Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Institutional Header

SIUE News - ArchivesAPR2006


Photo 1

Benefit: The Annual SIUE Benefits and Fitness Fair took place this past week at which participants had opportunities to assess their health coverages through the university, as well as assess their own health in general. The SIUE fair is held each year in conjunction with the Chancellor's Health Walk and the Staff Senate BBQ In the photo, Mick Ostrander, director of SIUE Campus Recreation, and Kenn Neher, vice chancellor for Administration, lead the pack as the group walks through the Donal E. Myer Arboretum. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)

Back to top


Photo 1 | 2

Winner: Tyler Mathis, of Moline, is the winner of the hot dog eating contest sponsored recently by the SIUE Army ROTC program in the Stratton Quadrangle. There were four contestants, each asked to eat eight dogs in the fastest time. Mathis, a freshman ROTC cadet, accomplished the feat in a little over eight minutes. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)

Back to top


Photos 1 | 2

Race: About 430 racers-some on wheels, some on foot-recently took part in the 5th Annual 5K Race in downtown Edwardsville. Jane Floyd-Hendey, director of SIUE's Disabilities Support Services, said the weather was "made to order and the camaraderie of all who attended was the true measure of a successful race." Floyd-Hendey said she and her staff were pleased to see so many in attendance "celebrating abilities." DSS staff also were assisted by Associate Speech Communication Professor Laura Perkins and students from her Public Relations class (Photos by Jane Floyd-Hendey)

Back to top


SIUE To Graduate More Than 1,525 During Spring Commencement

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) More than 1,525 students are expected to graduate from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville during spring commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, May 6, in SIUE's Vadalabene Center.

Eligible graduate candidates from the College of Arts and Sciences will graduate at the 9 a.m. ceremony, while candidates in the Schools of Education and Nursing will receive diplomas at the 1 p.m. ceremony, and candidates in the School of Business and the School of Engineering will receive their degrees at the 5 p.m. ceremony.

Rita Hardy, who has been a member of the SIUE Foundation Board since 1994 and a tireless volunteer and fund raiser for several area organizations, will receive the SIUE Distinguished Service Award at the 5 p.m. ceremony. The award is given at commencement exercises to honor those who have demonstrated outstanding service to the university, the region, and the state.

Peter Pastreich, who was executive director of the SLSO from 1969-1974 and who played a pivotal role in the establishment, planning, and operation of SIUE's legendary Mississippi River Festival, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 9 a.m. ceremony.

Pastreich will be honored for collaborating with University officials in giving form and substance to the MRF vision, while managing the orchestra's involvement in the festival and overseeing its artistic programming. He also will be the commencement speaker at the 1 p.m. ceremony.

In 1978, Pastreich became executive director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for more than two decades, achieving what many referred to as "an enviable record of artistic and financial achievement." Today, Pastreich continues to serve as a consultant in the training of orchestra managers, strategic planning, and conflict resolution.

Hardy, a long-time volunteer and supporter of many organizations in the St. Louis area-including the American Heart Association, Shriner's Hospital, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, to name a few-is very active with the SIUE Meridian Society, the women's philanthropy group that is part of the SIUE Foundation.

Serving as treasurer, vice president, and president of the SIUE Foundation Board of Directors, Hardy also has been chair of the Board. She has served as co-chair of the SIUE Arboretum Committee, continuing to be active with the Donal S. Myer Arboretum as it becomes part of the Gardens at SIUE.

She established the Bob Hardy Memorial Scholarship in Broadcast Journalism at SIUE, in memory of her late husband, the renowned KMOX news anchor, commentator, and broadcaster. Rita "Re" Hardy also established the American Heart Walk in memory of her husband, and continues to be an advocate for education, awareness, and prevention of heart disease.

Back to top


Area High School Students Honored In SIUE Writing Contest

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) ) Nine area students are winners of the 12th Annual High School Writers' Contest sponsored by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friends of Lovejoy Library, a support organization for the SIUE library.

Contestants were high school juniors and seniors from the counties of Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, St. Clair, and Washington.

Organizers of the contest said there were 516 entries, with 152 nonfiction entries, 210 poems and 154 fiction entries. Winners were formally announced recently at an awards banquet on the SIUE campus. First place winners in the three categories received $500 each, while second and third place winners in each category won $300 and $100, respectively. Two contestants won Honorable Mention and received a $25 gift certificate.

Cosponsors and contributors for the competition were the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Edwardsville, Belleville News-Democrat, and the Friends of Lovejoy Library.

First prize in the nonfiction category went to Sara Fuhrhop, a junior at Belleville East Township High School, for her essay, Grandma's Gift. Kate McManus, a junior at Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo, was second prize winner in the same category for her essay, The Unknown World of Wal-Mart. Third prize was won by Allison Weigel, a senior at Belleville West Township High School, for her essay, High Flying.

First prize in the poetry category was won by Rachel Stueber, a senior at Columbia High School, for "Serenity." Second prize went to Elizabeth Eberlin, a senior at Brussels High School, for "Going by Contraries." Katherine Porter, a senior at Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville won third prize for "Fear and Loathe in the Backseat Dive into Life." Honorable Mention went to Bryce Parsons-Twesten, a senior at Belleville West for "White."

First prize in the fiction category was won by Trevor Groce, a senior at Columbia High School, for his story, Oaxaca Sunshine. Second prize went to Kaitlin Weiss, a junior at Edwardsville Senior High School, in the same category for A Piece of My Heart. Melanie Kremmel, a junior at Columbia High School, won third prize for Dear Mr. Jesus. Honorable Mention was won by Amber Meier, a senior at Mater Dei High School in Breese, for her story The Price of Hair Artistry.

All award-winning entries have been printed in a booklet that is available for purchase. For information about purchasing booklets or about next year's competition, call the Friends of Lovejoy Library, (618) 650-2730.

Back to top


SIUE Education Students Chosen For 'Dean's Dozen'

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Elliott Lessen, dean of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Education, has announced the fourth class of "Dean's Dozen" members.

The Dean's Dozen, a select group of 12 SIUE undergraduate students chosen annually to represent the five departments in the School of Education, will serve as student representatives on behalf of the School.

Their on-going responsibilities will include: assisting with recruitment and retention of students and faculty; representing the School at various campus functions; providing peer mentoring; and serving as ambassadors of goodwill for the School.

The Dean's Dozen was chosen from some 40 applicants by a selection committee comprised of the undergraduate program directors from each department within the School of Education. Associate Dean Lela DeToye said, "the entire selection process was difficult as all of the applicants showed genuine interest and a variety of strengths."

Members of the Dean's Dozen include:

  • Athens: Justin Goehl
  • Belleville: Elizabeth Schaab
  • Bethalto: Sandy Miles
  • Centralia: Megan McMillan
  • Chatham: Victoria Sommer
  • Country Club Hills: Denika Wilson
  • Granite City: Andrea Gress
  • Hillsboro: Hope Hutchison
  • Mason City: Ashley Damm
  • Springfield: Kristina Uzzo
  • Trenton: Denelle Hoerner
  • Troy: Lisa Jackson

Back to top


SIUE Professor Honored With First Endowed Professorship

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) For Ronald Schaefer, a 25-year investment in preserving languages on the brink of extinction has allowed him to share a snapshot of little known cultures with the rest of the world.

Since 1981, Schaefer has studied Nigerian languages, and that continued commitment to demystifying the mystery of the country's people has helped earn him designation as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's first William and Margaret Going Endowed Professor-the first endowed professorship at the University.

The endowment, which consists of a $10,000 award for research initiatives, was made possible through a contribution from SIUE's first self-identified "Dean,"-William Going, 90, an emeritus professor of English Language and Literature, a respected scholar and teacher, and one of the pioneer founders of SIUE.

"I was really surprised at receiving this, and deeply honored and humbled," Schaefer said, who is a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and director of International Programs for the University.

He works closely with villagers in Nigeria, primarily in the south central part of the country. Schaefer has recorded audio and video tapes of villagers' storytelling, and has spent a great portion of his life documenting various details about the languages that exist.

"Part of the picture one has to recognize is that Nigeria has at least 400 languages," Schaefer said. "There are about 2,000 languages in all of present-day Africa.

There are 6,500 languages left in the world and that number is going down very quickly. I expect there will only be about half that number in 50 years, and only 300 to 500 languages 100 years from now.

"These languages in Southern Nigeria are not documented. There's no writing system; no record of oral tradition; no grammar, no dictionary. People are not even sure how many languages there are in this particular area we're looking at now."

Schaefer said a village in Nigeria can have as many as three separate languages, while other villages have only one language.

Previous awards Schaefer has received include grants from the U.S. Department of State, the National Science Foundation, the Linguistics Society of America, the National Endowment for the Humanities and numerous SIUE grants. He has authored or co-authored three books, 39 articles and numerous scholarly works. Schaefer's findings have been examined in 100 conference presentations through the years.

The endowment will allow Schaefer to continue his work studying Nigerian languages. He said he hopes his transcription will be useful to the villagers in order to help them preserve their languages and heritage.

Back to top


2006-2007 Undergraduate Research Academy Scholars Named

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Some Southern Illinois University Edwardsville undergraduate students will channel their creative energy into completing projects of a caliber that usually is expected of graduate students.

A total of 17 students have been named 2006-2007 Undergraduate Research Academy scholars. The upperclassmen-juniors and seniors-will focus on a dimension that relates to their major area of study. URA students will work closely with faculty, and will be assisted by academic departments and faculty mentors.

This year's scholars, majors, topics and mentors are:


Bartelso: Jenna Toennies, Biological Sciences/Mechanical Engineering, Comparison of Feeding and Jumping in the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens, with mentors Rick Essner, assistant professor of Biological Sciences and Majid Molki, professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering;

Benld: Brandy Olroyd, Special Education and Communication Disorders (Speech Language Pathology and Audiology), Recording and Analyzing the Speech of Persons with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to Create Customized Speech Recognition Technology, with mentor Melanie Brimer, assistant professor of Special Education and Communication Disorders;

Caseyville: Brittany Marron, Civil Engineering, A Comparison of Sentencing in Vehicular Homicides Resulting from Impaired and Non-impaired Driving, with mentor Greg Luttrell, assistant professor of Civil Engineering;

East Alton: Jesse Gernigin, English Language and Literature, A Socioculture Categorization, Evaluation and Analysis of Changes in Application of Humor in Salman Rushdie's Novels, with mentor Jeffrey Skoblow, professor of English Language and Literature;

East St. Louis: Marquetta Brown, Psychology, Behavioral Consequences of Self-Oppression for African-Americans: Relationship among African Self-Consciousness, Self-Responsibility, and Life Satisfaction, with mentor Michael Dudley, assistant professor of Psychology;

Edwardsville: Erin Marks, Anthropology, Who Fed Cahokia?, with mentor Julie Holt, assistant professor of Anthropology;

Edwardsville: Ross Mead, Computer Science, Impromptu Teams of Heterogeneous Mobile Robots, with mentor Jerry Weinberg, associate professor and chair of Computer Science;

Godfrey: James Stice, Art and Design (Metalsmithing), The Plasticity of Metal and Its Use in Creating Organic Form, with mentor Paulette Myers, professor of Art and Design;

Greenville: Jon Sandifer, Civil Engineering, Investigation into the Expected Angle of Lean of a Bicyclist Traversing a Horizontal Curve, with mentor Greg Luttrell, assistant professor of Civil Engineering;

Jacksonville: Natasha Coats, Theater and Dance, with an emphasis in Dance; Making a Ballet into a Contemporary Work, with mentor Mikey Thomas, instructor in Theater and Dance;

Mascoutah: Andrew "A.J." Givens, Political Science, The Impact of Failed States on Terrorism in the Middle East, with Denise DeGarmo, assistant professor of Political Science;

Rochelle: A. Brad Duthie, Biological Sciences, The Effects of Seed Dormancy and Mass on Germination and Viability in the Federally Threatened Floodplain Species, Boltania decurrens, with mentor Marian Smith, professor of Biological Sciences;

Springfield: Elise Berger, Biological Sciences, A Study of the Isonymy Structure of Historical Madison County, with mentor Luci Kohn, assistant professor of Biological Sciences;

Springfield: Kim Taylor, Speech Communication, Facebook: Applications for Faculty/Staff, with mentor Lesa Stern, associate professor of Speech Communication;

Springfield: David Wiatrolik, Civil Engineering, Determining the Relationship Between Bicycle Tire Friction Factors and Surface Debris, with mentor Greg Luttrell, assistant professor of Civil Engineering;


Arnold: Leia Zumbro, Art and Design (Metalsmithing), Exploring Iron as a Small Scale Jewelry Element, with mentor Paulette Myers, professor of Art and Design.

St. Peters: Ian Williams, Political Science, The Effect of Ethno-Linguistic Diversity on Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, with mentor Denise DeGarmo, assistant professor of Political Science;

Each award recipient works for two consecutive semesters on the project and receives a budget of up to $800, plus a personal monetary award, tuition assistance and graduation with honors. For more information on the programs through the Office of Undergraduate Assessment and Program Review, call (618) 650-2640.

Back to top


Future Role Of Libraries Examined

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Academic professionals and students discussed the future of academic libraries at a recent event at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Lovejoy Library.

"If We Have Google, Why Do We Need Libraries?" was the topic of the event, which introduced some intriguing questions about the challenges facing academic library administrators, and the changing role of such institutions. Also considered was the academic library's relevance in student and faculty research initiatives.

"The world is in constant flux," said Jay Starratt, dean of Library and Information Services at SIUE. "There are many good reasons for libraries to exist and the Internet brings a lot more skills to the library world. We, as an academic library, need to be quick to adopt new ways of doing things and be alert to new technology ideas going on around us."

Information shared during the lively debate reiterated for Starratt that SIUE is headed in the right direction. "It gave me good hope about how tied in to changes in the real world this library is," he said. "The library has been in constant change for the last decade, and it's not going to stop. We have to find out what value we add to people's research and make sure we spend our resources on that. It's not enough to just buy what people put out (on the market.) We have to be involved from the creation to its use by other researchers."

"I think that what we do best is make sure our services meet our users' needs. We place a lot of attention on teaching students how to find and use authoritative information. We're probably one of the best around at interacting with students. We adopt new technologies easily and exploit whatever developments there are for our users."

Starratt remarked that as more library services are being offered online, without individuals being required to visit physical library locations, it has increased the need to make library locations more user-friendly and attractive. Starratt said he envisions SIUE's Lovejoy Library adopting a bookstore type atmosphere. He sees the library of the future as one that offers areas for comfort and collaboration.

While it is his hope that a new building is erected with the technology of tomorrow and the high-tech needs of students in mind, Starratt said, "This building will change in the mean time. We're going to be dealing with technology differently and we're going to be opening (Lovejoy) up as a more comfortable place."

He noted that because of limited financial resources, the physical libraries of tomorrow will have to co-exist with one another, incorporate online services as part of offerings and provide user-friendly services in order to evolve and survive.

"We don't have billions of dollars like Google does," Starratt said. "Libraries have to continue to work together in ways they have not done before. If we're going to be able to offer services that are valuable and compete, we need to stop duplicating efforts and make a difference in the quality of research our students and researchers get."

Back to top


SIUE Credit Union And Enterprise Auto Sales Offer Sweet Deals

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Enterprise Auto Sales will offer sweet deals to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville faculty, staff, retirees, students and alumni on Friday, May 5, and even sweeter incentive packages from the SIUE Credit Union for those who purchase a vehicle the day of the sale.

The Credit Union's Annual Member Appreciation Picnic will take place at the Credit Union, 1566 Lewis Road, Edwardsville, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 5. During that time, about 40 used cars from Enterprise will be available for purchase.

"If an individual buys a car at the sale, Enterprise will make the first two payments, up to $300 each month," said Kathy McKinnon, the Credit Union's president.

Along with the purchase of a car, new owners will receive an incentive bonus, such as a gift or gas card, a gift certificate to a restaurant and other prizes, McKinnon said.

This is the first time the car sale has been combined with the appreciation picnic, McKinnon said. The picnic will feature hot dogs, chips, sodas and activities throughout the day. For more information, call the Credit Union, 650-3760.

Back to top


DVD Warns: Put The Soda Down, Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

(ALTON, Ill.) Drinking soda can lead to cavities and tooth decay, warn local dentists who have created a DVD to educate young people about soda consumption and other hazardous oral hygiene habits. It stresses the importance of making good choices.

The DVD premiere will take place before an audience of middle school nurses and supporters of the project at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the School of Dental Medicine, 2800 College Ave., Alton.

As part of a $15,000 grant from the American Dental Education Association and the SIUE Meridian Society, Dr. Poonam Jain, an associate professor, and Dr. Debra Schwenk, an assistant professor, both from the School of Dental Medicine, organized a one-day video shoot to convey a compelling message promoting good health.

Featuring lyrics written by a local 14-year-old hip-hop artist, the DVD targets students ages 9-13 and encourages them to make responsible decisions when it comes to choosing beverages.

The testimonial of a dental patient is captured in the film and highlights the social impact that can result from making poor dental hygiene choices. The film's producers are making arrangements to have it shown at area middle schools and distributed to interested parents.

For more information about the DVD project and the premiere, call the SIU School of Dental Medicine, 618-474-7200.

Back to top


SIUE Students Have More Job Opportunities Awaiting Them

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Members of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville class of 2006 have more job opportunities awaiting them after May 6 graduation, compared with the past three years, and that trend follows the findings of a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Although the NACE report states that employers expect to hire 14 percent more new college graduates this year than in the previous year, SIUE's graduates are looking at about a 9.1 percent increase over last year in available jobs, according to Jean Paterson, director of SIUE's Career Development Center.

"That's very close to the 9.8 percent increase average in job opportunities that NACE reported throughout the Midwest," Paterson said. "NACE also reported that other parts of the country are bouncing back from the past few years, but the Midwest hasn't been that volatile."

Paterson pointed out that SIUE has experienced steady growth over the past decade in job opportunities for graduates. "We had a big downturn here right after 9/11," Paterson said, "but we've had a steady progression back since then. Compared with colleges and universities in other parts of the country, SIUE hasn't shown a comparable decline over the past 10 years, according to the NACE findings," she said.

Paterson also said a tremendous upturn in the number of job postings by employers on the Career Development Center's Web site in the past year. "We usually have about 300 postings a month, but we're just about to hit the 800 mark the past couple of months," Paterson said.

"And, that increase mirrors the big numbers of job recruiters we've had attend our career fairs in October 2005 and March 2006. Employers have been telling us that they've had higher attrition rates, and they've decided to search more among college student to fill vacancies, rather than experienced applicants.

"I've also spoken with my counterparts at other campuses in the St. Louis area and I'm proud to report that we have the largest company recruiter attendance of other college career fairs in the region," Paterson said. "These past two fairs at SIUE showed more than a 35-percent increase in recruiters over 2004-05. Employers are telling us they are interested in SIUE students because they have a reputation for possessing a solid work ethic.

"We're very proud of our students and we believe their job future is very bright.

Back to top


Click here for Employee of the Month photo
Congratulations: Binod Pokhrel, technical specialist in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is recipient of the April Employee Recognition Award. In the photo, Pokhrel is shown here with his supervisor, Amy Wilkinson Isom, program manager in the same department, who nominated him. At far left is Randy Smith, chair of the department, and at far right is School of Education Dean Elliott Lessen. In addition to a framed certificate, Pokhrel received a $25 Gift Certificate to the Morris University Center Bookstore, a parking spot close to his office for one month, and two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

Back to top


Back To Basics Or Back To The Project Board?

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) While she believes the national "No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)" is a smart move to increase global competitiveness for U.S. students in reading and mathematics, an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville suggests balancing the basics with science, social studies, arts, music and athletics.

The most important component to any curriculum is setting realistic targets for student achievement, said Zsuzsanna Szabo, assistant professor of educational psychology in the SIUE School of Education.

As part of President George W. Bush's NCLB initiative, student curriculum for grades K-12 has been focused more on teaching the basics-reading, writing, math, and science-rather than the arts, sports and communications. Test scores indicate the shift in focus has had an impact on test scores for American students.

According to a U.S. Department of Education report from July 2005, based on changes brought about by NCLB: Test scores for students in elementary schools in reading and math reached an all-time high; 9-year-old students have shown more progress during the last five years than in the previous 28 years combined, and have posted the best scores in reading since 1971 and in math since 1973; 13-year-old students posted the highest math scores recorded in the history of testing, and an achievement gap among white, African-American and Hispanic students is at an all-time low.

"It is true that before we do music and sports, we have to teach students how to write and read, and know real math and science," Szabo said. "I do think Back to Basics is a good start, as long as standardized assessment in NCLB is not uni-dimensional, and teachers do not end up in a loop: teaching to the test, and measuring what they teach based on test objectives.

"We need to define correctly and uniformly AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). We cannot expect that ESL and Special Education students be proficient at the required level after one year of inclusion in a school system. I think all states would need to have growth models that would allow a better calculation of AYP and more realistic chances of improving student achievement.

"This way proficiency would be based on the number of years a student has been exposed to respective state standards. We see an increase in student achievement, but we have to look at the story behind the numbers. Accountability is measured by test results and tests are designed according to state standards: Just another loop to play with numbers.

"In the same line with realistic measures for proficiency by 2014 (according to NCLB, 100 percent of the student body must be proficient by 2014), we have to take into account that not all students can excel in mathematics and science. Some will have perhaps other skills they are more proficient at. In the AYP we have to look at from what point each student starts and what is the target to be achieved by that respective student."

Szabo cites the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, developed by Harvard professor of cognition and education, Howard Gardner, which purports aside from reading, writing, science and mathematics, other factors influence intelligence.

The theory recognizes that at least eight forms of intelligence exist, including the traditional "basics" (logical-mathematical and linguistics). Other types of intelligence include spatial (ability to recognize and manipulate patterns, spaces, and objects), musical (recognize and use music), bodily-kinesthetic (related to sports, athletics, arts and crafts), intrapersonal (know yourself), interpersonal (the ability to interact with others), and naturalistic (the ability to understand the nature, plants, and animal species).

Gardner asserts that these different forms of intelligence all influence the way individuals learn, perform, and communicate-Szabo agrees, mentioning that measuring performance from Gardner's perspective in the light of NCLB would be almost impossible.

"From a developmental standpoint, focusing on reading, writing, math, and science will bring students up to a desired level of mastery," she said, noting that in line with the Theory of Multiple Intelligence, students encouraged to embrace all levels of intelligence are more likely to develop a variety of problem-solving approaches.

"I think back to basics was developed with the best intentions," Szabo said. "In the NCLB assessment, science and social studies should be incorporated, and we should not stress only teaching back to basics at the expense of all the rest. In a realistic world there will never be 100-percent excellent students in our schools."

Back to top


Nursing Student Honored At Regional Conference

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Kristen Spence hopes more teens will think twice about getting pregnant, and research that she conducted and presented at a regional conference on the subject shows that the right education will elicit that response.

Spence, a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who is set to graduate with a bachelor's in Nursing in May, received a first-place award at the Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference in Milwaukee earlier this month for a nursing research presentation, Non-Pregnant Adolescent High School Student Perspectives Toward Teen Pregnancy: An Intervention Study.

The idea for the area of research stems from Spence's memories of her high school education about the topic. She spent fall semester tracking the attitudes of teens in two area Catholic high schools. High school students were given a survey before receiving education on the topic of teen pregnancy, and then again after. The results showed the type of education the students received had a direct impact on their attitudes toward the subject.

Of the two student groups, one learned about teen pregnancy through lectures and discussions, while the other took part in a program, "Baby Think It Over." Spence took part in the program during her teen years. The program requires high-school students to take home an 8-pound infant simulator that cries at various intervals. Students are required to care for the infant simulator for 24 hours.

"When the baby cries, students have a key they have to hold in the back (of the doll) and sometimes the key has to be held in place for 30 minutes," Spence said.

She said a microprocessor inside the doll records any abuse or neglect on the part of the adolescent. "That way the instructor can determine how well the student did in responding to the crying," Spence said. "I found that the experimental group that worked with "Baby Think It Over" had a more negative view of teen pregnancy than the control group."

While her future plans include possibly going to graduate school, "For now, I'm going to be working in an intensive care unit at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee," Spence said. Kankakee is about 45 minutes from her native Crete.

Kristen's research was made possible through the Undergraduate Research Academy (URA), an honors program sponsored by SIUE. As a URA scholar, Spence was provided funding so that she could conduct and present her study. A faculty mentor, Laura Bernaix, associate professor of family health and community health in the SIUE School of Nursing, guided Spence with the design and implementation of her study.

Bernaix is proud of her protégé, who she described as bright and compassionate.

"She's going to do wonderfully in her nursing career," Bernaix said. "She is dedicated, a hard worker, intelligent, and a caring individual who will not only represent our school extremely well, but will be an excellent ambassador for the nursing profession."

Usually between 800 and 900 nurses and nursing students attend the conference, Bernaix said, adding Spence competed with about 30 other nursing students for the honor.

Back to top


UNLV VP For Graduate Studies To Become New SIUE Provost July 1

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Paul W. Ferguson, currently vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, has been named the new Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, according to SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift who made the announcement today.

Ferguson, who will assume his new post July 1, succeeds Sharon Hahs, who has been SIUE provost since 2000. She will become director of Special Projects for the University.

Ferguson, who also will hold the rank of professor, was chosen by a selection committee that gathered "significant campus wide input," Vandegrift said. "Dr. Ferguson emerged as the clear choice for SIUE.

"Paul's broad experience, including serving several years on the President's Cabinet as vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at UNLV, position him to make an immediate impact on our vision for SIUE to be recognized nationally as a premier metropolitan university," the Chancellor said.

Ferguson earned a bachelor's in Biology at Whittier College in California and received a doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of California, Davis. He also has held the professional certification of Diplomat, American Board of Toxicology (DABT) since 1985.

At UNLV, Ferguson also has been senior vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. He also has been vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana University). At NLU, Ferguson had been professor and head of the division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, as well as director of the Toxicology program.

Ferguson also has held positions at Unocal Corp. in Los Angeles, at Pennwalt Corp. in Monrovia, Calif., and with Women's Hospital of Los Angeles County at the University of Southern California Medical Center.

He also has received numerous awards and has written for some 100 publications such as journals, professional presentations, textbook chapters, and academic magazines. In addition, he has served as chair or a member of 48 graduate student thesis and dissertation committees.

"The candidates involved in this search praised both the selection committee and the University community for the quality of its efforts," Vandegrift said. "We are indebted to Dr. John Danley and the committee for their excellent service. We also owe thanks for those in the University community who offered input at meetings with the candidates." Danley, a professor of Philosophy at SIUE, was chair of the selection committee.

Ferguson and his wife, Grace, have three children: David, 21, Kathryn, 17, and Jennifer, 14.

Click here for photo of Dr. Ferguson suitable for print.

Back to top


Social Work faculty member to speak about Hitler's eugenics movement

Gerald O'Brien, associate professor of Social Work, will speak about the German eugenics movement under Hitler from 3:15-4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in Room 3313 of Peck Hall.

O'Brien's topic, Black Smoke Over Hadamar: German Eugenics and the Mass Murder of Persons with Disabilities, will focus on Hitler's program, which culminated in the Nazi's euthanasia program. "I will discuss American eugenics, the relationship between the U.S. and German movements," O'Brien said. "I also will explore the formal euthanasia program under Hitler, under which approximately 70,000 persons with disabilities were killed. This program was important in part because it represented the first use of gas chambers as a large-scale killing method in Nazi Germany."

Back to top


Hot City Theatre to open show with direction and design courtesy of SIUE

William Grivna, emeritus professor of Theater and Dance, is director of Polish Joke, a hilarious comedy by David Ives, which opens Friday, April 21, at Hot City Theatre, 1529 Washington Ave., St. Louis. Laura Hanson, assistant professor of Theater and Dance, is costume designer for the play.

According to Donna Parronè, director of Development for Hot City and an instructor in the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance, the comedy is Ives' semi-autobiographical account of growing up in South Chicago, or as he calls it, The Polish Catholic Kingdom. "This play is an irreverent sharp-witted farce about one man's journey in search of a life not predestined by his ethnicity," Parronè said with a laugh. "Along the way, Ives hilariously targets a wide array of other politically-incorrect stereotypes without ever seeming mean-spirited. He thoughtfully reminds us of how all of us are at once alike and different."

A preview performance is set for 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20; the play opens at the same curtain time Friday, the play continues through May 6. For tickets, call (314) 289-4060.

Back to top



Check Presentation To The American Red Cross

Who: SIUE Hurricane Relief Committee

What: Presentation of symbolic check for $7,047 to American Red Cross

When: Noon Thursday, April 20

Where: SIUE's Stratton Quadrangle

SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift will present a symbolic check totaling $7,047 to the American Red Cross, representing funds collected by individuals and student organizations at SIUE specifically targeted for the American Red Cross relief fund. This event will take place in conjunction with annual Springfest activities scheduled on the Quad. Representatives from 15 student groups that conducted fund-raising activities will be on hand for a photo during the presentation.

For additional information, contact Cheryl Y. Heard by telephone: (618) 650-2686, or by e-mail:

Back to top


Linda Morice Receives 2006 International Institute Award

Linda C. Morice, assistant professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education, recently was awarded the biennial International Institute Award at the Institute's Annual Update to the Community. More than 100 people were on hand for the award ceremony with guests including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Aldermanic Board President Jim Shrewsbury, Tom Reiss of Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's office, and dozens of local ethnic community leaders.

Morice has served on the Board of the Institute for 12 years and will retire in 2007. She served as chair of the Board during the first capital campaign the agency undertook in 40 years, leading the drive that raised $1.8 million.

In addition to her rank as faculty member in Educational Leadership, Morice also is graduate program director for the SIUE department. Before coming to SIUE, Morice was assistant superintendent of Ladue Schools.

International Institute President Anna E. Crosslin paraphrased a Buddhist saying, recalling that Morice, "quickly emerged…as 'the quiet center of a turning wheel'", when she joined the Board in 1994 during a period of unprecedented growth in the agency's budget and services in 1994.

Crosslin said, "Linda represents the best of volunteerism-commitment to mission, understanding of her board role as a steward who ensures that policy and finance at the agency is strong, and a willingness to pitch in whenever and wherever needed. She has time and time again served as the 'thumb' which has enabled the rest of our many 'fingers' to work together".

The agency ( presents the award, crafted by renowned Vietnamese artist Lebadang, every other year to recognize extraordinary service. The International Institute Award was established in 1989 to honor volunteer work by an individual or organization that exemplifies, "Peace within you, your country, and the world." Morice is the ninth recipient of the award.

Back to top


Idea Bounce Deadline Extended

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Opportunity still knocks for those interested in having their ideas bounced off investors during Idea Bounce on Thursday, April 27, at 5-6:30 p.m., at the Morris University Center's Madison Room. Registration has been extended to Friday, April 21.

SIUE's Southwestern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center is searching for fun, fresh and fabulous ideas are being sought. Kristine Polo, the center's director said past ideas have included concepts for new restaurants, retail shops and new cars. "Investors are there to listen, too," she said.

The event has been held in the past at Washington University in St. Louis. As part of an outreach initiative, the event will also be held at SIUE.

Ideas are selected from among the pool ahead of time, and inventors are given two minutes to pitch their brain child to a panel of five judges and a room full of spectators the day of the event. The judges then will select five winners from the presenters to receive $100 each.

Ideas must be submitted to the Idea Bounce Web site: by noon Friday, April 12, to be considered for the event. Anyone can post ideas at any time and review past ideas, Polo said.

Those interested in participating should register at and choose SIUE as the location. For more information, call Polo, (618) 650-2166.

Back to top


Overwhelming Response Expected For Pharmacy Open House

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Organizers are reporting an overwhelming response from students and families for the first School of Pharmacy Open House. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22 at the pharmacy building in University Park.

About 228 people have pre-registered for the event, which will include an admissions presentation and a 20 minute video about careers in pharmacy. Dean Philip Medon will provide a welcome message to attendees, followed by an introduction to current pharmacy students. Attendees also will visit the office of financial aid and take a campus tour.

Back to top


9th Annual Midwest Inventors Conference Fast Approaching

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Organizers are urging new inventors not to miss out on the million-dollar idea. The Ninth Annual Inventors Conference for first-time inventors will take place Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Morris University Center on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The deadline for advance registration at $40 is Wednesday, April 19. Registration at the door will be $45.

The cost includes a continental breakfast and a box lunch. To set up a display table at the event, for more information or to register for the conference, visit the conference Web site

Back to top


Celebrate Earth Day At The Gardens At SIUE

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) On Earth Day, take a walk on the mild side at The Gardens at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. With temperatures expected to hover around 70 degrees Saturday, April 22, organizers are hoping for a good turnout and a fun-filled day.

"This is an event to get people familiar with The Gardens and provide some educational background in tree planting and such," said Doug Conley, director of The Gardens at SIUE, and the event's organizer. "We're going to do some planting, but it's less of a workday and more of a day to celebrate the Earth."

Activities will begin at 10 a.m. with a presentation on proper tree-planting techniques by Paul Wierzbicki, an urban forester with the Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development Council, followed by an hour of bird watching with Rick Essner, SIUE assistant professor of Biological Sciences.

Steve Black, coordinator for The Land Conservancy, will lead a discussion on conservation easements. Landscaping and native plants will be the topic that follows in a talk led by Nancee Kruescheck, co-owner of Naturescapes Nursery and Landscaping.

Closing remarks and cleanup will take place at 2 p.m.

Conley said the event also is an attempt to attract more individuals to volunteer on projects at The Gardens, noting, "I think we need to be good stewards of our resources and our planet.

"This planting is a continuation of last fall's volunteer day," he added. The volunteer event organized last November drew 21 volunteers, and resulted in planting of more than 700 spring flowering bulbs and perennials. In addition, beds were weeded, edged and mulched throughout The Gardens at SIUE, which include landscaping at B. Barnard Birger Hall, the Donal E. Myer Arboretum and the surrounding area. "We heavily focused on native plants for this event. All of these plants will be native to North America."

For more information about The Gardens, or about Earth Day activities, call Conley, (618) 650-3788. The Earth Day event will be canceled in the event of bad weather.

Back to top


SIUE Cricket Club To Open New Cricket Pitch Along Stadium Road

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cricket Club's new cricket pitch officially will be opened at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 23, at the youth soccer fields on Stadium Road just north of Korte Stadium.

The Cricket Club, formed as a recognized University student organization two years ago, has been conducting fund-raisers to complete the $6,000 project. The SIUE pitch, a regulation cricket playing area, is made of a concrete base permanently covered with artificial turf.

"Keller Construction Co. absorbed most of the labor costs and the SIUE Office of Student Affairs helped with other costs," said Keith Becherer, acting assistant director of Campus Recreation for the University. "Club members made up the difference through funds they raised."

Becherer said the pitch is located between two of the soccer fields used by the local YMCA Soccer League. League officials were consulted in placement of the pitch and the league retains priority access to the fields, he said.

"There will be a brief, ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 23 and after that any observers may take a few practice at-bats or they can bowl (pitch the cricket ball to a batsman)," Becherer said. "We also will have samples of food from areas of the world where cricket is popular.

"Following a brief scrimmage-teaching seminar in how to play, the SIUE Cricket Club team will take on a team from the Collinsville Cricket Club in an inaugural match," Becherer said.

For more information, call Becherer, (618) 650-3242.

Back to top


'If We Have Google, Why Do We Need Libraries?'

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A provocative discussion about the need for libraries now that the Internet and Google, as well as various search engines, are readily available will take place at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 13, in Lovejoy Library's John C. Abbott Auditorium at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend the spring colloquium, "If we have Google, why do we need libraries?" sponsored by SIUE's Library and Information Services and Graduate Studies and Research. Speakers will address the topic of academic libraries versus online, Web-based research methods.

Susan Thomas, assistant provost for planning at SIUE, will offer welcoming remarks, followed by a presentation at 10 a.m. by Chip Nilges, vice president of new product planning for Online Computer Library Center (OCLC.) OCLC is a nonprofit, membership-based computer library service and research organization.

Howard Rosenbaum, an associate professor of information sciences at Indiana University's School of Library and Information Science, will speak to the audience at 11 a.m.

The presenters will take turns discussing issues involving online information and practices among researchers. Members of the audience also will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.

For more information, call Laura Scaturro, 618-650-2712.

Back to top


Quincy Professor To Speak At SIUE On 'Sunset' Of Nursing Act

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Ann Sullivan, MSN, RN, an assistant professor at the Blessing-Reiman College of Nursing in Quincy, will speak May 25 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville about the "sunset and renewal" of the Illinois Nurse and Advanced Practice Act of 2007.

Past president of the Illinois Nurses Association and Illinois Coalition for Nursing Resources, Sullivan will speak at 7 p.m. that day in the SIUE School of Engineering auditorium about the act which is reviewed for continuation and revisions by Illinois legislators every 10 years and is due for review in 2007. The act affects every licensed nurse in Illinois.

Karen Kelly, an associate professor in the SIUE School of Nursing, is part of a team of more than 150 nurses throughout the state who are engaged in revising the practice act to submit to the Illinois General Assembly in January. "Ann Sullivan is an expert on the topic," Kelly said. "She has worked on the 1987 and 1997 revisions of the practice act."

Admission is $12; INA/MONA members, $10. Admission includes parking, refreshments, and handout materials. Registration begins at 6:30.

This program is co-provided by the SIUE School of Nursing and the Tenth District Illinois Nurses Association, and is approved for 2.4 contact hours by the SIUE School of Nursing. The School is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Illinois Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Back to top


'Fresh and Ancestral' Expo Set For April 29 At ESTL Municipal Building

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Community Performance Ensemble, a spirited and highly praised dance-drum troupe celebrating its 27th year of cultural performances, will highlight "Fresh & Ancestral," a multi-arts expo, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the Council Chambers (second floor) of the East St. Louis Municipal Building, 301 River Park Drive.

The event is co-sponsored by the Eugene Redmond Writers Club and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Department of English Language and Literature.

The expo, part of a yearlong celebration of the 20th birthday of the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club (founded in 1986), also will host a "book party" for Drumvoices Revue (#14). Drumvoices is a multi-cultural literary journal co-published by the EBR Club and the SIUE English department.

Drumvoices contributing authors and friends-who will perform "kwansabas" (poems), essays, stories, narratives, and dramatic scripts at the expo-include Anthony Cheeseboro, Roscoe Crenshaw, Janice Haskins, Sherman L. Fowler, Christienne Hinz, Howard Rambsy II, Dr. Lena Weathers (Club trustee), Jeffrey Skoblow, Darlene Roy (Club president), Patricia Merritt, Dr. Katie Harper Wright, Charlois Lumpkin, Carolyn Chapman, and Eugene B. Redmond (Drumvoices founding editor).

At the time of the April 29 event, Redmond, Lumpkin, and Roy will have just returned from participating in several West Coast premieres of Drumvoices Revue including at California State University and Studio 33 (Sacramento) and Marcus Books (San Francisco).

Major features in this year's Drumvoices issue are "Kwansabas for Jayne Cortez," "Interviews with Amiri Baraka and Magdalena Gomez," "10 Nigerian Poets" (selected by Remi Raji), "Literary Arts/Activism in Sacramento/N. Calif." (selected by Odessa Bethea), and "Narrative Exchanges Between SIUE & University of Ibadan, Nigeria." Among EBR Writers Club trustees featured in the annual journal are Maya Angelou, Baraka, Raymond R. Patterson (1929-2001), and Quincy Troupe.

Among 115 poets, essayists, and scholars the edition includes works by: Reginald Lockett, Opal Palmer Adisa, K. Curtis Lyle, Melba Boyd, Michael Castro, devorah major, Akeem Lasisi, Jose Montoya, Warrington Hudlin, Henry Dumas, Shirley LeFlore, Kevin Powell, D. L. Melhem, Ron Schaefer, Laura Strand, Anthony Cheeseboro, Jerry W. Ward Jr, Olivia Castellano, Francis Odemerho, Dennis Schmitz, and Haki R. Madhubuti.

For more information or to order Drumvoices Revue ($10 per copy), call (618) 650-3991; Fax: 650-3509; Email:

Back to top


SIUE English Professor Receives Simon Outstanding Scholar Award

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Allison J. Funk, professor of English Language and Literature at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is recipient of the 2006 Paul Simon Outstanding Scholar Award, according to Stephen Hansen, dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the University.

With SIUE since 1990, Funk is receiving the Simon Award because of her work in the area of creative writing and for her integration of her experiences as a poet into her teaching, including creating the SIUE students' literary magazine, The River Bluff Review.

The Simon Award is presented each year to an SIUE faculty member to recognize the role of research and creative activities in achieving excellence in teaching. The Simon Award confirms SIUE's belief that an individual must be a good scholar to be a good teacher, Hansen said. The Simon Award is sponsored by the Graduate School and presented by the SIUE Graduate faculty.

Professor Funk is author of three books of poetry- The Knot Garden (2002), Living at the Epicenter (1995), and Forms of Conversion (1986)-and two limited edition chapbooks, From the Sketchbooks of Vanessa Bell (2002) and Lessons in Mimicry (1991). Her poems also have been included in 10 anthologies, including The Best American Poetry. Since 1976, more than 75 of Funk's poems have been published in national literary journals, including Poetry magazine, The Paris Review, and Shenandoah. Her work also has appeared in three anthologies in the United Kingdom.

Professor Funk also has received fellowships to respected artists' colonies-Yaddo in New York (2003 and 1985), The MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire (1984), The Ragdale Foundation in Illinois (2002 and 2004), and the Hawthornden Castle International Writers Retreat in Scotland.

She has received an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award in 2000 and a Delaware State Arts Council grant in 1979. Living at the Epicenter won the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize and the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Prize. At SIUE, she received the Hoppe Research Professor Award in 2000 and five Summer Research Fellowships, as well as the SIUE Teaching Recognition Award. She also is in demand to present poetry readings nationwide.

Since 2001, Funk has co-edited Sou'wester magazine, a national literary journal published by the SIUE English department for more than 40 years. She has invited graduate students and exceptional undergraduates to participate as assistant editors of Sou'wester. "As such, they have read submissions from poets across the country and participated in meetings at which we select work for publication," Funk pointed out in her application for the Simon Award.

"They have assisted me with copyediting and proofreading activities as well. This hands-on experience has benefited a number of my students who have gone on after graduation to find jobs in the fields of editing and publishing."

In 1992, Funk established The River Bluff Review, a literary magazine for SIUE's student writers. She also created the course, Literary Editing (English 494), to enable students to work on the magazine for credit. Funk has been instrumental in bringing "a number of the best poets writing in the U.S. today to SIUE." Her students are incorporated into these visits.

One scholar, in a letter of support, states, "Allison Funk clearly stands out among her peers as an accomplished poet writing at the height of her powers, but she is also a teacher whose dedication and diligence is impressive. . . . She brings to her students not only her passion for the art, but the literary study, discipline and rigor that writing requires." Another professor wrote "I understand the exceptional importance of Allison's literary and academic achievements and contributions."

A former student wrote, "Her concentrated focus is what made me choose to come to SIUE for the inaugural year of our Creative Writing Master's program, and her utmost dedication to nurturing the spark she sees in my work is what makes Allison Funk the ideal recipient of this award." Another student wrote "Teachers like Allison, however, bring their valuable writing experiences and depth of knowledge to each and every session, making it difficult for students not to benefit from their classes."

As recipient of the award, Funk will make a presentation at next year's SIUE Graduate School's Paul Simon Luncheon.

Click here for a photo of Professor Allison Funk receiving the Simon Award from SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift.

Back to top


Graduate School Announces First Distinguished Research Honors

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Graduate School has announced the first recipients of the SIUE Distinguished Research Professor honor. Timothy B. Patrick has been promoted to Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry and F. Marian Smith was promoted to Distinguished Research Professor of Biological Sciences.

The Distinguished Research Professor is a new faculty rank awarded by the SIUE graduate faculty to recognize outstanding and sustained contributions to research and creative activities. All SIUE tenured members of the faculty, who have held the rank of Professor at SIUE for at least five years, are eligible for this recognition.

The Distinguished Research Professor rank recognizes faculty members who have made an outstanding contribution to research as a result of their continued commitment to scholarship beyond the period of their promotion to full professor. Recipients of this honor will be recognized with the rank of "SIUE Distinguished Research Professor" for the duration of their tenure at SIUE.

Timothy B. Patrick has been with the University since 1969. During that time at SIUE he has received 16 externally-funded research grants for a total of $878,206 from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Foundation, Mallinckrodt Chemical Company, and the National Institutes of Health. The overall goal of Patrick's research laboratory is, as he states, that "we try to mold good individuals and to develop their chemical skills while making contributions to significant areas of organic and organofluorine chemistry." Over the years, he has made 24 paper presentations and has authored or co-authored 74 publications, including those with graduate and undergraduate students. One paper "started a new area of fluorine chemistry that is still known as Fluoroorganic Biochemistry, and over a dozen books have been written on the subject." Patrick has mentored 52 graduate students and has assisted more than 150 undergraduate students who have "tried research" in his lab. Patrick's research in organofluorine chemistry has provided drug companies with "some powerful methodology" that they use for making new medicinal agents.

F. Marian Smith has been with SIUE since 1987. During that time at the University, she has received 37 externally-funded research grants for a total of $840,285 from such agencies as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Science Foundation, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Smith's research program at SIUE is, in her own words, "based on the study of plants in response to stress caused by alterations of the environment that destroy habitat for native organisms." For most of her career, her work has focused on rare and endangered plants, "species that are rapidly disappearing from the landscape." Over the years, Smith has created more than 125 paper presentations and published abstracts, and has authored or co-authored 34 publications, many with graduate and undergraduate students. Her most recent research has been a "10-year odyssey to collect and analyze life history and environmental data throughout the range of Boltonia decurrens, my target plant species, with the goal of developing a model that could link life history data, current environmental regimes and historical data to serve as a basis of analysis for a wide range of species and systems." During this 10-year period, 26 graduate students from her laboratory and 20 undergraduates presented papers at scientific meetings; 11 students were co-authors on refereed publications. As a result of Smith's research, several new procedures in theoretical ecology have been created that will enable others to replicate her studies in other dynamic systems.

Recipients of the rank of "Distinguished Research Professor" receive a $1,000 increase in their academic year base salary. They also are provided with a full semester of Assigned Time for Research, at a time to be negotiated with their department chair and school/college dean. In addition, recipients of the "Distinguished Research Professor" rank will receive a medallion to be worn with their academic regalia, and their names will be placed on a plaque displayed in SIUE's Rendleman Hall.

Back to top


SIUE Pharmacy Student Finishes In Top 10 Of National Competition

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) After four years in the accounting profession, Jennifer Lurk, of Edwardsville, decided to enter the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy in a career change decision.

It apparently was the right move.

Lurk recently finished in the top 10 of the National Patient Counseling Competition conducted by the American Pharmacists Association. That's pretty impressive for a first-year Pharmacy (P1) student. In fact, she's the first P1 student at a brand new Pharmacy school to finish that high in the national competition. The SIUE School of Pharmacy began its first academic year last August.

Tim McPherson, an associate professor of Pharmaceutics at the SIUE School and one of Lurk's advisers, said the competition is designed to improve students' communication skills. "Any pharmacy student can take part in the competition," he said, "first at the local level and then at the national level. A winner from each school goes to the national competition." McPherson said Lurk won the School of Pharmacy competition at SIUE.

"At the national competition, students are given a 'prescription' for a simulated patient who they counsel," McPherson pointed out. "The judges observe how the student communicates to that 'patient.'" He said the 28-year-old Lurk was up against nearly 100 students who had qualified for the national competition, many of whom were more senior students.

And, Lurk understandably is pleased with the outcome. "It was very exciting to finish so high in the competition," Lurk said. "I was honored to represent the school so well."

She has high praise for the SIUE Pharmacy curriculum. "I just finished a course in Patient Counseling last semester and it prepared me very well for this competition," Lurk said. "The faculty and staff here are top-notch.

"My goal was to relax, enjoy the experience, and learn something from the competition so that I might be able to better compete in following years," Lurk pointed out. "I was thrilled when I got the news I finished in the top 10; the competition was a great experience, and provided motivation for me to practice my patient counseling skills, which is an important aspect of the pharmacy profession.

School of Pharmacy Dean Philip Medon said he is proud of Lurk and is impressed with her aptitude. "Jennifer is a great student and an example of the fine students we have here in the SIUE School of Pharmacy," Medon said. "Our goal in choosing students for this program is to gather the best of the best."

Nearly 500 students have applied to enter their first year at the SIUE School of Pharmacy for the 2006-07 academic year. Lurk, who will begin her second-year at SIUE in August, said she's keeping her career options open. "I am thinking about practicing as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital setting."

Back to top


SIUE RA Named Student Employee Of The Year

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) During the last two years as a resident assistant at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Woodland Hall, students have seen Brittany Probst as a mentor, a friend and a leader.

The University sees her as the 2006 Student Employee of the Year.

"The single greatest key as a leader is the ability to have influence," said Woodland Hall Director Emery Jordan. "Brittany, through her actions and her words, has done that and more."

Jordan nominated Probst, a senior from Nokomis who is majoring in biological science/medical science, for the award. He said it is Probst's firm commitment to others-while maintaining a balance when it comes to on-campus and off-campus work school responsibilities and family obligations-that makes her a standout.

In addition to her duties as a resident assistant at Woodland and covering the Hall's front desk, Probst is employed at a genetics lab in the St. Louis area, volunteers at a hospital, conducts admissions tours on campus, juggles her course load and has completed a Princeton Review class to prepare for the administration of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

"Brittany's ability to balance her schedule and life is amazing," Jordan said. "She manages to balance this challenging schedule with grace and an engaging personality."

Probst was recognized Monday as part of National Student Employee Week, April 9-15, which has been designated by the National Student Employment Association.


Leader: Brittany Probst, of Nokomis, recently won the SIUE Student Employee of the Year Award. In this photo, she is flanked by Emery Jordan, director of Woodland Hall, and SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift.

Back to top


Presidential Scholars for 2006-07

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Several Illinois students have accepted a Presidential Scholarship to attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Each year, SIUE has available 11 Presidential Scholarships which cover tuition, fees, and room and board for four years.

Presidential Scholars is a premier scholarship program that recognizes young scholars interested in special academic opportunities as undergraduate students. "We offer a wide range of scholarships and study opportunities for academically strong students," said Boyd Bradshaw, SIUE's assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management.

Bradshaw said that once these high achievers enroll at SIUE, they will find academic programs that continually challenge their academic and intellectual abilities. "SIUE offers programs that will put these students in a position to take charge of their education, and create a curriculum that will prepare them to excel in the next phase of their lives."

SIUE provides a quality, affordable education with a broad choice of degrees and programs, ranging from career-oriented fields of study to the essential, more traditional, liberal arts. With a strong faculty, small class sizes, community service opportunities, and an active campus life, SIUE attracts top academic students through its ability to provide a high-quality learning environment and several scholarship opportunities.

Click on names for each student's photo: Alexia Dunn, Jordyn Gehret, Katy March, Amy Morrill, Sean Mullins, Kenneth Rodgers, Nathan Stuller, Emily Wilken.

Back to top


Chancellor Scholars for 06-07

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Several students from Illinois and Missouri have accepted Chancellor's Scholarships to attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Each year, SIUE makes available 20 Chancellor Scholarships which cover tuition, fees and room and board for four years.

The Chancellor's Scholars Program is a premier program offering scholarships to students with strong academic ability and a record of personal achievement, leadership and service. "We offer a wide range of scholarships and study opportunities for academically strong students," said Boyd Bradshaw, SIUE's assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management.

Bradshaw said that once these high achievers enroll at SIUE, they will find academic programs that continually challenge their academic and intellectual abilities. "SIUE offers programs that will put these students in a position to take charge of their education, and create a curriculum that will prepare them to excel in the next phase of their lives."

SIUE offers a quality, affordable education with a broad choice of degrees and programs, ranging from career-oriented fields of study to the essential, more traditional, liberal arts. With a strong faculty, small class sizes, and an active campus life, SIUE attracts top academic students through its ability to provide a high-quality learning environment and scholarship opportunities.

Click on names for each student's photo: Lydia Bach, Kristen Bloch, Kayla Chaplin, Breanna Closen, Michelle Edwards, Meaghan Endicott, Jamie Fischer, Eric Hellrung, Erika Hildebrand, Aaron Jansen, Sarah Jimenez, Kendall King, Kameron Kizzire, Emily Kreke, Margaret Willis, Sarah Woodworth.

Back to top


SIUE Student From Valmeyer Wins Kimmel Scholarship

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Anna Heavner of Valmeyer, a senior majoring in Psychology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been named this year's recipient of the university's Carol Kimmel Scholarship. The scholarship program is co-sponsored by the Belleville News-Democrat.

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.

Heavner will be recognized Wednesday, April 19, at the Kimmel Leadership Recognition Program-scheduled at 4:30 p.m. in Meridian Ballroom, on the first 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.

Back to top


Several Illinois Residents Are Recipients Of SIUE Kimmel Award

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Several Southwestern Illinois residents will receive Kimmel Community Service Awards at the April 19 Kimmel Leadership Recognition Program, sponsored by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 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.

This year there are winners in five award categories: education, 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:

  • EDUCATION: Kurt Schroeder of Belleville.
  • REGIONAL LEADERSHIP: Bruce Holland of Shiloh.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL-CIVIC BETTERMENT: Antigone "Andy" Simpson of Alton.
  • SPECIAL POPULATIONS: Sharon Hendricks of East St. Louis.
  • AGENCY/ORGANIZATIONAL CONCERNS: Kevin Pesko of Belleville.

Admission is free for the April 19 Kimmel recognition program-scheduled at 4:30 p.m. in Meridian Ballroom, on the first 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.

Back to top


Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates Of Penzance To Berth At SIUE April 18-23

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Jolly Roger runs up the masthead again, but all in fun, as Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance berths for a few performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, through Saturday, April 22, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, all in SIUE's Katherine Dunham Hall theater.

Although this classic comic operetta has its own "Major-General," director J. Calvin Jarrell, professor of theater and dance, is in control, for the most part, he says with a grin. "We have some incredible singers from the SIUE Department of Music and (Associate Music Professor) Sandra Bouman is doing an incredible job with the singers," Jarrell said. "However, some of the singers aren't used to acting on a stage, so I've had to work with them on that. But, they're coming along nicely."

Jarrell has directed several large-scale musicals in the past at the University, including Mame, West Side Story, Brigadoon, and The Music Man. "This has been a great collaboration between the SIUE departments of Theater and Dance and Music," Jarrell said. "Working with Sandra and (Associate Music Professor) Michael Mishra has been very rewarding." Mishra is conducting the SIUE Chamber Orchestra.

Mishra and Jarrell paired once before in 1995 to produce Pirates at SIUE the first time. "I'm shooting for more subtlety in the humor than I did then," Jarrell said. "In 1995 I was trying for a Monty Python kind of production, but this time I'm looking for the nuance in the comedy." Monty Python was a zany group of British comedians who created comedy mayhem.

"We don't want the play to fall into melodrama, so I've told the cast to commit to the naive innocence of these characters."

The operetta follows Frederic, the romantic lead, who as a child is apprenticed to become a "ship's pilot." Unfortunately, his nurse, Ruth, is hard of hearing and he becomes "apprenticed" to a "band of pirates," much to Frederic's chagrin. However, Frederic has a sense of duty, so he stays with the pirates. "When the operetta opens," Jarrell said, "the pirates are celebrating Frederic's 21st birthday, and he tells them that he must go 'the lawful way,' and that his sense of duty now forces him to work toward their demise."

Much of the conflict in William Schwenck Gilbert's libretto centers on Frederic's innocence and how his 21st birthday signals the beginning of his manhood, which involves finding a wife. Ruth would gladly become his wife, but Frederic is smitten by Mabel, the likes of whom the poor boy has never seen. Mabel also takes a particular interest in Frederic, and therein lies a foundation for the silliness to follow, involving the Major-General, the Pirate King, the constabulary, and the discovery that Frederic was born on a Feb. 29.

The play is filled with virtuous maidens, shirtless cutthroats, savage swordplay (emphasis on play), buried treasure, a dashing pirate king, and, of course, a modern Major-General, not to mention pillaging, plundering, and plank-walking. "We don't want to give too much away too soon," Jarrell quipped.

The director does proclaim one warning about the play: "Don't come to see Pirates of Penzance for some deep meaning. It's just fun."

Tickets are $10; students and senior citizens, $6; and are available through the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774.

Photos 1 | 2

Photo 1: The buckles are swashed and comedy is king ... or, should that be Pirate King! Cast members (shown above) of the upcoming SIUE production-Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance-are, from back to front, Zaxxson Nation as the Pirate King, Margaret Gitu as Ruth, and Matthew Newlin as Frederic. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

Photo 2: Frederic, played by Matthew Newlin, is smitten by Mabel, portrayed by Katrina Bradley, but the lovebirds have some obstacles in the form of a lively cast of pirates, police, and a modern Major-General. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

Back to top


SIUE Alumni To Be Honored At Jewels of Nursing Gala And Awards

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing will honor some of the best and brightest at this year's Jewels of Nursing Excellence Gala and 2006 Awards celebration.

Each year, the School of Nursing recognizes the talents of alumni and agencies committed to providing quality care to patients in need. Award categories and recipients for this year's event include:

  • St. Louis Children's Hospital for Outstanding Hospital or Health Care Agency;
  • John and Joyce Juhasz for Outstanding Friend to Nursing;
  • Sandra Burton, a 1995 graduate for Outstanding Nursing SIUE Alumna/us;
  • Sabeena Faiz, a 2003 graduate for Outstanding New Nurse SIUE Alumna/us.

This year's gala will be a celebration of 40 years of teaching excellence. Alumni, faculty and healthcare partners are invited to attend at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Sunset Hills Country Club, 2525 S. Highway 157 in Edwardsville. Tickets in advance are $50 per person, or $500 for sponsorship of a table of eight.

Activities for the evening will include a social hour, a silent auction, a live auction and an awards presentation. The attire for the affair is cocktail.

Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for SIUE School of Nursing students. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call Diana Peters, (618) 650-2551.

Back to top


SIUE Alumna Stars On Deal Or No Deal

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Improving life for those living with disabilities is a big deal for Erin Birch. The alumna of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, who graduated as Erin McKittrick in 2000, will prove it when she donates 50 percent of whatever she wins playing the hit NBC game show, Deal or No Deal.

Birch, who earned a bachelor's in Mass Communications, will appear on the game show at 7 p.m. (CST) Monday, April 17. These days, Birch is a vice president of development for the Special Olympics Tennessee.

Birch recalls the first Special Olympics event she ever attended. It was on the SIUE campus, and she was a volunteer. She had started working in the University's Disability Support Services Department the second half of her freshman year. Under the direction of Jane Floyd-Hendey, director of Disability Support Services, Birch said she "absolutely fell in love with the work I did there, and I have a real passion for working for people who have disabilities."

Of Floyd-Hendey and the campus job, Birch said, "She really started my career in the nonprofit field. I really owe my happiness in my day-to-day life to her. My fondest memories from college were from the work I did. I just loved that job."

Nearly six years later, Birch still considers her work to be a labor of love, and the alumna relishes the chance to give 50 percent of her winnings from the game show to the Special Olympics Tennessee. She hopes the money will be used to expand the Special Olympics' division athlete programs.

"We provide year-round sports training and athletics competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities," Birch said of the nonprofit agency's purpose. "Our big events are summer games. I would just want to be able to put it (any winnings) toward getting more athletes involved in the very great programs we provide."

About taping the show, Birch said "We had a really fun time. It was a great time." She attended the taping with her husband, Travis Birch, her two brothers, Todd and Philip McKittrick, and her coworker, Joanne Drumright, and her coworker's son, Matthew Drumright.

In the game show that is gaining in popularity, a contestant must choose one of 26 numbered briefcases. Inside each briefcase is a dollar amount written on a card, ranging in value from one penny to $1 million.

The contestant must select which briefcases from the remaining 25 will be opened, one at a time, until only the original briefcase remains, or until the contestant accepts a deal from the game's mysterious "banker" who tries to purchase the original briefcase.

Once a briefcase is opened, the dollar amount reflected in the case is eliminated from an electronic board that lists the 26 amounts. The higher the remaining amounts on the board, the more money a contestant will be offered by the "banker" as a buy out.

"This was a very fun way for me to possibly win funding for my organization." she said. "My husband and I also just hope to make some of our dreams come true."

"This was a very fun way for me to possibly win funding for my organization." she said. "My husband and I also just hope to make some of our dreams come true."

To find out how much Birch walks away with, tune in to the show April 17.

Back to top
facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff foursquareoff socialoff