The University Museum at SIUE is "preparing Lincoln" for the Lincoln Academy. The famous portrait, "Smiling Lincoln," which hangs in the interior lobby of Lovejoy Library, will be moved to the Morris University Center in preparation for the April 30 event.
"Making the portrait visible during the Lincoln Academy is a wonderful opportunity for our guests to experience The University Museum," said its director, Eric Barnett. "It also gives the University Museum a chance to showcase our collection."
The portrait is being moved in time for the 2005 Lincoln Academy that will take place on campus April 30. More than 300 guests, including Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and many other Illinois dignitaries, are expected to attend the Lincoln Academy investiture, black-tie reception, dinner, and ball.
" Smiling Lincoln," was painted by Alban Jasper Conant in 1860. Conant was commissioned to do the painting by William MacPherson of St. Louis. Conant went to Springfield in the fall of 1860 to paint the portrait of Lincoln, who at that time was the newly nominated candidate of the Republican Party.
"Life portraits of the beardless Lincoln, before he was elected president, are extremely rare," Barnett said.
Conant was the only contemporary portrait artist who attempted and succeeded in capturing the friendly, "smiling" Lincoln. Historians say when Conant arrived, he observed the President talking with a small group of men; Lincoln's face was beaming with good nature. But when Lincoln sat for the portrait, he assumed a sad, thoughtful expression.
Conant engaged Lincoln in conversation and Lincoln again revealed the smiling expression that Conant sought. When Mrs. Lincoln first saw the portrait, she said, "That's the way he looks when he has his friends about him. I hope he will look like that after the first of November (alluding to the election)."
"The painting was eventually sold to Shurtleff College in Alton in 1864 and was delivered by the artist himself," Barnett explained. "The painting remained there until the college was acquired by Southern Illinois University."
The Lincoln Academy investiture is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Katherine Dunham Hall; the reception and ball will follow at 7:30 p.m. in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of the Morris University Center.
The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1965 to honor Illinois' most distinguished citizens who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. "We are honored to be chosen to host this prestigious event on the SIUE campus," SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift said.
Vandegrift has pulled together a group of civic volunteers to help plan the event. "This is a great opportunity for the University to partner with the community in showing the entire state our Southern Illinois brand of hospitality."
Gov. Blagojevich recently announced that six world-famous Illinoisans-who have excelled in communications, business, education, sports, science, and social service-will receive the Order of Lincoln Medallion at the SIUE event. The award is the highest that can be bestowed by the state.
This year's Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois are: Edward Brennan, retired chairman, president, and CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co.; David S. Broder, Washington Post political correspondent who received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary; Nick Holonyak Jr., head of the University of Illinois' Micro and Nano Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; George E. Inglett, innovator and marketer of corn and soybean-based weight loss and fat replacement products that have improved the health of millions of people around the world; Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the Sports Illustrated "Female Athlete of the 20th Century" and Olympic gold medalist; and Stephanie Pace Marshall, an international leader, speaker, and writer on the issues of educational innovation, schooling re-design, gifted education, and mathematics and science education.
Past honorees have included John Chancellor, Paul Harvey, Walter Payton, Mike Royko, President Ronald Reagan, Ann Landers, Lester Crown, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Roger Ebert.
Thomas Jordan, assistant professor of Historical Studies, is recipient of the 2005 SIUE Teaching Excellence Award. The award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an SIUE faculty member.
Jordan received a $2,000 award at Honors Convocation on Sunday, and will receive a plaque of recognition at the May 7 spring commencement.
The committee also awarded Teaching Recognition Awards to Kathy Ketchum, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, Jo Ellen Moore, an associate professor in Computer Management and Information Systems, and to Frederic Leveziel, an instructor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. Each received a $500 award at the convocation.
Nominees were considered by members of a university-wide committee which made the final selections. Committee members said they were impressed by Jordan's ability to "formulate relationships between historical facts and world events." In his well-structured classes, they wrote, "he employs a wide variety of media to more fully present diverse perspectives.
"While his classes are rigorous, he is able to put students at ease through clear and thoughtful responses to their questions."
Jordan, who joined the SIUE faculty in 2000, earned a bachelor's at Trinity College and a master's and a doctorate at the University of Illinois.
Ketchum, in her ninth year of teaching at SIUE, earned a bachelor of science in Nursing at the University of Illinois-Chicago, a master of science at SIUE, and a doctorate at Saint Louis University. Committee members said they were impressed with "her obvious enjoyment of teaching and her immense knowledge and skills in conveying that knowledge."
Members also noted her ability to incorporate many different types of learning activities into her courses.
Committee members said they were very impressed with the connection that Moore has with her students. Since joining the SIUE faculty in 1997, Moore has employed innovative techniques and unique projects to enhance her classes. Students "consistently praise her teaching skills and her ability to ready them for a career after graduation."
Moore earned a bachelor's at Millikin University, a master of science at Illinois State University, and a doctorate at Indiana University
Leveziel has been a Spanish and French instructor at SIUE since 1999. He also is the director of the Foreign Language Training Center. He earned a bachelor's at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and a master's at Washington University in St. Louis. He is completing a doctorate in Modern Languages at Middlebury College.
Leveziel impressed committee members with his rapport with students. While he conducts classes in Spanish, Leveziel will switch to English if a student is obviously unable to understand what is being said. He encourages students to share experiences from trips they have taken to Spanish-speaking countries and he incorporates these experiences into class teachings.
Richard Walker of Edwardsville, a city alderman for 10 years and an untiring supporter of arts in the community and the state, is the recipient of the 2005 Kimmel Community Service Award in the SIUE Faculty/Staff category.
Walker is SIUE assistant vice chancellor for Administration.
The awards are sponsored by the University and the Belleville News-Democrat. They were established to recognize outstanding community members and SIUE staff and faculty for dedication and contributions to community service.
It is named for Carol Kimmel, a former member of the SIU Board of Trustees, who for many years donated freely of her time and talent to volunteerism.
Those nominated for the Kimmel Award must have demonstrated a variety of community service contributions for an extended period; demonstrated outstanding voluntary community service, as well as a commitment to the citizens of Illinois or Missouri; and must document leadership roles and responsibilities.
Walker will be honored with recipients in other categories at the April 27 Kimmel Leadership Recognition Program at SIUE.
In his role as alderman, Walker has chaired the city's Finance Committee and the Administrative and Community Services Committee, as well as the Public Services Committee. Through his efforts, the city established the Arts in the Park program, a series of concerts and arts-related events for children in the Edwardsville City Park.
He also developed the Sculptures in the Park program, the Downtown Façade Improvement Program, and the First-Time Homebuyers Assistance Program, all for the city of Edwardsville. In addition, Walker is chair of the Wildey (Theater) Development Committee, which recently completed a marquee renovation for the historic theater in downtown Edwardsville.
Walker also has volunteered with the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce and is very active with his church, First Baptist Church of Edwardsville. He also serves on the board of the Illinois Arts Alliance, for which he has developed the State-Wide Arts Friendly Community Awards presented in conjunction with the Illinois Municipal League.
"I've been blessed to serve alongside some wonderful volunteers over the years," Walker said. "Through these experiences, and these people, I have learned that the act of volunteering is an expression of individual freedom, a demonstration of sensitivity for the needs of others, and one of the most beneficial and rewarding acts anyone can perform.
"By volunteering in the community, ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference."
Admission is free for the April 27 Kimmel recognition program-scheduled at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Center, on the second floor of SIUE's Morris University Center. For more information, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2686.
Several Southwestern Illinois residents will receive Kimmel Community Service Awards at the April 27 Kimmel Leadership Recognition Program, sponsored by SIUE and the Belleville News-Democrat.
The annual award was established to recognize outstanding community members for dedication and contributions to community volunteer service as exemplified by Carol Kimmel, a former member of the SIU Board of Trustees, who for many years gave freely of her time and talent to volunteerism.
Other than the Facuty-Staff category, there are six award categories: education, social service-social welfare, environmental and civic betterment, regional leadership, agency-organizational concerns, and special populations.
Those nominated for the Kimmel Community Service Award must have been a resident of Illinois or Missouri for at least two years, and volunteered for at least one agency, organization, or business for at least two or more continuous years.
In addition, nominees must have demonstrated a variety of community service contributions for an extended period and demonstrated outstanding voluntary community service, as well as a commitment to the citizens of Illinois or Missouri; and must document leadership roles and responsibilities.
This year's winners are:
Agency-Organizational Concerns--Betty Krapf
Special Populations--Dan Cuneo
Regional Leadership--P. Michael Schuette
Social Service-Social Welfare--James Bailey
Environmental-Civic Betterment--Rev. Dr. David Stabenfeldt
A passion "to help others" is a driving force for Sara Anne Reimers Carpenter, formerly of Lincoln, Mo., who not only finds the time and energy to volunteer, but also works hard on a double major in Speech Communication and Spanish at SIUE.
She is a daughter of Jan Reimers and Robert Carpenter of De Soto, Mo.
Her dedication to volunteerism will be recognized April 27 when she receives the SIUE Carol Kimmel Scholarship. The scholarship program is co-sponsored by the University and the Belleville News-Democrat.
Carpenter will be recognized at the Kimmel Leadership Recognition Program-scheduled at 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Center, on the second floor of the Morris University Center.
The annual scholarship was established to recognize students for their outstanding leadership and community volunteer service contributions, in addition to academic excellence. It is named for Kimmel, a former member of the SIU Board of Trustees, who for many years donated freely of her time and talent to volunteerism.
"My passion is to help others," Carpenter said, "even though it requires time and energy because it's the most valuable quality a person can have. I agree with Albert Schweitzer who said everything of value in the world has been accomplished with enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. My philanthropic values and actions have led me to the non-profit sector, in which financial compensation is also sacrificed," she said.
"Receiving the Kimmel Scholarship would lift a sizable financial burden and would also be an incredible honor."
For the University, Carpenter has been an active leader and member of Making Waves, a women's studies organization. She initiated SIUE's participation in the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., during spring of last year. She also devotes her time to peer ministry at the SIUE Religious Center.
Her community service has included volunteer work with the Service Learning Project through SIUE's partnership with Americorps, the United Way Allocations Committee, Women of the Steel Union, and mentoring through the YMCA and the SIUE United Campus Ministries. She also volunteers with the American Red Cross.
"Carol Kimmel was described to me as the 'epitome of service,'" Carpenter said. "With enthusiasm and self-sacrifice, I strive for such a valuable life as well."
For more information, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2686.
With an exciting repertoire that spans myriad musical traditions-from Dixieland to Broadway to Hollywood to patriotic, with a sprinkle of humor-the Dallas Brass will appear at 8 p.m. Friday, April 22, at SIUE as part of the Arts & Issues series.
Scheduled in Meridian Ballroom, the Dallas Brass will bring its special brand of performance that has made the group one of America's foremost and entertaining musical ensembles. Dallas Brass has a distinctive style all its own, blending traditional brass instruments with a full complement of drums and percussion to create an entity of extraordinary range and musical challenges.
"For two decades the Arts & Issues series has been the benchmark of quality entertainment for Southwestern Illinois audiences," said John Peecher, coordinator of the series. "Dallas Brass has a great sense of style in their music and in their performing," he said. "It promises to be a unique evening of exciting musical entertainment."
Since its founding in 1983 by Michael Levine, the Dallas Brass has performed throughout the world with a show for the entire family. The group's goal is to entertain and enrich by playing great music, while showing audiences how much the musicians enjoy what they do.
In addition to solo engagements, the Dallas Brass also has appeared with symphony orchestras nationwide, including the Cincinnati Pops conducted by Erich Kunzel, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, and the New York Pops conducted by Skitch Henderson. The Dallas Brass also has performed at Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and has toured overseas in Europe and the Far East.
Members of the Dallas Brass began their musical involvement in elementary school music programs; therefore, they remain dedicated to working with young musicians, frequently going into public schools to present clinics and workshops for students of all ages.
The ensemble also has released five albums: Debut, Dallas Brass II, A Merry Christmas With Brass, Windborne, and Nutcracker.
Tickets for the April 22 Arts & Issues event are $20; students, $10, and are available by contacting John Peecher, (618) 650-2626, or, by calling (618) 650-5555, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual tickets also may be purchased at the Web site: artsandissues.com.
Fine wine, delicious food, and exciting auction items will be part of the first SIUE School of Education's Flights-of-Wine Dinner and Auction at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville.
The evening is co-sponsored by Corporate Express, a retail furniture outlet in West St. Louis County. Other sponsors include: Kennedy Bookstore Inc., East Alton attorney Jeff Cooper, Bev George and Associates, Edwardsville Schools Superintendent Ed Hightower, SIUE School of Education Dean Elliott Lessen, Professor Emeritus Val Meyer, of the School of Education, and Professor Emeritus Gil Rutman, of the SIUE School of Business.
The event will raise money for scholarship assistance to students of need, particularly during their student teaching semester, and for a new program geared to attracting potential future teachers from Metro East middle schools and high schools. "The goal is to expand the number of scholarships and/or scholarship programs," Dean Lessen said.
"Through the program we will earmark funds for current and potential students from diverse backgrounds."
Lessen pointed out that a strong scholarship fund is an important asset to the School of Education. "As our population base becomes increasingly heterogeneous," Lessen said, "it is imperative that we attract a diverse student population in an increasing proportion to the general population of the Southwestern Illinois metropolitan area we serve.
"The availability of scholarship funds will help the School of Education recruit and attract the best students from diverse backgrounds," he said. "While the focus will be on teacher preparation, other areas within the School of Education also will be recipients of these efforts."
The May 13 fund-raising event consists of both a silent and a live auction. Some of the live auction items include an afternoon sail for two on a 34-foot racing yacht, a four-hour ride in an 18-passenger Hum-Vee limousine, a variety of box seats to St. Louis Rams and St. Louis Cardinal games, a full-day "spa experience," and an assortment of artwork from local and internationally known artists.
Admission is $65 per person. Also available are various sponsorship levels including contributor sponsorships at $250 and table sponsorships at $750. Advertising space also is available for purchase in the event program booklet.
For reservations and/or sponsorship information, contact Julie Babington in the School of Education, (618) 650-5043, or by e-mail: email@example.com.
By Patricia Merritt
Director, Public Relations
East St. Louis Center
Five-year-old "Angel" was shot and killed after being used as a human shield by an unidentified youth, who was the target of a drive-by shooting.
The event is part of A Colored Funeral, written and directed by Gregory S. Carr, fine arts instructor at the SIUE East St. Louis Charter School.
Tickets are now on sale for the play that will open at 7 p.m. Friday, May 20, in the multipurpose theater in Building D of the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd. During the month of April, tickets are discounted to $9 for adults and $4.50 for seniors and students with identification.
Tickets may be purchased at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus in Building A, Suite 1055. Tickets also are available through the Fine Arts box office in Dunham Hall, (618) 650-2774. For more information, call LaKisha Perkins-Mosley at (618) 482-6908.
A Colored Funeral is at the same time comedic, satirical, and poignant as it takes a look at death, sometimes irreverently, in the African-American community. In the play, Carr deals with such issues as HIV/AIDS, police brutality, war, and obesity.
He has written many plays, several of which have been performed professionally. Most recently, Johnnie Taylor is Gone had its world premiere at the historic Karamu Theatre in Cleveland, and received glowing reviews. Carr's A Colored Funeral also is being considered for future production.
The play is a joint production by the East St. Louis Charter School and the East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts. The Charter School is a "School of Choice" for families in the East St. Louis School District as it provides a second chance at education and training for individuals who have dropped out of the public schools. Anthony Neal, and experienced educator, is the program director.
SIUE established the East St. Louis Center for the Performing Arts, formerly known as the Katherine Dunham Center for the Performing Arts, in 1967. World-renowned dancer, anthropologist, and choreographer Katherine Dunham is the founder.
The program is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
What's nine-feet long and has a sail formed by a row of long spines on its back? Give up? It's the Dimetrodon (pronounced Die-MET-rah-don). The ancient animal lived approximately 300 million years ago during the late Paleozoic Era, and it's on campus right now.
Well, it's actually a replica, but it looks like what a Dimetrodon might look like. What exactly did it look like? A group of students from the SIUE Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program is discovering the anwer.
And, as the students discover, they are being guided by paleontologist Guy Darrough in assembling a fiberglass replica of the pre-historic animal for display.
"The Dimetrodon will be part of the Prehistory of Illinois display which will be open for viewing during the Lincoln Academy of Illinois," explained Eric Barnett, director of The University Museum at SIUE.
Every year, the academy conducts a convocation and investiture of laureates in which individuals are honored for contributions to the betterment of mankind that have been accomplished in or on behalf of the state of Illinois. This year's dinner and ball to honor the laureates will be condudted at SIUE on April 30.
Throughout the year, the academy also honors senior students for overall excellence at all 52 four-year, degree-granting state institutions in Illinois.
According to Barnett, the Dimetrodon is still under construction. "The legs have been attached to the body," he said. "The next step is to attach the head and tail. SIUE is the chosen site for construction because Darrough's (Arnold, Mo.), studio is currently at capacity."
Darrough is a highly accomplished fossil collector, fossil preparation expert, and illustrator who has worked in paleontology and related areas for 40 years. He has collected and studied fossils in Canada, Morocco, and in many parts of the United States. His technical and artistic skills in fossil preparation meet the highest museum standards. Specimens from his own exceptional collection are routinely loaned to museums for exhibition and for scientific studies.
Darrough's accomplishments include amassing a premiere collection of Missouri fossils, making significant discoveries in Paleontology (including the discovery of a wide variety of Cambrian and lower Ordovician fossil animals previously unknown to paleontologists), and co-authoring in the Journal of Paleontology.
The Lincoln Academy investiture is set for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in Dunham Hall theater. Immediately following the service, the dinner and ball will take place in Meridian Ballroom, with approximately 300 guests from around the state expected to attend.
Sandra McClendon of East St. Louis, a senior majoring in Speech Communication, is the 2005 SIUE Student Employee of the Year. McClendon is a program assistant with the East St. Louis Center Campus of Learners (COL) Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
Employed at the East St. Louis Center since August 2001, McClendon assists in the development and implementation of all services and activities of the program. She has provided many hours of service to the program and has been recognized for her work mentoring life-challenged women through the Connections to Success Program.
In nominating the non-traditional SIUE student, who also is a grandmother, Louella Hawkins wrote that McClendon "has been a true asset to the (COL) Program, particularly when working with the children of the residents of the Phoenix Courts housing development." Hawkins is the acting program director of the COL.
"Sandra's caring, efficient, easy-going manner is noticeable, whether she is assisting them with homework in the after school tutoring program or when they are making special holiday crafts. Her creativity in developing and implementing children's activities has given most of the children the confidence, opportunity, and experience needed to become successful achievers.
"Her input in developing activities has been invaluable to motivating not only the children, but the adults," Hawkins continued. "Her team spirit when working with the staff has helped create a harmonious environment that makes it a joy for all of the employees to come to work," Hawkins wrote.
Each year, the Office of Student Financial Aid requests nominations for the student employee recognition, which is part of National Student Employee Week (April 10-16) as designated by the National Student Employment Association.
Runners-up for this year's Student Employee of the Year were: Thomas Doellman of Quincy and Ashley Luken of Lincoln.
SIUE has been selected for its third consecutive appearance at the NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championships.
The 2005 NCAA Division II Women's East Regional will be a 54-hole event on May 2-3 at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale, Mich. Three others regional tournaments also will feed into the national tournament to be held on May 11-14 at The Championships Course at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., and will be hosted by Western New Mexico University.
SIUE is led by sophomore Kallie Harrison (Decatur), with a 78.3 scoring average. Junior Brittany Hood (Coulterville) holds an 83.6 scoring average and has been consistent all year for the Cougars. Natalie Connaway (McLeansboro), a freshman, holds an 86.6 scoring average. Kelly Morris (Normal), also a freshman, has a 91.5 scoring average. Ashley Hamm (Hillsboro), a freshman, joined the team this spring and has a 100.4 scoring average.
"After starting out the spring with only four kids and losing two of your top five players, to hold our position, is an accomplishment," said Coach Mark Marcuzzo. "I think that shows a lot about the team."
The top two teams in each of the four regions along with the top two individuals not with a team, from each regional, will advance to the national championships in New Mexico.
The following teams and individuals were selected to participate in the East Regional.
The SIUE softball team ends its regular season this week with six games at Cougar Field. The 14th-ranked Cougars are winners of 19 of their last 20 games with a 37-9 record overall, 13-1 in Great Lakes Valley Conference action.
SIUE notched a 4-0 record last week with wins at Lincoln and Kentucky Wesleyan. The Cougars most important matchup of the season against No. 1-ranked Northern Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. "It was a big disappointment," said SIUE softball coach Sandy Montgomery. "We were looking forward to playing them."
The Cougars face Missouri Southern on Thursday (4/28) and Lewis and UW-Parkside travel to face SIUE on Saturday (4/30) and Sunday (5/1). Lewis (third place) and UW-Parkside (fourth place) are right behind second-placed SIUE in the GLVC standings. "Missouri Southern, typically, has been pretty good in the MIAA (Midwestern Intercollegiate Athletic Association)," said Montgomery. "We want to play well going into the weekend. UW-Parkside and Lewis are going to be the biggest challenges we have had in some time."
Second baseman Holly Neuerberg (Orion) blasted two home runs as she went 5-7 with five runs scored and five RBIs in the doubleheader with the Panthers. Neuerberg leads the team with 39 RBIs while ranking second on the club with five home runs.
"She is hitting the ball well," said Montgomery. "She is doing a good job of keeping her weight back."
Catcher Libby Lenart (Bartonville) raised her average to .299 after going 6-11 (.545) last week. "She has been doing well," said Montgomery. "In my opinion she is, without a doubt, the best catcher in the league."
Senior Veronica Schmidt (Westmont) ranks second on the team with a .363 batting average. Schmidt leads the team with 11 doubles while driving in 32 RBI's.
Pitcher and outfielder Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton) leads the Cougars with a .394 average, 61 hits, 48 runs scored, four triples, and seven home runs.
The Cougars will take on the Lions on Thursday at 3 p.m. before the Flyers and Rangers visit Cougar Field on Saturday and Sunday. Both doubleheaders begin at noon.
The SIUE baseball team sees an opportunity before them as they head into the final 12 games of the regular season. The Cougars have the advantage of playing those contests at home or at least near home.
Beginning tomorrow (4/26), when SIUE faces Quincy, the Cougars will play eight games at Roy Lee Field over the next two weeks. It will be the first game at the field since April 21, 2004. The four other games will be played at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O'Fallon, Mo. "We won't have to travel," said SIUE baseball coach Gary Collins. "Hopefully that will help us."
The next few games will go along way in telling how the Cougars finish the season. They sit tied for sixth place with Kentucky Wesleyan in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with 23-20 overall record, 14-14 in league play.
Battling the Hawks on Tuesday (4/26) could give SIUE a chance to gain ground on one of the teams ahead of them in the standings. Quincy is currently in fourth place two games ahead of SIUE, with the clubs splitting a pair of contests on April 6.
The top six teams make the GLVC tournament which will be held at T.R. Hughes on May 12-15. "A sweep over Quincy would tie us with them and give us the tie breaker," said Collins.
SIUE has won nine of its last 12 games after finishing last week splitting with the Panthers and St. Joseph's.
Jeff Darnall (Atlanta) leads the Cougar offense with a 17-game hitting steak, a .340 average, and 51 hits as well as being tied for the club lead in RBIs with 26. Darnall batted .381 last week with 5 RBIs and a game-winning triple in a victory over the Pumas. "Jeff has been consistent," said Collins. "That is how you put a hitting streak together. He has probably been our most consistent hitter."
Adam Tallman (Gillespie) notched a .385 batting average the last six games while pitching six strong innings giving up just two hits and no earned runs in a loss to St. Joseph's. "Tallman pitched a great game," said Collins.
Cameron Cheek (Atlanta) continued his string of strong pitching performances with a win over Kentucky Wesleyan. The two-time GLVC pitcher of the week is now 6-1 on the year with a 1.45 earned run average.
David Briesacher (Waterloo) came out of the bullpen on Saturday (4/23) to throw six innings of one-hit baseball, notching his first win of the season. Jared Rettberg (Divernon) fanned six, giving up one run on two hits for his fourth win in the second game.
SIUE takes on Quincy tomorrow (4/26) with the first pitch coming at 1 p.m. The Cougars face Indianapolis for a four-game series this weekend. Saturday's (4/30) contests will be play at Roy Lee Field at 1 p.m., and Sunday's (5/1) doubleheader is scheduled for T.R. Hughes at noon.
The SIUE men's and women's track teams return home this weekend for the Cougar Twilight Open on Saturday (4/30) at Ralph Korte Stadium.
SIUE placed fourth on both the men's and women's events at the Central Collegiate Championships held at Champaign over the weekend. "The weather this weekend was terrible," said SIUE track coach Ben Beyers. "Everyone rallied and showed a lot of pride in putting out some good efforts. Obviously the times are slower than we'd like, but, under the conditions, I'm very proud of how the athletes performed."
On the women's side Christine Butler (Matteson) won the triple jump and became the season leader with a mark of 37'8.75" (11.50m). Butler also finished fourth in the long jump. "She had some real nice jumps, especially considering the conditions," said Beyers. "She's been a top performer for us all year long, and she's starting to round back into the form that made her an All-American indoors."
On the men's side, Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.80. "Jonathan ran a great race," said Beyers. "He blocked it all out and focused on himself, and when you are able to do that, good things will come, no matter what the weather is like."
The men's 4x400 meter relay team placed first with a mark of 3:19.31. Brad Blevins (Gillespie) became the season leader in the 100 meters finishing with a time of 11.05.
The Cougar Twilight Open will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Deserea Brown (Flossmoor) has signed a national letter of intent to compete in track and field for SIUE.
Brown, from Homewood-Flossmoor High School near Chicago, starred during the indoor season this year. "Deserea will be a very big addition to our team next year," said SIUE women's track coach Ben Beyers. "Her versatility and untapped potential made her a top recruit in my mind a long time ago."
Brown was recently successful at the Illinois Prep Top Times Meet winning the 400 meters with a time of 57.03 seconds and taking second in the 55 meters at 7.27. "Deserea has shown potential in all the sprints, the hurdles, and all the jumps," said Beyers. "She's a tremendous athlete and will only improve in college if she continues to work hard and stay focused."
Brown qualified for the state meet last season in the high jump, 4 x 400 meters, and 800 meter medley relay. "We'll certainly be looking for her to make big contributions to our team as a freshman," said Beyers. "I'm very excited to see how she develops."
Kyle Cameron (Moline) has signed a national letter of intent to compete for SIUE men's cross country team.
Cameron, from United Township High School, was 12th in Illinois AA State cross country this year with a time of 15 minutes and 11 seconds. "I am looking forward to working with Kyle over the next four years," said SIUE cross country coach Eileen McAllister. "He is just beginning to tap his potential."
Cameron has personal bests in the two mile (9:38) and mile (4:30) for at United Township this year. "He is definitely one to keep an eye on at the state meet," said McCallister.
Cameron was teammates in high school with current Cougars Erik Steffens, Brian Taghon, and Brian Getz. "He will fit in great with the team," said McCallister. "I look to him to be a solid addition to an already strong core of returnees."
SIUE's Emily Lenart (Bartonville, Illinois) has been named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week, respectively.
Lenart, who follows her sister Libby in earning Player of the Week honors, hit .571 on the week with two home runs, three doubles, and nine RBIs to lead the No. 14-ranked Cougars to a 5-1 record on the week.
She did most of her damage in a 9-5 victory at the University of Southern Indiana, hitting both home runs and a two-run, game-clinching double. Her second home run of that game was a grand slam as she finished the contest with seven runs batted in.
The sophomore finished the week with a 2-for-3 performance, including two doubles, in a split with the University of Missouri-St. Louis as she raised her season-batting average to .343.
SIUE, which had won 15 straight games until its loss to the Riverwomen, raised its record to 33-9 overall and 11-1 in the GLVC.
Roy E. Lee Field will see some action this season despite the on-going construction at SIUE's SimmonsCooper Complex.
SIUE Coach Gary Collins announced that three doubleheaders would be moved back to SIUE's campus field. For those games, fans will be directed to sit beyond both teams' dugouts and away from the construction site where a new grandstand and seating are being put up.
The games at Lee Field are April 30 vs. Indianapolis at 1 p.m., May 4 vs. Missouri-St. Louis at 2 p.m. and May 7 vs. Bellarmine at 1 p.m.
SIUE baseball is currently riding a six-game winning streak as it travels this week to face Kentucky Wesleyan and Saint Joseph's.
The Cougars are 20-17 overall and 11-11 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. SIUE is tied for sixth place in the league with the Panthers and Southern Indiana. The top six teams advance to the conference tournament. "It's seems like it has been a long time since we have gotten over the .500 mark," said SIUE baseball coach Gary Collins. "It feels pretty good."
The Cougars took four games from Upper Iowa over the weekend after defeating Missouri-St. Louis in two games on Thursday (4/14). SIUE outscored its opponents 39-15 during the six games.
The Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters in the Cougars lineup have sparked the winning streak, batting .406 with 17 RBIs and 10 runs scored. "The first six guys in our lineup have hit all year," said Collins. "Now the bottom of our order has really started to deliver. That helps a bunch."
Michael DalPozzo (Livingston) led the charge from the bottom of the lineup as he batted .529 collecting nine hits during the stretch. DalPozzo came into last week hitting 2-18 (.111).
Robert Rahn (Wood River) notched nine hits batting .409 with six RBIs in the six games from the ninth spot in the order. Shortstop Brian Newby (Bartonville) batted .411 last week with five RBIs and five runs scored.
Outfielder Cory Bunner (Jacksonville) is batting .309 on the season with an 11-game hitting streak after a 10-for-25 performance against UMSL and Upper Iowa.
Outfielder Jeff Darnall (Atlanta) also sports an 11-game hitting streak and is .333 for the season.
Clay Zavada (Steator) notched his first win of the year over Upper Iowa. Zavada struck out 11 while giving up five hits for the complete game shutout.
"We are starting to get a mix of good hitting and good pitching," said Collins. "That is something we have needed all year long."
The Cougars face Kentucky Wesleyan on Wednesday (4/20) in Owensboro, Ky. at 1 p.m. They will follow that up with a trip to Rensselaer, Ind. to face GLVC leader St. Joseph's on Saturday (4/23) and Sunday (4/22). The first pitch in both doubleheaders begins at noon.
After winning 33 of their last 38 games, SIUE softball coach Sandy Montgomery knows that her toughest challenge is yet to come. That test will come this weekend as the Cougars travel to face Kentucky Wesleyan and No. 2-ranked and undefeated Northern Kentucky.
"It's a big weekend," said Montgomery. "They (NKU) are the best team in the country as far as I'm concerned."
The 14th-ranked Cougars have notched a 35-9 record overall with a 11-1 mark in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. "Overall, we are playing well," said Montgomery. "We need to be challenged again to get our intensity up. We will need to be ready for the tough games that are ahead."
SIUE played eight games in five days, finishing with a 7-1 record last week.
First baseman Emily Lenart (Bartonville) was named GLVC player of the Week after batting .571 collecting eight hits. Lenart went 6 for 7 with two home runs and nine RBIs in a sweep of Southern Indiana on Thursday (4/14). "She is a competitor," said Montgomery. "She loves to play. When she is on she is a very good hitter."
Emily's sister, Libby, won the award last week, marking the third time a Cougar has won the award this season.
Freshman pitcher Lindsay Laas (Frankfort) picked up five wins last week as she ran her record to 15-4 on the season. Laas has won 10 of her last 12 decisions dating back to March 11. "She is doing a nice job," said Montgomery. "She is learning more and more how to pitch while minimizing her mistakes."
SIUE is batting .312 as team while averaging over six runs per game this season. "It's been a year where things have gone our way," said Montgomery. "We have won some close ball games. One big thing is that different people have stepped up different days."
Holly Neuerberg (Orion) is tied for the team lead with 34 RBIs while batting .341. "Holly is playing really well right now," said Montgomery.
SIUE will take on the Panthers on Saturday (4/23) before visiting the Norse on Sunday (4/24). Game time for each doubleheader is noon.
The SIUE women's golf team placed second in the Cougar Invitational at Sunset Hills Country Club over the weekend.
SIUE scored a 701, 19 shots behind tournament winner Rend Lake Community College. The Cougars finished 14 shots ahead of third place Southern Indiana.
"Sunset Hills is a extremely tough golf course," said SIUE golf coach Mark Marcuzzo. "We had to beat USI to solidify us for nationals. We have a good team, and we played like a team this weekend."
Brittany Hood (Coulterville) and Kallie Harrison (Decatur) finished tied for third place with a two day total of 168. Hood shot an opening round 83 and a second round 85. Harrison had an 87 the first day before finishing out the tournament with a final round 81.
"Brittany is really playing well," said Marcuzzo. "Kallie struggled the first day. Then she played really well the second day."
Natalie Connaway (McLeansboro) placed sixth with a total of 171. She shot a 84 on Sunday following that up with a 87 on Monday.
"Natalie has gotten a lot better and continues to improve," said Marcuzzo.
Kelly Morris (Normal) ended the tournament in 16th place and Ashley Hamm (Hillsboro) finished in 18th place.
The Cougars will wait to see if they are selected to the NCAA East Regional that is held on May 2-3 in Allendale, Mich.
The SIUE men's and women's track teams won the Cougar Classic over the weekend.
On the men's side, the Cougars scored 258 points, more than 100 points ahead of the second place finisher. For the women, SIUE notched 311 points for a decisive win. "Anytime you defeat good competition by the margin that we did, it really speaks volumes as to the quality and depth of your team," said SIUE track coach Ben Beyers.
Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) broke the 400-meter record previously set in 1985 with a time of 47.93 on Saturday (4/16). "Jonathan ran a very solid race," said Beyers. "Breaking that record is something that we've certainly been shooting for, and he went and executed very well."
The men's 4x100 meter relay team of Brad Blevins (Gillespie), Chris Wright (Richton Par), Jason Hall (Chicago), and Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis), set the school record for the third time in three weeks with a time of 42.13.
Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) bettered his NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the shot put with a throw of 54 feet, 3.25 inches.
On the women's side, Lee Ann Lomax (Georgetown) won the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:43.32. Lomax then won the 800 meters in 2:16.90. "She ran two great races on Saturday," said Beyers. "She had two personal records and showed that she's still got a lot of room for improvement."
The Cougars will travel this weekend to Champaign for the Central Collegiate Championships on Saturday (4/23).