It was SRO recently during a welcoming reception when some 200 SIUE employees packed into the Maple-Dogwood Room of the Morris Center to greet the newly appointed president of Southern Illinois University, James E. Walker.
Currently president of Middle Tennessee State University, Walker will assume the post Oct. 1. He succeeds Ted Sanders who left SIU in February to become president of the Education Commission of the States.
Walker began his career in higher education as an assistant professor of Special Education at SIUE. During the welcoming event July 26, the 58-year-old Walker spoke of "coming home" because of his former association with the university.
Walker said it gave him "a funny feeling" to be back in the very building where he attended a reception for new faculty members 28 years ago. "I feel very much like I'm coming home," he said. "I feel very much like I'm part of this family."
Earlier, Walker said: "The opportunity to come to Southern Illinois University and lead such a diverse institution with an outstanding history and vast potential is truly exciting for me. I am very much looking forward to meeting the challenges and opportunities that are ahead for me and for SIU."
Walker is a U.S. Navy veteran and currently resides in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with his wife, Gwendolyn. They have two daughters, Jamell and Jabrina.
Prior to becoming president at MTSU in 1991, Walker was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Northern Colorado. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University's doctoral program in education, Walker is co-author of a book, Behavior Management: A Practical Approach for Education, now in its seventh edition. He has authored several journal articles related to special education and educational psychology.
Walker earned a bachelor's in biology from Alabama State University and a master's in Special Education from Atlanta University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alabama in Higher Education Administration from 1974-1975. He also is a graduate of the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management.
A member of numerous higher education professional organizations, Walker also has served on the boards of several of these associations including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He currently serves as chair of the NCAA Division I Athletics Certification Committee. He has been active in the Rutherford County (Tennessee) Chamber of Commerce for nine years, currently serving as president.
Walker also has been involved in Rotary International, the United Way, Boy Scouts of America, and the American Heart Association. As SIU president, he will be paid $225,000 annually, plus benefits. Frank E. Horton, interim SIU president, will remain in his position until Sept. 30.
Dining services is taking campus-eating alternatives to new heights with the opening of its new Skywalk Food Court. An opening reception christened the new facility earlier this month.
The Skywalk Food Court is perched on the third-floor pedestrian bridge way between the university's Founders and Alumni halls. "The Skywalk Food Court is taking the place of what used to be a vending machine area," said Mary Robinson, director of the Morris University Center, who oversees food service on campus.
"Now it's a bright, attractive dining facility with a wide range of food selections that we hope will be a convenient dining destination for students, faculty and staff."
With a sweeping view of both sides of campus, the new Skywalk Food Court replaces the food carts and vending machines that used to serve the eating needs of those attending classes or working in the two buildings that are located some distance from the Morris Center's food court. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Skywalk Food Court is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the summer semester).
The new café includes a Block and Barrel Deli and an Arrezzio Pasta Bar. Breakfast sandwiches, bagels, hot dogs, salads, a daily Blue Plate Special, fruit and cappuccino round out the menu choices. In addition to seating for 40 people, the food court goes high tech by providing eight computer ports for those traveling with their laptop PCs.
The Skywalk Food Court is the first of several construction projects the Morris Center staff is undertaking. In April, SIUE students approved a fee increase to fund improvements and renovations to the 33-year-old center. Among the plans are a new and expanded food court to serve the university's growing population, improved recreational facilities, expanded retail offerings, a refurbished ballroom for events and concerts, and a much requested computer lab. The project is expected to be completed in 2003.
Federal Judge David Herndon, who earned a bachelor's in Political Science from SIUE in 1974, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the SIUE Alumni Association during Summer Commencement ceremonies Aug. 5 in the Vadalabene Center.
Herndon, who became a judge of the Southern District of Illinois in November 1998 and who also served on the Alumni Association board, also will give the commencement address at the 10 a.m. ceremony. Degrees will be conferred on nearly 600 graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences and from the Schools of Business, Education, Engineering, and Nursing.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award is given for extraordinary contributions by an SIUE graduate to the university and to society.
Earning a law degree from the SIU School of Law, Herndon went on to become a managing partner in the firm of Lakin & Herndon PC in Wood River from 1980-1991, finishing a 14-year career as a trial lawyer before being appointed to the bench in 1991.
While at the Wood River firm, Herndon was designated legal counsel for the U.S. Transportation Union with responsibility for advising members and litigating cases for members and the union, all in a 14-state region. As an associate circuit judge for the Third Judicial Circuit, Herndon served in Madison County for seven years presiding over civil, family, traffic, and small claims cases. He was appointed to the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis by President Bill Clinton.
Nearly 125 students from other countries will be arriving at SIUE in August and many will stay in Cougar Village Apartments, which have furniture but nothing else. There is an immediate need for items for these students move in and before they have time to buy supplies.
The Office of International Student Services also is asking help for host families. "This does not include providing housing for students," says Services Adviser Toni Liston. "This is a 'friendship opportunity' to give international students a look at a real American family.
"Membership in the International Hospitality Program keeps you informed of events with the students, and membership is only $5 a year." Liston said events involving international students include a fall reception at the Cougar Village Commons Building on Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and the fall picnic on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Cougar Lake.
Liston also pointed out that household items must be donated by Aug. 13; call or e-mail Ruth Shaw (344-7589) to make arrangements, or bring the items to the Office of International Student Services, Room 2002, Morris Center.
Household items needed include paper napkins, towels, toilet tissue, facial tissue, garbage bags, and detergent. Kitchen items also are needed: toasters, rice cookers, cooking and eating utensils, cutting boards, dishes, pots and pans, cookie sheets. Bathroom and bedroom items needed include towels, soap, shower curtains, single sheets, blankets, and pillows. Food items requested include cereal, peanut butter, jelly, tea, coffee, sugar, potato chips, rice, ramen noodles, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and other spices.
Three Softball Cougars, who led SIUE to a 38-17 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance, were among the national statistical leaders, according to the final report released recently by the NCAA.
Erin Newman (Fairfield, Calif.), Katie Waldo (Peoria) and Sara Obrecht (Gifford) finished among the leaders in NCAA Division II this past season.
Newman, a first team All-American, batted .425 in her sophomore season as a Cougar to finish 44th in the nation in batting average. Newman also was ranked nationally in home runs (22nd with 0.21 per game), doubles (third with 0.43 per game) and slugging percentage (14th at .787). Although players are ranked on a per-game basis, her doubles total of 25 tied Blake Baskin of West Florida for the most in the country. Newman played 58 games this past season while Baskin played in 71.
Waldo, a second team All-American, completed the season with a .407 batting mark, good enough for 69th in the nation. Her team-best 81 hits became a new single-season record. Waldo ended the season 10th in the nation in stolen bases with 0.83 per game. Her 48 stolen bases broke the old single-season record of 36 set by Gwen Jackson in 1998. Waldo needs 17 more stolen bases to become the all-time Cougar leader.
Obrecht, an All-Region selection, completed her senior season with a 1.18 earned run average. That mark left her 43rd in the nation.
As a team, SIUE was among the national leaders in batting (21st at .319), doubles (29th at 1.38 per game) and stolen bases (15th at 2.07 per game).
Cougar Baseball's Bugger, Dawson Among NCAA Division II Leaders
Mark Bugger and Travis Dawson, who helped Cougar Baseball to a 33-23 record this past season, were among the nation's leaders in hitting, according to the statistics released by the NCAA.
Bugger, a junior from Edwardsville, was 55th on the national list with a .414 batting average. A second team All-American, Bugger led the Cougars with 91 hits, the second best single-season mark in school history. Next season, Bugger needs 26 hits to pass Mark Briggs (1995-1998) on the Cougars' all-time hits list.
Dawson, who has now moved on to play for the River City Rascals, batted .409 this past season. Both Dawson, of Collinsville, and Bugger previously were named All-Region.
As a team, SIUE was among the national leaders in doubles (20th at 2.23 per game) and triples (12th at 0.48 per game).
SIUE men's soccer travels to Germany and the Netherlands this August for a 10-day working trip. The Cougars will play four games during the overseas excursion, Aug. 8-17.
The trip is a preseason warmup tour for the team, says head Coach Ed Huneke. He will take 15 players on the trip, arriving Aug. 8 in Heidelberg, Germany. Matches begin Aug. 11 when SIUE faces S.V. Audacia in an evening game in Bleijerheide, Germany.
The next day the team travels to Kerkrade, Netherlands, and begins a run of three games in five days, playing DVO Sittard on Aug. 12; V.V. Puth, Aug. 15; and RKONS, Aug. 16.
The Aug. 22 edition of The O will have more details about outcomes of the four matches and, perhaps, some photos.
Golf benefits abound this fall as three intercollegiate sports programs schedule events as fund-raisers.
Women's golf has scheduled its annual benefit golf scramble Aug. 14 at Woodlands Golf Course in Alton. The four-person scramble begins with a shotgun start at 11 a.m.
The entry fee of $85 per person includes a round of golf, lunch, beverages and hole-in-one prizes. For more information about playing in the event or becoming a tee sponsor, contact Golf Coach Larry Bennett at (618) 650-3236.
Women's Basketball sets its event for Sunday, Sept. 10, at Cardinal Creek Golf Course at Scott AFB. It's also a four-person scramble with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. In addition to the round of golf, the $75 entry fee includes lunch, beverages, and prizes. Call Coach Wendy Hedberg, (618) 650-2880, for more information.
Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville will be the setting for the Men's Basketball Golf Benefit, a four-person "shamble" with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18. The $200 per-person entry fee includes a round of golf, beverages, lunch, an evening reception, and the chance for prizes on every hole.
Call Coach Jack Margenthaler, (618) 650-2866, for more information.
Workmen continue to finish the new Engineering Building on the west side of campus. This view is from the spiral staircase looking east toward Dunham Hall. While workmen inspect, faculty and staff are moving. (SIUE Photo)
Paul A. Seaburg, associate dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been appointed dean of the SIUE School of Engineering, effective July 1.
He succeeds Professor Harlan Bengtson, who will return to teaching civil engineering after six years as dean of the School.
Seaburg headed the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State before arriving at Omaha. He also had been general supervisor of Research and Development at Armco Atlantic Inc.
He earned a doctorate at the University of Minnesota and has served on numerous active and influential professional society committees, many of which authored design codes for building components. He spent a year in Cairo, Egypt, as an expert on continuing education of engineers for UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Seaburg also is co-author of Torsional Analysis of Structural Steel Members, which is a practical design guide used widely in engineering practice.
Shirley Portwood, professor of Historical Studies, recently read from her new book and conducted a book-signing at the SIUE University Bookstore. Tell Us a Story: An African American Family in the Heartland (SIU Press) is a memoir of Portwood's growing up in the 1940s and 1950s on a farm near Mounds in Pulaski County. The book focuses on the importance of family and community as well as how blacks in Southern Illinois formed networks for survival and progress. (Photo by Dale Goins)
Willie Epps, director of SIUE's East St. Louis Center, has been appointed to serve on the prestigious Education Commission of the States (ECS). Epps will serve on the ECS's Policy and Priorities Committee (PCC) for one year.
Associated with SIUE since 1980, Epps initially was director of the National Science Awareness Demonstration Program at the East St. Louis Center and later was named director of the university's Head Start Program in St. Clair County. He assumed leadership of the center in 1994.
The ECS is a non-profit, nationwide compact of states and territories formed in 1965 to help governors, state legislators, state education officials, and others develop and carry out policies to improve the quality of education.
The PCC is responsible for setting directions for ECS on education reform. Each year, the committee reviews and updates the ECS's Education Agenda, a national publication. The committee also reviews plans for commission activities and formulates policy statements on education issues.
Forty-eight states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands are members of the ECS, each represented by its governor and six other commissioners. These commissioners include state legislators, state and local school board members, chief state school officers, state higher education executive officers, college presidents, superintendents, and teachers. More than 4,000 policymakers and education leaders are ECS alumni.
The East St. Louis Center's Jobs for Illinois Graduates has won the prestigious 5 Out of 5 Award, given by the National Jobs for America's Graduates organization to those programs that meet or exceed national goals in five categories.
The five critical categories are:
• Graduation Rate;
• Positive Outcome Rate (total placement in a job or the military, college or university, or other education/training);
• Job Placement Rate (full and part-time jobs)
• Full-time Job Placement Rate;
• Full-time Placement Rate (full-time job, training, university, or military placement)
In addition to exceeding each of the national JAG goals, SIUE/ JILG students begin work at an average wage of $6.55 per hour; the JAG national rate is $6.28 per hour and the federal minimum wage is $5.15.
To place SIUE's achievements in perspective, the graduation rate for all public high schools in Illinois is 81.9 percent (compared with students helped by the SIUE program at 97.5); the graduation rate for all East St. Louis High School students is 64.5 percent.
JAG is a national, non-profit public service corporation dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth graduate from high school and also helping them find and keep quality employment. In Illinois, JILG got its start in 1996 when the state Board of Education funded four pilot sites. Today, JILG is at work in 68 schools and in 105 communities.
The Illinois program is unique among its counterparts in other states, however, because it is a partnership between the state Board of Education, SIU, and local school systems. The state funds the program ($3.4 million in 1997-98), SIU manages the program, and the program is implemented at the local level.
The Graduate School is not necessarily interested in what you did last summer, but it is interested in what you'd like to do next summer.
Deadline for proposals for the Grad School's Summer 2001 Research Fellowships (SRF) to the applicant's School/College Research Committee is 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. Each committee could authorize a later date.
A total of $195,000 will be available for up to 25 awards at $6,000 each and up to 15 awards of $3,000 each. Contact Lil Manning (Ext. 3114) or firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of guidelines.
Guidelines and applications also are available at the Graduate School Web site: www.siue.edu/GRADUATE. Manning also will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the program or to assist you in preparing your proposal.