F. Scott Fitzgerald almost got it right when he wrote: "In the real dark night of the soul, it's always three o'clock in the morning." What Fitzgerald forgot to add is: "... and you're preparing your income tax return."
For families whose children are served by SIUE's East St. Louis Center, there is a cure for the "dark night of the soul" brought on by confronting Form 1040s, Schedule EICs, and tax tables. During tax return season, ESLC parents will be able to get professional help with their income taxes from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
VITA offers free tax help to those who cannot afford paid professional assistance. VITA volunteers are SIUE accounting students who will receive VITA training during January and who will work with East St. Louis Center Head Start parents.
Parents must make appointments through their Head Start Center and must bring appropriate tax documents. They will be advised prior to the appointment as to what documents to bring. VITA Volunteers will receive transportation to and from the East St. Louis Center where sessions will occur.
VITA provides assistance in the following areas:
• earned income credit-a wage supplement up to $3,800 for qualifying families;
• child care credit-a credit for those families paying for child care;
• Electronic (Rapid Refund) Filing-Using laptops, volunteers will file electronic returns at no cost for Head Start parents.
This is the first year for VITA volunteers to work out of the ESLC; if the program is successful this year, it may be expanded to include other East St. Louis residents.
Stressed about that Funded University Research proposal that's due in two weeks? Those proposals for this year's FUR competition are due at your School or College Research Committee by Feb.1 and Kevin McClearey and Lil Manning are ready to help today, Jan. 18, at a special "brown-bag-lunch" session offered by the Graduate School.
They'll be conducting the session in the Missouri Room of the Morris Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It could help competition participants put the finishing touches on their proposals. "They can join us for all or part of the session," said McClearey, who is associate dean of the Graduate School.
"There is no need to RSVP or make a reservation," he said. "Just bring a lunch and the draft of the FUR proposal (including the budget request). Lil and I will summarize the details of the required format for the proposals, offer some tips about adapting to the review committees, do our best to answer any questions, and, as time allows, look over the proposal draft and provide feedback about content, structure, and style."
Attending this workshop won't guarantee success, he said, but the session could help strengthen a proposal and correct problems that might otherwise eliminate it from serious consideration. According to Bryce Sullivan, an assistant professor of Psychology, McClearey and Manning can be of service.
"I can't make the Jan. 18 session, but I've already sought their help with my proposal and it helped me get on track," Sullivan said. His FUR proposal examines various methods of alcoholism treatment. "As researchers in a particular field, I think we tend to lose sight of how to convey the importance of our work to others outside the discipline.
"And, this is what Kevin showed me: how to format this proposal in a way that will make the research clear to others." Sullivan also said he now has a better understanding of the entire FUR process.
As in Sullivan's case, McClearey and Manning are inviting proposal writers to contact the Graduate School if they can't make today's session. "If someone isn't able to attend the workshop, but would still like help with a proposal, then just give us a call or send us an e-mail and we will do our best to schedule an individual appointment."
Manning may be reached at Ext. 3114 or firstname.lastname@example.org while McClearey is at Ext. 2171 or email@example.com. More information about the FUR program and/or copies of the required cover page and budget request forms are available at: http://www.siue.edu/GRADUATE/orp/FUR.html.
SIUE presents its Third Annual Black History Month Program during February. Here's a calendar of events:
• The artwork of Emeritus Art and Design Professor Phillip Hampton is being exhibited through Friday, Feb. 25, in the Morris University Center Gallery. The exhibition is titled "Shapes Wrought from My Mind."
• The 3rd Annual African Cultural Bazaar, Feb. 1-2, in the Goshen Lounge of the Morris Center, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. WSIE-FM's LaVern Holliday will be emcee in the Goshen Lounge for the kick- off of Black History Month, and will broadcast her show, Jazz in the A.M., live both days in the Goshen Lounge from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The SIUE Jazz Band also will perform there from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Feb. 1.
• Motown Karaoke, Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 7 - 10 p.m. in Cougar Den of the Morris Center.
• The SIUE Gospel Choir will perform Wednesday, Feb. 9, from Noon-1 p.m. in Goshen Lounge.
• Lisa Colbert-Bandele, artist-in-residence for the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance, and Rudy Wilson, assistant provost for cultural and social diversity, will present the Second Annual Black Theater Workshop on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Feb. 9-11, at 7:30 p.m. in the James F. Metcalf Theater on campus. This year's theme is Chronicle II: Scenes from the Black Theater.
• SIUE English Professor Eugene Redmond will give a literary tribute to Katherine Dunham, Wednesday, Feb. 16, from Noon to 12:40 p.m. in Goshen Lounge followed by a 30-minute performance by SIUE's East St. Louis Center Performing Arts Center Dancers. That same evening, from 9 to 11, Fireplace Flicks will be showing the film Stormy Weather in the Morris Center's Opapi Lounge. The film stars Katherine Dunham in what has been called one of her most endearing performances.
• The Second Annual SIUE Student Talent Revue will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 10 p.m., in Goshen Lounge.
• The SIUE Gospel Choir will perform in Goshen Lounge on Thursday, Feb. 24, from Noon to 1 p.m., in a program to introduce minority students to non-traditional academic fields normally not pursued by African-American students.
The above listed events are free and open to the public.
• The St. Louis Black Repertory Company will perform A New Show in Morris Center's Meridian Hall on Friday, Feb. 18, from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets for this performance may be purchased at the Morris Center Union Station Ticket Office, (618) 650-2320; Visa or MasterCard are accepted.
Patrick Williams has been named vice chancellor for Development and Public Affairs, according to Chancellor David Werner who made the announcement recently. The appointment is subject to approval by the SIU Board of Trustees.
"Pat Williams has a strong understanding of development and educational issues," Werner said. "He brings both university, non-profit, and corporate experience to the position, and a record of accomplishment in the field of fund raising."
Williams, who will formally join the SIUE staff in February, is filling a position that was vacated in February 1998. Bradley Hewitt served as the acting CEO of the SIUE Foundation and will remain at the university as assistant to the vice chancellor.
With 22 years of professional experience in the field of development and advancement, Williams' experience includes:
• Finance director with the Boy Scouts of America;
• Vice president and senior consultant with Metaplex Corporation;
• Vice president and senior consultant with F.G.A. & Associates;
• Vice president of public information, development, marketing and operations for MCOSS; and President and CEO of the MCOSS Foundation.
Currently, Williams holds the dual position of vice president of institutional advancement for Lourdes College and President/CEO of the Lourdes College Foundation. Recently, he was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives' (NSFRE) National Foundation, and is one of only 30 (of 20,000) NSFRE members to earn the "advanced certified" designation from the organization.
Williams also is a current member of the association of Health Care Philanthropy and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In addition, he served as an organizer and presenter with the internationally known certified financial planning firm of Robert J. Oberst & Associates.
"I like the atmosphere at SIUE," Williams said. "It is a growing institution -growing both in numbers and in reputation. It will be exciting to be a part of SIUE's growth. My family and I are looking forward to this new opportunity and to becoming involved in the Edwardsville community."
Williams attended Seton Hall, and received a bachelor's in Political Science at King's College. He holds a master of science in Health and Human Service Administration from College Misericordia. He and his wife, Estelle Williams, have three sons, Rudy 15, Jonathon and Ryan, 12, and a daughter, Hannah, 5. The family currently resides in Ottawa Lake, Mich.
This year, SIUE students received financial aid faster than ever before because of advanced technology and improvements in procedures in the Office of Student Financial Aid, says Director Marian Smithson.
Smithson credits her staff for streamlining office procedures which contributed to the higher numbers of students served. "It was a very busy year for our office," Smithson said, "and my staff worked very hard to meet our goals."
The office also took advantage of a new internet confirmation option to pay grants for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission's Monetary Award Program (MAP). "In the past, award payment was delayed because we were mailed MAP confirmations, but now we can access those confirmations via the internet," Smithson said.
In addition, procedures for the Direct Loans program also were streamlined to save time. "Students sign a master note for their first loan and aren't required to sign for each new loan," Smithson said, "and that has helped us deliver funds faster."
By the second week of Fall Semester, more than 5,300 students had received financial aid totaling $13.9 million, an increase of more than 10 percent in the student count at the same time last year and a 25 percent increase in dollar amount over the same time last year. "The university had an increase in enrollment and we were able to stay on time with our payouts," Smithson said.
"This means students are able to begin classes without taking out short-term loans and they're also able to get their textbooks on time. Receiving their checks in a timely manner relieves much of the stress of beginning a school term," she said.
"Our goal is to provide good service to students and support the university's enrollment growth."
Jorge Garcia of Glen Carbon has been named the winner of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship and Humanitarian Award and S. LaVernn Wilson, director of the SIUE Early Childhood Center, has been named winner of the MLK Jr. Faculty-Staff Humanitarian Award.
Both will receive the award and special recognition during the University's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration luncheon Thursday in Meridian Ballroom.
The 11:30 a.m. luncheon will feature Madison County Circuit Judge Ellar Duff who will deliver the keynote address at 12:45 p.m. Tickets for the luncheon are $10; students, $8. Reservations are being accepted by calling (618) 650-2660.
Garcia's award includes a $100 cash stipend and a scholarship that provides for tuition or fees or housing for one academic year of full-time undergraduate or graduate study at SIUE. Wilson will received a plaque honoring her contributions.
Wilson's impact in early childhood education has been felt beyond the SIUE campus. She has served as president of the National Coalition for Campus Child Care and as a board member and secretary of the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children. Her expertise has been sought as a member of several advisory boards and she has been awarded professional honors including recognition as a Danforth Associate and as an Outstanding Teacher for the Socially Maladjusted Child.
Garcia, a junior studying business, has a cumulative grade point average of 3.38. Beginning undergraduate work after serving five years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Garcia has been the recipient of the Johnetta Haley Scholarship and is a member of the Dean's List Honor Society. Among the activities he has taken part in on the SIUE campus is a term as secretary of the SIUE Latin Awareness Student Organization and participation in the Student Leadership Development Program. Garcia also has been active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois, Habitat for Humanity, and Prairie Share, a food co-op based out of Protestant Welfare in Granite City.
Donald J. Harris, a junior from Edwardsville, received an honorable mention in the competition for the Scholarship and Humanitarian Student Award.
The Arkansas Repertory Theatre returns to the Arts & Issues stage on Feb. 3 and 4 to perform the Tony-nominated Broadway hit, Blues in the Night, a celebration of such musical legends as Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Duke Ellington, and many other American favorites.
To be presented both days at 7:30 p.m. in Katherine Dunham Hall, Blues in the Night is part of the 15th annual season for Arts & Issues, a series featuring quality entertainment and provocative presentations. The event is made possible by grants from the Heartland Arts Fund and the Illinois Arts Council.
Set in 1938 Chicago, the musical has been called a "hot, steamy celebration of survival, expressed through the soul-wrenching music that is the blues." It is an emotional journey "from the depths of despair to the heights of anxious love."
Arts & Issues Coordinator Richard Walker says the play is another example of the quality of presentation by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. "The Arkansas Rep brought Smoke on the Mountain in 1997 and The Rainmaker in 1995 to Arts & Issues audiences and we are pleased to have them back," Walker said. "The Rep continues to garner national attention for its development of new plays and for its national touring productions.
Admission includes free parking in the lots behind the Morris University Center or Dunham Hall. For ticket information, call (618) 650-2626, or, write: Arts & Issues, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1083; or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the 1999-2000 season, view the website: http://www.siue.edu/ARTS_ISSUES.
Nancy Bradford of Edwardsville, a recent graduate of SIUE, has been named assistant director for Employer Relations in the Career Development Center, effective Jan. 10, according to Jean Paterson, CDC director.
Bradford works with companies currently involved with the CDC and will also be contacting other companies in the region to join the CDC's Web Employer program. She also coordinates on-campus interviews for students. Bradford also will help coordinate the Career Network '00 and Volunteer Fair for March 22 and the Career Network '00 Education Fair for March 23.
Before joining the university, Bradford was an office manager for a law firm in University City, Mo.
She may be contacted at Ext. 3708.
Stephanie Hart of O'Fallon has been appointed an admission counselor in the Office of Admission Counseling and Recruitment, effective this month, according to Boyd Bradshaw, director of Admissions.
Hart earned a bachelor's in Criminal Justice and a bachelor of science in Psychology from Regis University in Denver. She comes to SIUE from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., where for two years she has served as an admission representative.
In her new position at SIUE, Hart is responsible for the recruitment effort in Central Illinois-attending college fairs, visiting high schools, and counseling prospective students and their families throughout the college search process. She also is SIUE's admission liaison for the state of Illinois' Golden Apple program.
Hart may be reached in Room 1307 of Peck Hall, Ext. 3075.
The SIU Board of Trustees recently appointed Frank E. Horton, Ph.D., as interim president of SIU. Horton will take over the duties of departing president Ted Sanders, who leaves Feb. 1.
A former vice president for academic affairs and research at SIUC, Horton most recently was president of the University of Toledo from 1989 until his retirement in December 1998. Previously, Horton was president of the University of Oklahoma from 1985-1988.
He also held academic and administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Iowa, and Lake Forest College. He is currently principal partner of Horton & Associates, an education consulting firm.
Horton is a graduate of Western Illinois University (BS '63) and Northwestern University (MS '64, Ph.D. '68). The board sought the input and advice of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee prior to making the decision to appoint Horton. The advisory committee is composed of faculty, staff, and students from SIUE and SIUC.
The appointment is effective for six months, beginning Feb. 1. Horton will be paid $20,000 per month; he will not be a candidate for the permanent position of president.