing field.
The ceremony was in honor of National Student-Athlete Day, which was created 14 years ago to honor student-athletes of all ages who have achieved excellence in both academics and athletics. Awards were given to those individuals from SIUE's 15 sports who were All-American Collegiate Scholars, members of the 2001 spring or fall Academic All-Conference team, members of the 2001 fall term Dean's List, inductees into Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society and Cougar Cadre Award winners.
All-American Scholars must have a 3.3 or better grade point average (GPA) and be selected by a dean, a professor, athletic director or coach. Academic All-Conference performers include student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better, have attained a 3.40 GPA in each of the two preceding terms or are first-year student-athletes with a 3.40 GPA in their first term. The Dean's List recognizes students who have a 3.5 GPA in any term and have passed at least 12 hours of classes.
The National College Athlete Honor Society of Chi Alpha Sigma is an honorary athletic society for recognition of high academic achievers and sports letter winners. Inductees must have a 3.4 GPA, have earned a varsity letter and have junior or senior status. The Cougar Cadre Award was developed by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is given to one member per team selected by his or her peers. Cougar Cadre Award winners must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 and have earned a varsity letter.
It was the final home game of the season at Cougar Field for three SIUE senior softball players. They made the most of it.
With three home runs in two games, including one from senior Erin Newman (Fairfield, Calif.), No. 3-ranked SIUE cruised to an 8-2 and a 5-2 sweep over Missouri-Rolla. SIUE has now won 11 straight games and 22 of its last 23 games. The wins give SIUE a 40-7 record, giving this 2002 team the distinction of having made it to 40 wins faster than any other Cougar softball team.
Coach Sandy Montgomery and her softball Cougars set the school record for wins last season at 41-17, coming within one game of advancing to the final eight in the nation. SIUE's 1985 team, under then Head Coach Cindy Jones, was the first to win 40 games at 40-13.
The Cougars dispensed with the Lady Miners in typical fashion-with timely hitting and sharp pitching. RyAnn Spann (Bethalto) recorded her 21st victory in the opener, allowing six hits and striking out four. Senior Dawn Farmer (Columbia) also scattered six hits in the nightcap to improve her season record to 5-0.
Sophomore Jenny Esker (Steeleville) set the pace as SIUE's leadoff hitter, blasting a pitch off starter loser Amanda Weingartner over the scoreboard in left field. It was the first leadoff homer of Esker's career.
SIUE was briefly behind after Missouri-Rolla tallied once in each of the third and fourth innings. But the Cougar bats erupted for four runs in the fifth and three more in sixth. Missouri-Rolla jumped on Farmer for one run in the first inning of the nightcap. Amanda Jessen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. SIUE's Koree Claxton (Rantoul) picked up a scarifice fly, scoring Esker to tie the game 1-1.
The Cougars took the lead for good in the third on Newman's two-run home run, scoring fellow senior Valarie McCoy (Bethalto). In her final home game, Newman blasted career No. 42, a school record by 22 homers. Missy Koenig got into the act with a homer to right field to close out SIUE's scoring in the sixth.
SIUE travels to Lincoln on Wednesday (4/17) for a doubleheader with the Blue Tigers. Game time is set for 2 p.m. The Cougars also are anxious to learn the schedule early this week for the tournament next weekend in South Bend, Ind. The tournament pits nine Great Lakes Valley Conference schools playing head-to-head against 11 teams from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference, a matchup which could influence NCAA postseason play.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education today approved a School of Pharmacy for SIUE.
"With the addition of a School of Pharmacy at Edwardsville, SIU continues to meet the needs of the people we serve," SIU President James E. Walker said. "I'm grateful to the Board of Higher Education for approving the new pharmacy program and look forward to making our case for funding its operation."
The SIU Board of Trustees gave unanimous approval for the new school at its June 2001 meeting. "A new School of Pharmacy will serve the educational and health care needs of Southwestern Illinois," SIUE Chancellor David Werner said. "There is a shortage of pharmacists throughout the state, and especially in southwestern and southern Illinois. There are no public universities in the region that have a pharmacy program."
The pharmacy degree will take six years to complete-two years of general education and four years in the pharmacy school.
Dwight Smith, assistant provost, is directing SIUE's planning process for the pharmacy school. "SIUE already has a School of Nursing and a School of Dental Medicine," Smith said. "A School of Pharmacy complements these programs and builds on our general education program.
"We also have a strong record of graduating transfer students, who would be well served by the '2+2+2' format of the School of Pharmacy."
Creation of the new school will begin with the hiring of a new dean, creation of the curriculum, hiring staff and faculty, recruiting students, and assigning physical space for the school. The School of Pharmacy may begin operation as early as the fall of 2005.
An advisory board is in place. The board includes representatives of the American Pharmaceutical Association, the American Society of Consulting Pharmacists, CVS Pharmacy, GlaxoSmithKline, Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), Metro East Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Pfizer, Inc., National Association of Community Pharmacists, and Walgreen.
Smith said SIUE will proceed as funds for the school are identified.
Anna Pugh-Dunham, formerly with the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, is the new assistant director of Alumni Affairs at SIUE.
Alumni Affairs Director Rémy Billups said Pugh-Dunham will be busy keeping up with the university's 60,000-plus alumni. "Anna will be wearing many different hats as we continue to service our alums around the world," Billups said.
Her responsibilities include alumni chapter development, coordination of alumni association member benefits, as well as "on- and off-campus events" and other facets of alumni relations," Billups said. "She will be reaching out to our graduates through alumni chapter programs as we continue to increase benefits for our association members."
A 1999 graduate (cum laude) of SIUE, Pugh-Dunham earned a bachelor's in Speech Communication with a Public Relations specialization. Before joining the SIUE alumni office, she was the special events associate for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in St. Louis and later was with the Collinsville convention center.
Pugh-Dunham's may be reached at Ext. 2762, or, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.