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SIUE News - Archives AUG 2008

August 2008

·Photos Of Recent Recipients Of Staff Senate Scholarships
·SIUE Alumni Affairs Creates Hall of Fame
·Faculty, Students, Alums To Play CD Release Concert At The Sheldon
·SIUE Senior Capstone Program Lauded By U.S. News With Yale, Harvard
·SIUE Study Abroad Program Deadline Approaches
·SIUE School of Pharmacy Group Becomes Recognized Student Society
·E. Keserauskis Named Executive Director Of MarComm At SIUE
·L. Koch Named Employee Of The Month For August
·SIUE, City Join To 'Rock the Block' At The Welcome Back Block Party
·SIUE And The City Of Edwardsville Welcome Back Students
· Lineage Art Piece Added To Student Artwork Featured Outdoors
·An Edwardsville Green Thumb Award Goes To The Gardens At SIUE
·SIUE School of Engineering Robot Golf Cart Wins International Award
·Retired SIUE Museum Curator Unveils Artwork at Local Gallery
·SIUE Music Professor, Alumnus Release Jazz CD


Photos Of Recent Recipients Of Staff Senate Scholarships

The Herbeck Twins, Ashley and Allie, both of Staunton (third and fourth from left, respectively, in photo below), recently won scholarships from the Staff Senate Scholarship Committee. They were presented certificates at a ceremony by Staff Senate President Brian Lotz (third from right). Also at the ceremony, from left, were SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift; Greg Herbeck, the twins' father and a plumber for SIUE Facilities Management; and, at far right, Past Staff Senate President Todd Bartholomew and Staff Senate Treasurer Jesse B. Harris Jr.

Click here for photo

The Staff Senate also awarded a scholarship recently to Chelsea Lesicko (second from right in photo below). In the photo from left are Chelsie's parents, Jeff, a carpenter for Facilities Management, and Donna, an accounts technician in Accounts Payable; SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift; Chelsie; and Staff Senate Treasurer Jesse B. Harris Jr.

Click here for photo

In addiion, the Staff Senate awarded a scholarship recently to Kara Rae Skogley (center of photo below) of Marine. Joining her during the presentation ceremony were SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift; Kara's parents, Scott Heather and Kristine A. Heather, an event facilitator in the SIUE School of Nursing; Kara; Staff Senate President Brian Lotz; Staff Senate Past President Todd Bartholomew; and Staff Senate President Jesse B. Harris Jr.

Click here for photo

Also this summer a Staff Senate Scholarship was awarded to Kaitlyn Rausch, daughter of Frank and Patricia, who is an account technician in Administrative Accounting. In the photo shown below, Kaitlyn is joined at the presentation ceremony by (from left) SIUE Chancellor Vandegrift; the Rausches and Kaitlyn; Staff Senate President Brian Lotz; Past Staff Senate President Todd Bartholomew; and Staff Senate Treasurer Jesse B. Harris Jr.

Click here for photo

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SIUE Alumni Affairs Creates Hall of Fame

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Since its inception in 1957 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has produced some 80,000 graduates who have earned more than 90,000 degrees, in turn achieving tremendous success in their careers. To honor their successes, the SIUE Alumni Association, along with the deans of the Schools and College of SIUE, have created the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame with honorees receiving a commemorative plaque that will be displayed in a prominent place within each of the alum's respective Schools or College.

The inaugural class also will be recognized Oct. 10 at the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame Awards Dinner that begins with a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception at 6:30 p.m. at the Crystal Garden Banquet & Events Center, 1230 University Drive, Edwardsville. The dinner and awards presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 each or $360 for a table of eight. The ticket price includes the pre-dinner cocktail reception and cash bar; a served buffet dinner of parmesan chicken breast with mushroom gouda sauce, slice roast of beef au jus and baked ratatouille; as well as free parking.

The Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes and honors SIUE alumni who, through leadership, character and hard work, have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field, in their communities and at SIUE. For more information, call the Alumni Affairs office, (618) 650-2762; click here visit the Web site to find the names of alumni to be honored.

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Faculty, Students, Alums To Play CD Release Concert At The Sheldon

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Trombonists Jim Owens, a graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Brett Stamps, director of the Jazz Studies program at SIUE, will perform a CD Release Concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature selections from the duo's recently released Victoria Company recording, Bad To The Bone, featuring their special skills on the trombone.

As a professional musician Stamps has performed locally in ensembles including the Cornet Chop Suey, the Fox Theater Orchestra and the MUNY Orchestra, to name a few. Stamps also has performed with the U.S. Army Field Band's Jazz Ambassadors, the Stan Kenton Orchestra and the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band. He has directed both the Missouri and Illinois Honors All-State Jazz Bands, and remains active nationally as a clinician-arranger.

Owens, who is an SIU Carbondale and an SIUE graduate, currently performs with local band, Wild, Cool and Swingin. He also is a freelance trombonist and keyboardist with a variety of playing and recording styles. Other SIUE-affiliated musicians on the CD include percussion lecturer Miles Vandiver, bassist Zeb Briskovich, Jim Martin on lower brass, pianist Reggie Thomas and guitarist Rick Haydon, both SIUE music professors, and SIUE trombone student Cody Henry.

Concert admission is $10; high school and college students, $5. A $20 admission will include the concert and a copy of the CD. For more information, call the SIUE Department of Music, (618) 650-3900. The CD itself is also for sale through Stamps whose office is in Room 1103, Dunham Hall. He also can be contacted at (618) 650-2026, and through Webster Records Inc. in St. Louis.

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SIUE Senior Capstone Program Lauded By U.S. News With Yale, Harvard

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) For the fourth consecutive year, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been heralded by U.S.News & World Report in the senior capstone experience category, among 17 universities-including Yale, Harvard, MIT and Princeton-for its comprehensive program measuring the competency of graduating seniors. At SIUE, the program is called Senior Assignment and is required curriculum for all seniors to demonstrate their degree of general education knowledge, as well as knowledge within their disciplines prior to graduation.

Also, according to the U.S. News rankings released today, SIUE is among the top 10 public universities in the Midwest-Master's category for the second consecutive year-this year SIUE also is in the top one-third of all public and private Midwestern universities. The overall scores are based on the academic preparedness of students, graduation rates, faculty characteristics and the reputation of SIUE in higher education.

Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift said he was "extremely pleased" with the new rankings. "We owe this recognition to a committed faculty of teacher/scholars as well as to strong programs, excellent staff support and a shared sense of community. It all adds up to a great educational experience at SIUE," Vandegrift said.

"As we begin our second half-century, the e continues that commitment to providing a quality and affordable education to our students."

SIUE's Senior Assignment program has been recognized on several occasions as a model for other institutions across the nation. The Association of American Colleges and Universities has lauded SIUE's program as an effective tool in gauging the comprehensiveness of academic programs. "The Senior Assignment is the hallmark of a baccalaureate education at SIUE," said Victoria Scott, director of assessment at SIUE. "It is all-encompassing in that it weaves together evaluation of program outcomes and general education goals. While involved in the Senior Assignment, students are actively engaged in their education," she pointed out.

"Each Senior Assignment is unique because departmental faculty determine the desirable characteristics that each program graduate must demonstrate. For example, the Senior Assignment in computer science may involve software design with input from external professionals; in Chemistry, students may conduct basic research which is presented to the faculty and at national meetings; in Special Education, students complete a portfolio related to student teaching demonstrating classroom impact of children with disabilities."

In response to these recent rankings, Paul Ferguson, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, commented, "this national recognition from our peers and national associations strongly supports the commitment of SIUE to continuous quality improvement in all of our academic programs and is a wonderful affirmation of the excellence of our faculty, staff and students."

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SIUE Study Abroad Program Deadline Approaches

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students interested in exploring a world of possibilities through study abroad have until Oct. 1 to submit applications for most spring semester study abroad programs.

Students may participate in programs with exchange partner institutions in Spain, England, France and Germany, or attend classes at an approved host university, such as Salzburg College in Austria or Swansea University in Wales.

Students also may participate in programs in more than 30 countries through SIUE affiliated study abroad program providers, approved language immersion schools and the International Student Exchange Programs.

German major Laura Wiechert said her experience studying abroad at Heidelberg University changed her perspective on life. "My opportunity to travel Europe and study in Germany has truly given me an eye-opening experience," she said. "The world has become smaller in terms of technology, but it is a thrill to see and discover places that could easily be read about on the Internet.

"I met new people, saw new things and discovered a ton about myself personally in the process. Looking back to that day I was afraid to board the airplane in St. Louis, I have to laugh. Here I thought I would be missing out on my life by leaving, but I was really enhancing it and learning more than a semester in Edwardsville would have allowed."

General program costs, including tuition, room and board for a full semester, can range from $6,000 to $15,000, depending on several factors, including the program type and location. Most forms of financial aid, such as grants and loans, may be applied toward study abroad programs. Some financial aid packages may increase because of the anticipated additional costs associated with participation.

There also are a number of scholarships available specifically for study abroad.

To be eligible, students must have completed at least two semesters at SIUE at the time of departure; hold a 2.5 GPA or higher, and obtain approval from the Office of Study Abroad, as well as the appropriate academic advisor. Some programs require higher GPAs and are open only to juniors and seniors.
Students hoping to take part in study abroad opportunities may find more information on the Web site: Students interested in learning more may schedule a study abroad advisement appointment by visiting the Office of Study Abroad in the Morris University Center, Room 2053, or by calling (618) 650-2419.

The annual SIUE Study Abroad Fair is a great opportunity for students to gather information related to SIUE-approved study abroad programs, and to meet and talk with other students who have recently returned from trips. This year's fair will be offered from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 22 in SIUE's Morris University Center.

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SIUE School of Pharmacy Group Becomes Recognized Student Society

(EDWARDSVILLE, ILL.) A group of students, through the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's School of Pharmacy, have met the criteria for official recognition by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) as a Student Society of Health-System Pharmacy (SSHP).

Criteria include promotion of membership in local, state and national health-system organizations; development of activities to stimulate interest in health-system pharmacy careers, and completion of one or more professional development projects to encourage career and professional development.

Some of the projects that led to the designation include hosting a Diabetes Symposium, in collaboration with the SIUE American Pharmacist Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists chapter, at which diabetes education and screenings were provided for people around the community, as well as offering poison prevention awareness education to school children.

Students also attended a national ASHP meeting and legislative day. "Membership in the SSHP provides early awareness of the residency training programs and different career paths after graduation-not only health-system pharmacy, but many other areas of pharmacy," said Lisa Lubsch, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy at SIUE.

"The state and national organizations affiliated with the SIUE SSHP chapter provide great networking and leadership opportunities for students." Lubsch is the faculty advisor for the student chapter.

Some other institutions recently recognized with student societies include the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy-University of Sciences in Philadelphia, Purdue University School of Pharmacy and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy.

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E. Keserauskis Named Executive Director Of MarComm At SIUE

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Elizabeth M. Keserauskis, who previously had been director of marketing and enrollment at Ranken Technical College for nine years, began today as executive director of marketing and communications at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, according to Patrick Hundley, SIUE vice chancellor for University Relations. Keserauskis most recently was vice president of Access Marketing Co., a consulting firm based in Denver, for which she developed and implemented marketing strategies for a wide variety of clients. At Ranken, she was in charge of marketing, advertising and public relations; student recruitment; and was part of the college's strategic planning team.

At SIUE, Keserauskis oversees all aspects of the Marketing and Communications unit including the University's graphics design team, the office of Public Affairs, the Sports Information office, and the University's printing/copying operations.

She also has been a resource conservationist with the St. Clair County Soil and Water Conservation District, a public policy intern with The Wilderness Society and a staff investigator with the Public Defender Service in Washington, DC. After graduating from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Keserauskis earned a bachelor's with two majors in biology and political science at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and a master of science in marketing at Lindenwood University.

Chosen as one of the 2007 top "40 under 40" business professionals in the St. Louis area by the St. Louis Business Journal, Keserauskis also completed the Coro Women in Leadership training program. She currently is a committee co-chair for the Coro Women in Leadership Alumnae Association. She and her husband, Kyle, reside in Belleville.

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L. Koch Named Employee Of The Month For August

Laura Koch, an office support specialist in the Student Opportunities for Academic Results (SOAR) Program, is the August recipient of the Employee Recognition Award. She is shown in the photo with Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Administration Richard Walker (at far right), who presented the award. She was nominated for the award by J. Christopher Lynch (far left), an associate professor in the SIUE School of Pharmacy when Laura was employed at the School. She moved to SOAR in March. Her current supervisor is Earleen Patterson, director of SOAR, shown in the photo, who supported the nomination. In addition to the plaque she is holding, Koch was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, a parking spot close to her office for one month, and two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

Click here for the photo.

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SIUE, City Join To 'Rock the Block' At The Welcome Back Block Party

(EDWARDSVILLE) Nonstop Rock will rock the block for late summer fun and entertainment as part of a celebration welcoming back Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students at the intersection of Second and St. Louis streets in downtown Edwardsville on Sept. 5.

SIUE students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to start the party at 6 p.m. with no admission charge. A DJ will play music from 6-8 p.m. and Nonstop Rock will play from 8 p.m. to closing with great rock-n-roll music for dancing.

Since its inception, the Block Party has been held on the first Friday of the first week of classes but this year that falls on Labor Day weekend; therefore, the Block Party Committee moved this year's celebration to Sept. 5.

"This is a great way for our new and returning students to become acquainted with the downtown Edwardsville business district," said Greg Conroy, SIUE's director of Public Affairs and one of the coordinators of the event. "There will be Edwardsville restaurants and shops with food and clothing booths at the block party to give students a taste of Edwardsville.

"In addition to activities for students, we'll have many inflatable games and activity booths for the entire family, so that everyone can join in the fun."

The Block Party has grown since it began in 2000, with some 3,000 people attending in 2006. The event was cancelled in 2007 due to inclement weather.

The event is sponsored by the city of Edwardsville, SIUE, the SIUE Campus Activities Board and Student Government, the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, J. F. Electric, the Edwardsville Intelligencer, SIUE Marketing and Communications, SIUE University Relations and National City Bank.

Editors: Photos are available from previous Block Parties. Photo 1, Edwardsville City Administrator and SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift talk during the celebration. Photo 2, An SIUE student guides a child's hand into a tub of warm wax at the Wax Hands exhibit. The wax-covered hand is then cooled and results in the creation of a shell of the participant's hand. Photo 3, SIUE students and community members enjoy live music and activities at the Block Party each year.

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SIUE And The City Of Edwardsville Welcome Back Students

(EDWARDSVILLE, ILL.) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and area merchants are preparing to welcome back some 13,500 students attending SIUE who will begin returning to campus Friday, Aug. 22.

Cougar Welcome 2008 activities will kick off with students moving in to residence halls and apartments and will end Friday, Sept. 5 with the annual Block Party in downtown Edwardsville from 6 p.m. to midnight.

"We've expanded our welcoming opportunities so that students will have even more time to transition back to school," said Cheryl Heard, assistant director of SIUE's Kimmel Leadership Center. "Activities are designed to greet new and returning students to SIUE and to promote an atmosphere of welcome and involvement."

A business fair will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and a special invitation is extended to the University community to join SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift and Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur for an Ice Cream Social featuring complementary ice cream from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, in Goshen Lounge on the first floor of SIUE's Morris University Center.

"Cougar Welcome will be filled with lots of other fun and exciting events and activities such as free food, games, contests, prizes and free T-shirts," she said.
The 15th annual showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show will take place from 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom.

SIUE Admissions and Academic Marketing staff will venture out into the community to distribute "Welcome SIUE Students" signs to businesses in the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon area.

"It's such a pleasure to work with the community to welcome new and returning students to campus," said Karen Bollinger, assistant director of SIUE Academic Marketing Services. "It must be a great feeling for SIUE students to walk or drive through the major arteries of town and find the Welcome SIUE Students signs in practically every window.

Bollinger said the Admissions office and Academic Marketing work hard throughout the year to meet, recruit and engage students to choose SIUE. "We try to throw out the red carpet for students to help them know SIUE and the surrounding community is their home away from home."

A listing of Cougar Welcome activities is available at

Click here for photo: at left is ?, manager? of Fiona's Diner in downtown Edwardsville; at right is ?, of ?, who is presenting ? with a Welcome SIUE Students sign to ? to place in the diner's window.

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Art Piece Added To Student Artwork Featured Outdoors

Andy Magee, of St. Louis (63109), is shown in the photo putting the finishing touches on his sculpture, Lineage, which is part of the outdoor campus student sculpture featured in the campus ellipse. Magee is a graduate student in the Department of Art and Design with a concentration in sculpture. As the photo shows, the artwork depicts a clothesline with pairs of worn denim jeans, seemingly drying outdoors after being laundered. The well-worn clothing seems somehow comforting as they move in the breeze. (Photo by Denise Macdonald)

Click here to see Lineage.

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An Edwardsville Green Thumb Award Goes To The Gardens At SIUE

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Most students, faculty and staff at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville already appreciate the splendor of The Gardens at SIUE, the 35-acre multifaceted botanical garden that acts as a natural laboratory for science students. But now The Gardens is earning more widespread attention from city leaders in Edwardsville as the newest recipient of the city's Green Thumb Award, a designation that rewards designers for "the great potential The Gardens has to be a destination and community resource."

The Green Thumb Award honors The Gardens for its civic contributions, which has included an educational Arbor Day event, a plastic pot recycling program and plant identification. Gardens Director Doug Conley said winning the Green Thumb Award not only validates the work that has been done but also adds a cache similar to that of the Missouri Botanical Gardens recognition. "It lets us know that we're on the right path for our project," he said. "We're still trying to get the word out to the community about our vision. We really appreciate that they looked past the fact that we're a work-in-progress, like gardening always is."

As one of only three designated Signature Gardens recognized in the region by the Missouri Botanical Garden, The Gardens at SIUE is composed of woodlands, grasslands, walking paths and landscape sculpture. The area was initiated in 1990 as the Donal G. Myer Arboretum, named for the late dean of what was then known as the School of Sciences at SIUE. Conley said that by 2004 it had become apparent that the project was bigger than just the arboretum. "We realized that our master plan was more comprehensive than a typical arboretum," Conley said. So, the Myer Arboretum has been contained within the larger Gardens while retaining its name, Conley pointed out.

The "reinvigorated" gardens provide educational opportunities for students as well as area residents of all ages. Volunteers help as tour guides, plant taggers and weeders, while University students are busy helping provide "green" construction plans for the Visitors Center and parking lot, among others. That sort of academic involvement will continue to grow as The Gardens evolves, as well, Conley said. For example, students from the civil engineering program recently studied environmentally sustainable construction practices, looking into paving materials that would make the best of rain run-off.

Although 18 years old, The Gardens at SIUE are still in their infancy. The master plan, devised by Terra Design Studios of Pittsburg, Pa., includes a $30 million budget with designs for a visitors center, a "Welcome Garden," a "Pavilion in the Pines," an amphitheater and much more. Implementing the many phases of the master plan could take up to 20 years. The Gardens at SIUE is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Click here for photo; cutlines are as follows: From left to right are: Michael Reinhardt, a member of the Edwardsville Beautification and Tree Commission (EBTC); Wilma Jene Bond, chair of the Commission's Green Thumb Award Committee; Benna Denue, chair of the EBTC; Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur; Doug Conley, director of The Gardens at SIUE and a member of the University's biological sciences faculty; SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift; Chuck Tosovsky, a member of the Friends of The Gardens at SIUE, a support organization for the Gardens; and Patrick Hundley, vice chancellor for University Relations. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)

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SIUE School of Engineering Robot Golf Cart Wins International Award

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A robot golf cart built by a team of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering faculty and staff won a technical award at a recent international conference on artificial intelligence.

The SIUE team's winning entry, Roadrunner, is a robot golf cart that uses color imaging technology to distinguish and maneuver multi-surface paths. The award was given to SIUE at the Robot Exhibition of the Twenty-Third Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference earlier this month in Chicago.

"Roadrunner uses an inexpensive color Web camera to navigate," said Jerry Weinberg, SIUE professor of computer science. "It processes each frame of the camera image to distinguish what part of the image is the pathway, the direction the pathway is heading and the point in the image to steer towards to stay on the path." Weinberg said the team has been testing Roadrunner on campus pathways.

The golf cart was exhibited alongside robots from universities in the United States, Canada and Japan. Weinberg said Roadrunner received a great deal of attention, because it was created for less than $1,000 and performs the same task as robots competing in full-size vehicle competitions. He said many of the full-size vehicles cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It gives us recognition as a University, doing top research in artificial intelligence and robotics," Weinberg said of the award. "We did an excellent job. We're very pleased with the way the golf cart turned out."

In addition to Weinberg, SIUE's autonomous robot team includes faculty members George Engel, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Ryan Krauss, a professor of mechanical engineering, as well as students Ross Mead of computer science, and electrical engineering students Jeff Croxell, Nick Italiano, John Hiatt and Bryan Adams. The team also includes mechanical engineering students Aaron Backs, Matt Gorlewicz and Jenna Toennies.

Click here to see Roadrunner.

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Retired SIUE Museum Curator Unveils Artwork at Local Gallery

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) During his more than 30-year tenure at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, retired museum curator Michael Mason developed an affinity for the work of the late renowned architect Louis H. Sullivan.

The University Museum at SIUE is known widely for its large collection of Sullivan architectural ornament pieces from several of his buildings throughout the Midwest. Mason proudly acknowledges Sullivan's influence as the inspiration for his artwork on display through Aug. 9 at Southwestern Illinois College's Schmidt Gallery.

The exhibition, Homage to Louis H. Sullivan, features more than 30 original prints by Mason that incorporate geometric shapes and plant motifs with scanned images of rusted metals, aged wood and chipped paint, reminiscent of the great architect's designs.

"Being around his work all those years and enjoying his work as much as I did, it was more or less subliminally engrained in my self-conscious," he said.
In 2001, Mason began honing his computer skills and his art evolved. When he started creating his works, he put them on paper. Today his computer-manipulated imagery is placed on canvas.

"When I first started this group of works back in 2001, I started simply by trying to enlarge scanned plant materials, because I wanted to see these small plants better so that I could draw them," Mason said. "As I began to get more familiar with scanning operations and computer software, the idea of combining the plants and other materials that I scanned came about.

"As I began learning to use the software and the scanner, I found that I could build designs and make geometric designs out of the plants themselves." Since retiring in July 2007, Mason said he has had more time to devote to his art. Mason also has a piece on display at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton and some of his items may be found housed among The University Museum's extensive collection.

Click on Photo numbers to see examples of the exhibit: Photo 1 | 2

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SIUE Music Professor, Alumnus Release Jazz CD

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A recently released CD, Bad to the Bone, features the collaborative work of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Brett Stamps, a music professor, and former student, Jim Owens.

The newly released CD is a smooth, soulful, sultry way for listeners to recharge their batteries. The project came to life following an impromptu performance by the two during a CD release party four years ago for another album.

They played the song Alone Together as a standard jazz ballad, which led executive producer Bill Becker of Victoria Records of St. Louis to sign them in a recording deal. The song was recorded on the CD, "with a bolero (rhythm) feel," Owens said.

Also included on the album are renditions of Blackbird, by the Beatles, In a Mellow Tone, What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life and Embraceable You.
Stamps, who has been SIUE's director of jazz studies and who has taught in the program since its inception in 1982, noted he and Owens have been inspired by famous trombonists Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson.

A graduate of the College of William and Mary-with a bachelor of arts in music and a master of music degree in studio music and jazz pedagogy from the University of Miami-Stamps originally entered college with the intent to major in history.

"I'd been in school for three weeks," he said. "I realized the classes I was really excited about were the music, music theory and band classes.
"Then, one thing led to another and it was just a natural evolution."

As a professional musician, Stamps has performed locally in ensembles including the Cornet Chop Suey, the Fox Theater Orchestra, the MUNY Orchestra, St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, the Brett Stamps Trio, the St. Louis Rivermen, the Jim Widner Big Band, The Gary Dammer Big Band and Galaxy. Stamps also has performed with the U.S. Army Field Band's Jazz Ambassadors, the Stan Kenton Orchestra and the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band.

Owens, who is an SIU Carbondale and an SIUE graduate, currently performs with local band Wild, Cool and Swingin'. He is a freelance trombonist and keyboardist with a variety of playing and recording styles.

Other SIUE greats on the CD include lecturers Miles Vandiver on drums, Zeb Briskovich on the bass and Jim Martin on lower brass, music professors Reggie Thomas on piano and Rick Haydon on the guitar, and SIUE trombone student Cody Henry. "The contributions of the SIUE alumni on this CD are so important to recognize," Stamps said.

The album is for sale through Stamps, whose office is Room 1103, Dunham Hall. He also can be contacted at (618) 650-2026, and through Webster Records, Inc. in St. Louis.

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