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May 11, 2004

Vandegrift Named To Succeed Werner As SIUE Chancellor

Vaughn Vandegrift, who has moved up through the ranks of higher education over the past 30 years, will become chancellor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville effective July 1.

Vandegrift was appointed to the position by SIU President James E. Walker and approved by the Board of Trustees today after a national search. Current SIUE Chancellor David Werner announced his retirement last October after 36 years of service to the university.

"Dr. Vandegrift has the right combination of skills and experience to guide SIUE into the future," Walker said. "I am confident that he will be the kind of leader we need at an important time in the development of SIUE."

Vandegrift said he is excited about his coming to SIUE. "The opportunity to come to SIU Edwardsville and lead this vibrant campus is exciting to me. SIUE has a vision to achieve national prominence as a premier metropolitan university. I'm looking forward to working with the university and metropolitan communities to realize that vision within the next decade."

Vandegrift's appointment comes as a result of a national search and assistance from a search advisory committee composed of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from SIUE whose job it was to review applications and make recommendations to President Walker.

"I want to thank the members of the search advisory committee, particularly professor Don Elliott who served as chair, for their hours of work and valued counsel in our effort to find a new chancellor," Walker said. "We had an excellent pool of candidates from which to choose and I thank the committee for their efforts."

The new chancellor comes to SIUE from Georgia Southern University, where he has served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs/Chief Information Officer since 2000. At GSU, a residential university with nearly 16,000 students and more than 650 full-time faculty, Vandegrift oversees six academic colleges, graduate studies, international studies, information technology services, continuing education, a wildlife center, a museum, a library, and a botanical garden.

During his time at GSU, Vandegrift led the Academic Affairs unit through state budget cuts of $5 million during a period in which enrollment grew by 1,500 students. He established a new College of Information Technology and had oversight of the program's development and the construction of its new $33 million building, which opened last year.

Vandegrift created a new School of Economic Development at GSU to address the needs of South Georgia and also established the first School of Public Health in the University System of Georgia after obtaining a gift of $2.5 million from a benefactor.

Vandegrift reorganized the recruitment and hiring process of faculty at GSU, significantly increasing the representation of minorities in the Academic Affairs unit.

Before he was provost at GSU, Vandegrift spent 12 years as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and a tenured professor of Chemistry at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, N. J.. He also served for six years as chair of the Department of Chemistry and as a tenured professor during 12 years at Murray State University in Kentucky.

Vandegrift-who has been an assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, department chair, dean, and provost- began his higher education career as a Chemistry professor at Illinois State University in 1974.

Vandegrift, who earned a doctorate in Chemistry at Ohio University, is the author of numerous journal articles and presentations on the topics of biochemistry, chemical education and higher education. Vandegrift earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Chemistry from Montclair State University. Vandegrift is also a graduate of the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management.

Vandegrift has been a member of numerous professional organizations and civic groups including Rotary International, the American Chemical Society, American Association of Higher Education, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography Board of Directors, and the Statesboro-Bulloch County (Georgia) Chamber of Commerce.

The 57-year-old Vandegrift, who hails from Saddle Brook, N.J., is married to Suzanne Bouchoux Vandegrift of Nutley, N.J., a recently retired high school chemistry teacher from Wayne (NJ) schools. They have three children: Beth Vandegrift, David Vandegrift, and Mark Vandegrift. Vandegrift's parents, Frederick and Marjorie Vandegrift, reside in Murray, Ky.

Turtles Net A New Home Thanks To Student Savior

Cougar Lake has some new tenants, thanks to Emily Dustman, who decided to be a samaritan herpetologist.

But the SIUE freshman from East Alton didn't bargain on finding a turtle in Peck Pond the size of a small garage. And, she sure didn't realize she was going to have a Chelydra serpentina by the tail. That's a snapping turtle to all of us not moving in herpetology circles.

It all began when the university decided to begin a planned project recently to dredge three ponds on campus-Peck Pond, adjacent to Peck Hall, Founders Hall, and Alumni Hall; the pond on the north end of the Donal E. Myer Arboretum; and Stump Lake, a pond behind Bluff Hall. (Why it's not called Stump Pond is anybody's guess, but misnomers tend to die hard.)

Facilities Management Director Bob Washburn said planning began about two years ago when signs of problems were occurring. "It took us about a year to obtain all the necessary environmental permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," Washburn said. "This is part of a natural cycle of man-made ponds such as these.

"The $200,000 project has been funded through the deferred maintenance program and is designed to return the environmental balance to the ponds that have become overgrown with algae," Washburn said. "Dredging the ponds removes the excess silt and algae, and makes them deeper and less likely to become unbalanced in the future."

Unfortunately, the dredging causes a temporary disruption in the wildlife and critters have to find a new home for awhile. Although most of the species in and around Peck Pond could fly, hop, or walk out during the dredging, the small amount of fish that were left in the three ponds didn't survive, and slow moving wildlife, namely turtles, needed some help.

Enter Emily Dustman, a biological sciences major studying to become a herpetologist (someone who studies reptiles and amphibians). "Just after the dredging began, I saw one or two turtles who didn't make it across the road," she said. "I saw another that had been caught in a lawn mower tractor as it moved from Peck Pond. I also saw some turtles that were sucked through the drain to the other side of Circle Drive.

"It upset me, so I went to (Associate Biological Sciences) Professor (Paul) Brunkow and asked for his help." Dustman decided to organize a group of students to help pull the turtles from Peck Pond. They obtained permission from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration, but then called it off when they realized how deep the mud is in the pond bed.

"I had worked last summer for John Tucker, a state herpetologist, and he agreed to help," Dustman said. "So, John and my Dad joined me to begin 'muddling' (searching underwater for turtles in the mud).

"I was crawling in the mud, with just my head above water when I grabbed a large tail, although I wasn't sure what it was at the time," Dustman said. "Then it began pulling me through the mud and I realized it was a large turtle. It took my Dad and I together to get the turtle out of the water and into a cooler."

Dustman explained that snapping turtles remain docile while submerged but if you pull them out of the water to, say, put them in a cooler, well, they become disagreeable. But they managed to get the huge specimen into the cooler and relocate it to Cougar Lake. Dustman also recovered two painted turtles and a koi, an ornamental carp, and also relocated them to Cougar Lake.

Dustman feels good about the rescue. "I feel like I did a good thing."

Brunkow said he was impressed with Dustman's determination to help the turtles. "Emily was the driving force behind this recovery project; she planned it and followed through," Brunkow said. "This is a student who went out of her way to take this initiative, obtain the permissions, and organize the effort.

"And, you have to realize that Peck Pond is a pretty mucky place, smelly and nasty. But, Emily saw an opportunity do something to help, because turtles represent a species that has become depleted in suburban areas."

Once Dustman had the turtle, she showed it to Brunkow. "Dr. Brunkow nicknamed it the 'Loch Peck Monster,' " she said. "I thought that was a pretty good nickname."

Lovejoy Writers Competition Winners Announced

Winners of SIUE's 10th Annual High School Writers' Contest have been announced. The contest, sponsored by the Friends of Lovejoy Library, was open to area high school juniors and seniors who each submitted work in one of three categories: nonfiction, fiction, or poetry.

Co-sponsors and contributors for the competition were the Pulitzer Foundation/St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Target Stores; the Belleville News-Democrat; and the Friends group, a support organization for SIUE's Lovejoy library.

More than 385 entries were submitted by contestants from Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, St. Clair, and Washington counties.

Nine winners, three in each category, were honored recently at an awards banquet on campus. First prize winners each received $500, while second- and third-place winners in each category received $300 and $100, respectively.

First prize in the poetry category went to Lisa Klingler, a senior at Belleville West Township High School, for her poem, "Survival in Auschwitz." Second prize was won by Casey Keeven, a junior at Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo, for her poem, "Oscar," while third prize went to Jacki Varble, a junior at Carrollton High School, for "A Poem About Nothing."

In the fiction category, first prize was given to Vanity Kanise Gee, also a senior at Belleville West, for her story, "MIA Midgets in Action: The True Tale of little Red Riding Hood." Second place went to Chelsea Teisberg, a junior at Valmeyer High School, for her piece, "Primary Instinct," while third prize was given to Meredith Burkart, a junior at Edwardsville High School, for her entry, "The Rising Sun."

Tom Edwards, a junior at Belleville West, won first prize in the nonfiction category for his essay, "Wilderness Voyage." Second prize in that category went to Michael Schulte, a senior at Jersey Community High School, for his essay, "Contradicting Representations." Third prize was won by Marina Braun, a senior at Triad High School in Troy, for her essay, "The Door of Opportunity."

All award-winning entries have been published in a booklet that is available for purchase by calling (618) 650-2730.

ROTC Standout, '95 Grad Dies In Irag Fighting

Capt. John E. Tipton, originally from Granite City and a distinguished military graduate of the SIUE Army ROTC program, died May 2 during combat in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq. He was 32 and a 1995 graduate of the SIUE School of Business.

He died of wounds received from an explosion during combat as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tipton was stationed at Ft. Riley, Kan., where he was a Company Commander with the First Infantry Division.

Tipton was a 1989 graduate of Granite City High School. He enlisted in the Army in August of that year and served in Operation Desert Storm. He enrolled at SIUE in September 1991. Tipton had been stationed at Ft. Riley since August 2000 and deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2003.

A memorial service is planned at Ft. Riley on May 12. Memorials may be made to the Society of the First Infantry Division Foundation, which maintains the DePuy Scholarship program. The scholarship is awarded to children of First Infantry Division soldiers killed in combat. Donations may be mailed to:

First Infantry Division Foundation
c/o DePuy Scholarships
1933 Morris Road
Blue Bell, PA 19422-1422

Native American Issues To Be Discussed At Lovejoy May 13

A symposium focusing on the relationship between the United States government and Native Americans, historically and currently, will be presented from 1-4 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at SIUE's Lovejoy Library.

"Sovereignty, Expansion, and Diplomacy: Native American Views, Past, Present, and Future" will be presented in the John C. Abbott Auditorium on the lower level of the library.

Featured speakers at the symposium will include Jack Baker, president of the National Trail of Tears Association; Charles Red Corn, an Osage author who has worked in Indian affairs all his life, both in government and as a business consultant for Indian-owned businesses in Oklahoma; Fred Fausz, a professor of history at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; and Dark Rain Thom, an author who is part of the Shawnee Remnant Band.

They will focus on three areas:
• Discussion of Discovery Law and other early policies regarding Native American Removal dating back to the 1700s.

• Diplomatic relations with and federal, state and local governmental policies toward Native Americans over the past 200 years.

• The future of federal, state and local Native American relations/polices in the 21st century.

The symposium is being presented by SIUE and the Illinois Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission and the National Park Service.

W. Maurer Named Pharmacy Development Director

William Maurer has joined the SIUE School of Pharmacy as its first development officer.

Maurer, whose title is director of development and external affairs, has more than 25 years of fund-raising experience at educational institutions, medical facilities, and associations.

Most recently, Maurer served as director of development for Benet Academy in Lisle Illinois, where he increased the school's annual support from $250,000 to more than $1 million.

He also has served as a development officer for Loyola University Medical Center, American Fund for Dental Health, the Field Museum of Chicago, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago.

Maurer is a graduate of Loyola of Chicago.

Six Cougars Qualify for NCAA Championship Field

Six women's track athletes will represent SIUE at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships on May 27-29 in Pomona, Calif.

Freshman Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago/Queen of Peace H.S.), the Great Lakes Valley Conference Women's Athlete of the Year for outdoor track, will enter both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.

Freshman Jamie Thomas (Blue Island/Thornridge H.S.), an All-American during the indoor season, has also qualified for two events. She will participate in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump.

Senior Breanne Steffens (Moline/Moline H.S.), who advanced to the national meet in cross country in the fall, will be entered in the 1,500-meter run. Junior Christen Carducci (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy H.S.) will compete in the 3,000-meter run. Junior Mary Witte (Normal/West H.S.), who lowered her provisional qualifying time at last weekend's GLVC Championships, is in for the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Valerie Simmons (St. Louis/Normandy H.S.) also lowered her time in the last meet of the season and is a qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles.

Men's Outdoor Track Crowned GLVC Champions

SIUE men's track and field claimed its first ever Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field title this past weekend in Indianapolis.

"It was just a great effort," Coach Darryl Frerker said. "We had numerous individuals step up and achieve personal records to gain points in areas not anticipated. They stepped up to the competition and conquered."

The Cougars had three event champions and 11 All-Conference performers. All-GLVC honors are given to the top two in each event.

Richard Skirball (Granite City) was the individual champion in the 800-meter run with a time of 1 minute, 52.59 seconds. Lee Weeden (Ferguson) was the conference champion in the shot put after a throw of 15.51 meters. Phil Freimuth (Effingham) won the javelin with a meet-record distance of 58.00 meters.

Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis) claimed All-GLVC honors in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 48.11. Jonathan Bannister's (Plano, Texas) time of 15.26 in the 110-meter hurdles was also good for All-GLVC kudos. Ryan Boyll (Normal) ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in an All-GLVC time of 9:19.29. Freimuth garnered All-GLVC honors in the high jump with a jump of 1.98 meters.

Taylor Reich (Newton) was tabbed All-GLVC in two separate events. His pole vault of 4.55 meters was good for All-GLVC honors, and he also scored 6,077 points in the decathlon to finish second and claim All-GLVC honors. Dustin Bilbruck (Gillespie) finished behind teammate Freimuth in the javelin to receive All-GLVC status. Marvell Seals' (Florissant) jump of 14.01 meters in the triple jump earned him All-GLVC honors.

Volleyball Lands Heimann, Helphrey

SIUE volleyball coach Todd Gober has announced the signing of two more players for the 2004 season.

Jenny Heimann (Germantown) and Tina Helphrey (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) have signed on to attend the university and play volleyball for the Cougars. Heimann, a junior college transfer, enters the program with two years of eligibility. Helphrey enters with four years of eligibility beginning in the fall.

Heimann, a 5-foot-7-inch setter and defensive specialist, was a two-time all-conference selection as a setter at John A. Logan College. She was tabbed an NJCAA second team All-American in 2003. Averaging 12.3 assists per game last fall, she set Logan's single-season assist record with 1,450 and also holds Logan's career assist mark with 2,890.

"The addition of Jenny gives us more depth and experience at the setter position," Gober said. "She has a great competitive spirit about her and is very skilled technically. She has developed nicely throughout her two years at John A. Logan."

Helphrey, a 6-foot-1-inch middle blocker/outside hitter, comes to SIUE after a successful volleyball career at Port St. Lucie High School. A three-time all-conference selection at Port St. Lucie, Helphrey also was tabbed as her team's Most Valuable Player her sophomore through senior seasons.

"Tina is a very good jumper and has a powerful armswing," Gober said. "She will compete for a starting right side position. She will mix in well with our team."

SIUE Men's Basketball Signs Jeanty

Cordell Jeanty (Toronto, Ontario), an NJCAA honorable mention All-American for John A. Logan College, has signed to play men's basketball for SIUE next season.

Jeanty, a 6-foot-6-inch forward, averaged 24.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game last season for John A. Logan. He led the Vols in scoring and rebounding for two seasons, earning All-Conference and All-Region honors in both seasons. He set a school record for points in a season with 749.

SIUE coach Marty Simmons said Jeanty provides the Cougars with a number of options. Jeanty played mostly in the paint in junior college and will expand his game to more perimeter shooting.

"Cordell has a chance to make an impact on our program right away," said Simmons. "He has an eagerness about him. He's a strong, athletic player."

Track Searches For First Outdoor Championship

SIUE track and field will vie for its first Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Championship when the meet kicks off Thursday (5/13) in Indianapolis.

Both the men's and women's squad won the GLVC indoor meet earlier in the year. "We are ready and hoping to defend our GLVC indoor titles," Coach Darryl Frerker said. "Across the board, the men will be competing with Lewis and Indianapolis. The women should be one of the favorites."

Also on the agenda at the conference meet will be the final opportunity to lower NCAA II provisional qualifying times to help assure an invitation to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) hit provisional qualifying marks in both the 100 and 200-meter dash. Breanne Steffens (Moline) and Christen Carducci (Powell, Ohio) have provisionally qualified in the 1,500-meter run. Christen Carducci has done the same in the 3,000-meter run.

Jamie Thomas (Blue Island) has provisionally qualified in the triple jump, 100- meter hurdles, and the 400-meter hurdles. Valerie Simmons (St. Louis) and Jenny Jaquez (Aurora) are also provisionally qualified in the 400-meter hurdles.

Mary Witte (Normal) and Carrie Carducci (Powell, Ohio) are both on the provisional qualifying list in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Callie Glover (Bartlett) is a provisional qualifier in the shot put.

The women's 4x100-meter relay team and the 4x400-meter relay team have both provisionally qualified, as well.

On the men's side, five athletes have claimed provisional qualifying marks. Richard Skirball (Granite City) lowered his 800-meter provisional qualifying time in the 800-meter run. Cody Ellermeyer (DuQuoin) also posted a provisional qualifying time in the same event.

Brian Taghon (East Moline) has provisionally qualified in the 1,500-meter run, and Ryan Boyll has done so in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Phil Freimuth (Effingham) has also posted a provisional qualifying mark in the javelin.

Following the GLVC Championship, the Cougars will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA II Championships, which will be held May 27-29 in Pomona, Calif.

Baseball's Ohlau, Jones Tabbed All-GLVC

Junior first baseman Craig Ohlau (Chester) and junior pitcher Ron Jones (Kankakee) were honored last week by the Great Lakes Valley Conference as All-GLVC performers.

Ohlau was named to the first team after leading SIUE's offense in several categories. He led the team with a .331 batting average and posted team highs in hits (59), doubles (13) and RBI (38).

"Craig was the anchor of our lineup," Collins said. "Also, his numbers against conference teams was real impressive."

Jones was named second team All-GLVC despite joining the Cougars late because of his basketball commitment. He led the team with six wins and a 1.42 earned run average.

"Ron could have been on the first team if he threw more innings," Collins said. "He was our best pitcher down the stretch."

Softball Recognizes Three All-Region Honors

Three SIUE softball players have been named to the Great Lakes All-Region team, as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton) and Jenny Esker (Steeleville) were both named to the first team. Shannon Evans (Manhattan) was named to the second team.

"We play in a tough region, so to receive this award is a real honor," Coach Sandy Montgomery said. "All three have contributed significantly in many of our wins."

DeShasier was named to the first team as a utility player. This season, she has played second base, third base, and right field. She led the Cougars with 17 doubles and hit .324 on the season.

Esker, who played left field for the Cougars, led everyday players with a .358 batting average. She led the team in hits (59), home runs (8), and RBI (36).

Evans, a catcher, hit .287 for the Cougars and drove in 31 runs on the year. She did not commit an error in 51 games behind the plate.

Melissa Lindgren was named to the All-Tournament team for her play at last weekend's Great Lakes Region Tournament in Highland Hts., Ky. Lindgren posted four hits and two RBI for the Cougars, who dropped games against West Virginia Wesleyan and Grand Valley State to end their season.

Game Ball

The game ball for the first All Star game at the SIUE Rec Plex-across from the Early Childhood Center and the SIUE tennis courts-was "floated" in by members of the SIUE Cougar Skydiving Club for the new facility's dedication recently. Shown here are Narbeth Emmanuel, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and Sara Guarino, president of the SIUE Student Body, who are receiving the ball from Kevin Hill, president of the Cougar Skydivers. Guarino then threw the first pitch to Emmanuel and the All-Star Game was under way. It featured a "select" group of faculty, staff, and students. The Black Cats, coached by School of Education Dean Elliott Lessen, beat the Red Zone, coached by Campus Recreation Director Mick Ostrander, 8-7. It was the first game played on the new lighted field at the Rec Plex. (SIUE Photo)

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