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August 2013

Sigma Phi Epsilon Chapter Offers Seven Scholarships to SIUE Students

30 August 2013, 3:09 pm

The local Illinois Eta Chapter Alumni and Volunteer Corporation (AVC) has announced that seven scholarships will be available annually to members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

According to Lyle Ward, AVC president, four of the new awards are the result of the Brotherhood Forever Pledge Campaign.

“Over $35,000 was pledged at the 40th anniversary banquet,” Ward said, adding he hoped the organization would increase that amount to $50,000 by December.

Pledged funds are arriving on schedule to provide annual member excellence scholarships for each of the four academic classes. Criteria for scholarships, which focus on leadership and community service, are set high. The intent is to recognize the “best of the best” in the chapter, Ward said.

Two additional awards will be given each semester to recognize the highest GPA increases. This will be funded from the chapter’s Illinois Eta Scholarship Fund. Ward said the intent of these scholarships is to encourage academic performance through recognitions.

The annual Lyle W. Ward Balanced Man Scholarship has been given for the past five years. An endowed SIUE Foundation fund provides $1000 to an incoming student selected through an application process demonstrating previous performance in academics, leadership and service. All of these recognitions are part of the fraternities’ Balanced Man Program.

Scholarship information for male SIUE students is available at For more information, contact Ward,, or (618) 973-3312.


Popular Construction Leadership Institute 2014 Registration Opens

29 August 2013, 5:08 pm

Success in the highly competitive building industry requires exceptional leadership, management and communication skills.  The innovative Construction Leadership Institute (CLI) has packaged those skills into a convenient, accelerated, nine-week program.  Southern Illinois University Edwardsville announced today that it is now accepting registrations for the 2014 session of this highly popular program.

Over the course of its 10-year history, CLI has seen many of its 200+ graduates advance to prominent positions across the building industry.

“Professionals, who have participated in our program, now serve in leadership roles for several St. Louis area building contractors, facility owners and professional services firms,” said Chris Gordon, co-director of the CLI and chair of the Department of Construction in SIUE’s School of Engineering.

The 2014 CLI will convene on nine-consecutive Fridays from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning Jan. 10 through March 7 on the SIUE campus. CLI is a joint program of the SIUE School of Business and the School of Engineering’s Department of Construction.

The curriculum is designed to develop and hone leadership as well as effective communications skills.  Other segments focus on crucial professional skills such as strategic thinking, networking, negotiation, finance, construction contracts, insurance and bonding, risk management and conflict management.  The instructional team includes building industry professionals and subject matter experts.

Attendees also will discover emerging methods of delivery such as lean construction and integrated project delivery, and become attuned to legislative issues impacting the industry.  The final session of the program features a panel of building industry leaders sharing their strategies for success.

“This program builds knowledge and skills that would otherwise take years of experience to develop,” said Sandra Hindelang, co-director of the CLI and director of Executive Education in SIUE’s School of Business.

Early registration is available through Nov. 15, at a cost of $2,950. After Nov. 15, registration is $3,150 per person. A $200 discount per person is given for multiple company registrations.

To register, call Sandra Hindelang at 618-650-2668 or visit:

Photo: CLI 2013 attendees focus on a presenter.

SIUE Hosts Diversity Conversations with Nationally Known Filmmaker

29 August 2013, 4:32 pm

The campus community of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as well as members of the public, had a chance to be part of discussions of the diverse kind on Aug. 27 and 28.

About 850 people, including SIUE faculty, staff and students, listened to the internationally renowned documentary filmmaker and master diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah. The program entailed a student dialogue session, a faculty and staff training session, and a public showing of his film “IF These Halls Could Talk” followed by a discussion.

“I love it. I think everyone should be here,” said Anne Hunter, office support specialist at Lovejoy Library, at the faculty and staff training session. “It’s a completely different way of looking at diversity. Sometimes when we talk about diversity, we talk about it from an employment aspect.

At the onset of the faculty and staff training session Lee Mun Wah engaged the audience. When addressing men, he used their names and showed warm, inviting body language. When he asked women the same question, Lee did not call their names and used body language that could be perceived as cool or dismissive. The purpose of the exercise, according to Lee, was to demonstrate the sometimes subtleties of the “isms.”

“It’s not something I’m unaware of intellectually,” said Dr. Stephen Tamari, associate professor in historical studies, “to show respect and fairness to people. But he offers a way to get beyond the talk and take risks.”

For more information about Lee Mun Wah visit,, or

The SIUE Campus Wide Diversity Event was sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Psychology, the School of Education’s Diversity Committee, the Department of Theater and Dance; the College of Arts and Sciences; Student Affairs, Faculty Development Council and the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Photo Information:

Lee Mun Wah, master diversity trainer, makes a point during the Faculty and Staff Diversity Conversations portion on Wednesday. In the background is Tianlong Yu, associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership.



SIUE Shaw Lecture Features Nobel Prize Winner John Mather

29 August 2013, 11:28 am

The annual William C. Shaw Lecture presented by SIUE’s Physics Department will pair up with the 2013 season of Arts & Issues to present Dr. John C. Mather, one of the world’s most prominent astrophysicists, on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom.

Mather, co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics, is a senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and specializes in infrared astronomy and cosmology.

He was the Project Scientist for NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, which measured the spectrum (the color) of the heat radiation from the Big Bang, discovered hot and cold spots in that radiation, and hunted for the first objects that formed after the great explosion. He and co-researcher George Smoot were awarded the Nobel Prize for this work.

Mather currently serves as Senior Project Scientist for the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the great Hubble Space Telescope

Mather’s presentation titled “History of the Universe from the Beginning to End” will discuss the history of the universe in a nutshell, from the Big Bang to now, and on to the future. He will tell the story of how we got here, how the Universe began, how it could have produced an Earth where sentient beings can live, and how those beings are discovering their history.

In addition, Mather will explain Einstein’s biggest mistake, how Edwin Hubble discovered the expansion of the universe, how the COBE mission was built and how the COBE data supports the Big Bang theory. He will discuss NASA’s plans for the next great telescope in space, the James Webb Space Telescope that will look even farther back in time than the Hubble Space Telescope, and will peer inside the dusty cocoons where stars and planets are being born today.

Tickets for the general public are $15. Tickets for SIUE faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and seniors 65 or older are $10. Admission is free for students. For ticket information, visit

The William C. Shaw Lecture is presented by SIUE’s Department of Physics. It features outstanding scientists who speak on primarily astronomy-based topics. The series commemorates the teaching career of Professor William Shaw, who taught at SIUE between 1959 and 1973 and passed away in 1977. The talk is also the kickoff event for Arts & Issues’ 2013-14 season.

Photo: Dr. John C. Mather.

SIUE Precinct Grows with Voter Registration Drive

28 August 2013, 5:15 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students had a chance to register to vote from Tuesday, Aug. 27 through today, Aug. 29 in the Morris University Center.

“I was registered in Chicago, but I wanted to register here at school,” said Jessica Mims, a freshman majoring in accounting.

SIUE’s Kimmel Leadership Center held a two-day registration for students as part of its community service efforts, said Sarah Laux, assistant director for civic engagement. For years, the University has held voter registration for students at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.

“Voter registration is one of many ways for students to be involved in civic engagement,” Laux said. “As citizens, voting is one way for them to fulfill their duties and responsibilities toward their community and their fellow citizens.”

Andrew Buffey, of Caseyville, registered for the first time on Wednesday. “I did, so I can have some say in politics,” said the freshman majoring in computer management and information systems.

“SIUE is in its own precinct,” Laux said, “so that makes it nice for our students.”

Student interest seemed to be good during the time that Kylie McCarver, graduate assistant majoring in social work, volunteered to staff the voter registration table.

“I had about 10 students to register in one hour,” McCarver said. “It’s important to give students the opportunity to get involved and let their voices be heard.”

About 50 students registered to vote from Aug. 27-28. Today is the last day to register to vote from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Photo Information:

Charles Jones, a SIUE student, registers to vote.


Washington Monthly Ranks SIUE Among The Top 60 Universities in The Country Fourth Year in a Row

28 August 2013, 4:48 pm

For the fourth-consecutive year, national magazine Washington Monthly has ranked Southern Illinois University Edwardsville among the Top 60 out of the 684 master’s universities in the nation. SIUE is 23rd among public institutions on that list.

Unlike conventional college rankings, Washington Monthly evaluates an institution’s “contribution to the public good” in three broad categories: Social Mobility – recruiting and graduating low-income students; Research – producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs; and Service – encouraging students to give something back to their country.

“We are certainly proud of Washington Monthly’s consistent recognition of our talented faculty and staff’s efforts to provide students with a high-quality, energized academic environment,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “Our students’ strong commitment to community service demonstrates that we follow through on our mission to encourage students to be highly engaged, productive citizens.”

Washington Monthly ranked SIUE 57th overall, nationally, among its Top 60 Master’s Universities category, which includes public and private institutions. SIUE ranked No. 7 in expenditures for research, having invested nearly $34 million in research and public service projects in fiscal year 2012. This investment allows a significant number of SIUE students at the graduate and undergraduate levels the opportunity to participate in research projects in their fields of study.

Under the service sub-category, SIUE was ranked eighth in the percent of federal work study funds dedicated to students employed in community service programs.

In March, SIUE also was named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a list of colleges and universities demonstrating a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

SIUE students have many opportunities to work on service projects throughout the year through the University’s Kimmel Leadership Development Center. Students completed approximately 107,000 service hours during the 2012-13 academic year. Those service hours include service-learning hours through coursework, volunteer projects, the SIUE Experience service day, scholarship service requirements, the AmeriCorps America Reads program and student organizations that track their service hours.

SIUE also landed on Washington Monthly’sBest Bang for the Buck” lists. SIUE is in the top 10 percent of both all schools surveyed and public master’s universities. The publication attempts to list the colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

Gov. Quinn Presents $23 Million Check to SIUE

27 August 2013, 5:17 pm

Press Conference Video

Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe welcomed Governor Pat Quinn to the SIUE campus this afternoon. The governor presented a check for $23 million to the SIUE administration to complete the existing Science Building remodeling.

Poshard began by thanking the governor for his support. “This was a project that was a longtime coming,” Poshard said. “The renovation of this building will provide state-of-the-art STEM programs for SIUE students.”

The Science Building renovation is phase two of the SIUE Science Building Complex. The recently completed $52 million new Science Building has provided space for classrooms and laboratories as well as for faculty and student research initiatives in a state-of-the-art learning environment.

Quinn thanked the legislators for their support and determination during the four-year process to make the project a reality. “We believe in STEM education in Illinois,” he said “It’s important to have good jobs, to have good students from K-12 to junior colleges and universities like SIUE.

“SIUE buildings have served a lot of people in four decades. We have to make investments if we want to grow.”

Furst-Bowe was grateful for the resources necessary to complete the project. “For so many years, we have endured creative stop-gap measures to keep the building effective and functional,” she said. “This is so important to our faculty and students.”

The $30 million renovation of the existing structure will involve completely refurbishing classrooms and office spaces.

Chairman of the SIU Board of Trustees Randal Thomas also spoke, while Jim Underwood represented the Illinois Capital Development Board.

Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) related his experience with SIUE while growing up in the area and noted SIUE’s growth and increased stature among academic institutions statewide and nationally.

Photo:  SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, SIU President Glenn Poshard.

Ruckh Named Interim Honors Program Director

27 August 2013, 8:52 am

SIUE Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle has named Dr. Eric W. Ruckh as interim Honors Program director and chair of the Honors Advisory Council. Ruckh is an associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences. As chair of the BRIDGE Committee, he led the general education reform on campus that resulted in the Lincoln Program.

“Dr. Ruckh has a deep, passionate interest in interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship,” Boyle said. “He is looking forward to beginning an inclusive campus conversation about formulating an innovative honors program that builds on the strengths of the University and is aimed at cultivating self-reflection and self-development among our students.”

Ruckh has been offering innovative seminars in SIUE’s honors program since 2005. These courses have examined the history of friendship, myth and meaning, examinations of the good life and the meaning of the modern apocalyptic imagination. This semester, he is offering a freshman honors seminar that is examining our fascination with monsters.

Ruckh has written about the historical work of Georges Bataille, the politics of friendship in the work of Herman Hesse and the contemporary state of higher education. He is currently working on a series of articles dealing with the modern literary representation of friendship.

The work of Ruckh and the Honors Advisory Council will coincide with and inform a renewed search for a permanent honors director. That search will begin this semester.

Ruckh earned his bachelor’s in liberal arts from Bucknell University in 1989 and his Ph.D. in history and critical theory from the University of California-Irvine in 1997. He joined the SIUE faculty in 1999.

Thousands Enjoy Music, Food and Fun at Block Party

26 August 2013, 4:37 pm

Thousands of people met at the intersection of Second and St. Louis streets in downtown Edwardsville for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the city of Edwardsville’s 14th Annual Block Party.

On Friday, Aug. 23, SIUE students, faculty and staff, and the community took part in the outdoor party that included music, food and games.

The event was sponsored by the city of Edwardsville, SIUE, the Edwardsville Intelligencer, the SIUE Campus Activities Board and Student Government, the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, SIUE Marketing and Communications, and SIUE University Relations.

Photo Information:

Enjoying some block party festivities from left to right are Zachary Mills and Tiarra Hill.

Megan Burton takes time to enjoy a game of frisbee.

A group of students relax during the outdoor Welcome Back Concert. Sitting from left to right are Edgar Huichapa, Emma McCann, Ashley Sneed and Claire Schoedel.



SIUE Foundation Supports Metro East Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

26 August 2013, 3:30 pm

The SIUE Foundation is one of the sponsors of the annual Metro East Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event slated for Oct. 5 on the SIUE campus. Former SIU Board of Trustees members Mark Hinrichs and John Simmons are actively involved in raising awareness, participation and corporate sponsorship. Alton Telegraph writer Dan Brannan featured the event in a story posted Aug. 26.

SIUE’s Gorlewicz to Present at Frontiers of Engineering Ed Symposium

26 August 2013, 3:02 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville assistant professor Dr. Jenna Gorlewicz has been selected to attend the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) Symposium. She is a new faculty member in the School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The FOEE Symposium will be held on Sunday, Oct. 27 – Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, Calif. It brings together some of the nation’s most engaged and innovative engineering educators in order to recognize, reward and promote effective, substantive and inspirational engineering education through a sustained dialogue within the emerging generation of innovative faculty.

Gorlewicz will present her research efforts on the creation, integration, and assessment of haptic (touch) devices and associated curriculum in enhancing student learning in engineering education.

“Dr. Gorlewicz’s participation will positively impact the quality of both present and future teaching and courses in our department,” said Majid Molki, distinguished research professor and chair of the SIUE Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Her involvement will strengthen future courses such as mechatronics and robotics, and will bring a host of new ideas to our program.

“Her work on haptic devices has the potential to revolutionize teaching and learning, and help include all types of students, especially the visually impaired. Being a first-year assistant professor at SIUE, her expertise and interest in the educational aspects of engineering is an invaluable asset to our program.”

“Being selected to attend is both personally fulfilling and professionally valuable to me as an engineering educator,” Gorlewicz said. “I will have the opportunity to share my engineering education research efforts, learn from best practices and network with many innovative engineering educators.

“The innovations discussed and developed at FOEE will be used to enhance our engineering classrooms and the student learning experience at SIUE. I am humbled and excited to participate in enhancing and sustaining excellence in engineering education for all students. It is tremendous to be a part of this effort and also to represent SIUE’s commitment to education.”

Selection into the symposium is a competitive process, involving both a nomination and an application phase.

A Bartelso native, Gorlewicz earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from SIUE in 2008. She achieved a doctorate in mechanical engineering in 2013 from Vanderbilt University.

Photo: SIUE’s Dr. Jenna Gorlewicz.

SIUE’s Stacey Howard Featured in Alton Telegraph

26 August 2013, 12:13 pm

Stacey Howard, an SIUE speech communication instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences, is featured in an Aug. 26, Alton Telegraph story about Alzheimer’s disease. She will honor her father, Stephen Lieurance, by participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, at SIUE.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lieurance lost his battle with Alzheimer’s this past weekend. Read the complete obituary.

SIUE Solar Race Team in Edwardsville DARE Event

23 August 2013, 4:48 pm

SIUE’s Solar Race Team displayed its solar car at the Edwardsville Police Department’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Car, Truck and Motorcycle show on Sunday, Aug. 18, at Edwardsville High School. The annual event benefits the area schools’ DARE programming.

Through Edwardsville P.D. Officer Christopher Williams, the SIUE team secured a slot in the show among the classic Mustangs, Oldsmobiles, and super cars.

Graduate student and team captain Amy Sunderlin said the solar car was placed next to a bright yellow Ferrari. “The juxtaposition was an interesting contrast: a super car with a lot of power next to a car that runs on nothing more than the sunshine,” said the Rockford native. “Our team attracted most of the attention.”

Sunderlin described the response from the event’s attendees as very welcoming. “So many people walked by the solar car and took the time to examine the car, asking questions about it,” she said.

The Solar Race Team filled out the paperwork necessary to get the car judged along with all of the other gasoline powered cars at the show. Although the car did not win any awards, the team was more than satisfied by the encouragement and praises from the attendees.

“A lot of people had a brighter outlook on the future of transportation, and the future in general, after seeing the car and talking to our dedicated team members who helped build the car,” said Sunderlin, whose team was proud to be part of the community event. “Now, more people than ever know of the solar car, and they can be proud of it being built at their local university.”

Photo: SIUE Solar Race Team displays its car at Edwardsville High School.

International Trade Center and SIUE Grad Students Boost Lamboo’s Success

22 August 2013, 3:48 pm

When Illinois Governor Pat Quinn congratulated a dozen companies with the 2013 Governor’s Export Awards, Lamboo, Inc., of Springfield was one of three businesses cited in the New Exporter of the Year category. The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) International Trade Center (ITC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville played a significant role in the young company’s success.

The Governor’s annual awards, which were handed out in late July in Chicago, are for outstanding accomplishments in the export of Illinois goods and services. The ITC at SIUE has served Lamboo since 2007 and has its own award-winning history. The ITC was named 2011 International Trade Center of the Year and also received the Governor’s Export Award that same year.

Lamboo manufactures performance-based engineered bamboo for structural, architectural and industrial applications worldwide. Products include structural components, beams, window and door components, panels and veneer.

Lamboo began exporting in 2009. During 2012, the company increased its export sales 63 percent over 2011. Primary international markets include Europe, Africa/Middle East, Canada and Latin America/Caribbean.

“Lamboo has maintained a dynamic relationship with the International Trade Center that has proven to be extremely fruitful over the last few years,” said Lamboo, Inc., President Luke Schuette. “It began with an international market research project utilizing the aggressive and thorough skills of graduate students from the SIUE School of Business.

“That research, as well as the ongoing and guidance from the ITC, has helped Lamboo to solidify countless business relationships worldwide. As a result, we’ve established the Lamboo brand in innovative markets globally.”

Director Silvia Torres points to many ITC success stories:

The Illinois International Trade Center at SIUE has been in operation since 1984 providing trade assistance and resources to Illinois exporters. The ITC reported over $186 million in economic activity for the southwestern region as a result of the export assistance provided in the last two years, having contributed to the creation of 117 jobs and over 400 jobs have been retained. Learn more by visiting the ITC website.

Photo: Iwona Bochenska (Illinois Trade Office), Luke Schuette (Lamboo, Inc.) and Silvia Torres (International Trade Center at SIUE).

SIUE School of Pharmacy Receives Visit from European Exchange Student

22 August 2013, 3:25 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy hosted its first exchange student from Aug. 3-18. Klaudie Gregorova, a recently graduated pharmacist from Prague in the Czech Republic, had the chance to observe some aspects of pharmacy at SIUE and in the community.

She also had an opportunity to share her knowledge and experiences with faculty and students. “What stood out for me were all the Walgreens,” said Gregorova. “We have chains, but ours are completely different. “We don’t sell cigarettes, diapers, perfume or anything like that. We only sell drugs.”

Gregorova’s visit was part of the exchange program through the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), said Dr. Kelly Gable, associate professor in SIUE pharmacy practice.

Gable, who also is the chair of the SIUE School of Pharmacy Global Education Task Force, hosted Gregorova at her home during the trip. “By participating in the student exchange program, we are expanding global opportunities for our own pharmacy students,” Gable said. “Next year an SIUE pharmacy student will have the opportunity to go abroad. It is truly an amazing opportunity for students to learn about the practice of pharmacy in other countries while also immersing themselves in the culture.”

Drugs are only sold at pharmacies in the Czech Republic. Customers cannot buy medications such as aspirin or pain relievers outside of a pharmacy according to Gregorova. “If I buy something ‘over the counter’ here,” she said, “there may be no professional there to tell me how to use it.

“I like talking and helping people as a pharmacist,” said Gregorova, who has a master’s in pharmacy and is a pharmacist at a community drugstore in a small town outside of Prague.

During Gregorova’s visit, she observed Gable as a clinical pharmacist at Places for People, a non-profit mental health clinic in St. Louis. “It was a nice experience for her to see the social service part of our healthcare system,” Gable said.

“In my country, everyone has health insurance,” Gregorova said. “We have almost everything for free.”

Gregorova participated in non-work related activities while in Edwardsville. Some of them included a trip to see the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, West Side Story at The Muny, The Cheesecake Factory in St. Louis and various parks in the area.

“It was my first time seeing a baseball game,” she said. “It could have been better if I understood the rules of the game.”

Stores, food and portions are bigger in the U.S., said Gregorova. “Then we went to The Cheesecake Factory, and I wondered if anyone could finish their plate.”

People also seem to drive more in the bi-state area, than they do in Prague, she said. “We walk more and have more public transportation. I don’t have a car, because I don’t need one. I walk to my job, and it takes about 30 minutes.”

Gregorova said she would like to return to the U.S. and SIUE for a visit if the opportunity comes again. “Everyone here has been very good to me. It has been a good trip, and I met good, friendly people.”

Photo Information:

From left to right: Kelly Gable, associate professor in the SIUE pharmacy practice, hosted Klaudie Gregorova, a SIUE School of Pharmacy exchange student from Prague.


SIUE Diversity Events Slated for Aug. 27 and 28

22 August 2013, 3:12 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus community and the public will have a chance to participate in a series of diversity events on Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28. “An Unfinished Conversation” will be facilitated by internationally renowned documentary filmmaker and master diversity trainer Lee Mun Wah. All events will be held in the Morris University Center.

“The appreciation of diversity and inclusiveness are important SIUE values,” said Dr. Aminata Cairo, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and chair of the department’s diversity committee. “But dealing with diversity is not always easy. Just because we value it, does not necessarily mean we know how to do it or do it well.

“A true commitment to appreciating diversity and living with diversity requires effort. With the help of Mr. Lee Mun Wah, we will address this issue. In anthropology, appreciating the richness of culture and diversity is our bread and butter. The key is to address it together as a university community, which is what the “We Are One” campaign is all about.”

On Aug. 27 from 7-7:30 p.m., Lee, a community therapist, will deliver “What Stands Between Us” for the public. Later, from 7:30-9 p.m., the educator, author and poet will facilitate a student dialogue session “How to Have a Dialogue Across Cultures.”

In one of Lee’s many videos, he gives a vital ingredient in realizing multiculturalism: “Every seat you’re sitting in is just like a neighborhood – the neighborhood you live in. Until you come out of it, you will still be looking at diversity and multiculturalism and thinking that just because we have a room full of diversity that somehow we’re multicultural. That is one of the greatest myths of America. Multiculturalism means you make good use of the cultures that are here.”

On Aug. 28 from 1-5 p.m., the Chinese American will conduct the faculty and staff training, “Diversity Conversations.” Lee is the executive director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on issues pertaining to cross-cultural communication and awareness, “mindful” facilitation and conflict mediation.

Lee tells audiences that real open and honest dialogue about diversity can and will be difficult. “We are bound to get upset and to say things that will insult some or be turn off others. But the work will depend on whether or not we’re going to stay in the ‘room’ and/or keep at it.”

On Aug. 28 from 7-10 p.m., the award-winning filmmaker will present the film If These Halls Could Talk to the public with a dialogue session to follow. Lee’s most famous film about racism, The Color of Fear, won the Gold Medal for Best Social Studies Documentary. Part two of the same film, Walking Each Other Home, won the Cindy Competition Silver Medal for Social Science. His first film, Stolen Ground, about the experience of Asian Americans, won honorable mention at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Oprah Winfrey did a one-hour special in 1995 on Lee’s life work, and it was seen by more than 15 million viewers.

In his presentations, Lee takes time to tell his audiences who he is. In one film, the Chinese American had this to say: “What I want to tell you is that these eyes I have are beautiful. They are not slanted, but black, like the black onyx of my mother’s. To me, they are just as American as blue eyes.

“My black hair is just as beautiful as blond hair. This voice that carries the richness of my Cantonese and Mandarin ancestors is beautiful. My name – Lee Mun Wah – is just as American as any president, any senator or any CEO. I will not have it taken from me. Who I am, is who I was. My name is Lee Mun Wah.”

In other dialogues, Lee went on to say: “I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was right when he said: ‘We fear each other, because we hate each other. We hate each other, because we don’t know each other. And we don’t know each other, because we are separated from each other.’

“The only way we will come together is to truly know each other and stay in the room, rather than once a year doing a multicultural program. The choice ultimately is always ours.”

For more information about Lee Mun Wah visit,, or

The SIUE Campus Wide Diversity Event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Psychology, the School of Education’s Diversity Committee, the Department of Theater and Dance; the College of Arts and Sciences; Student Affairs, Faculty Development Council and the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information and to register for the event, please contact Cairo at

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville ( provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottom land and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.

Photo Information: Lee Mun Wah.


NCERC Director to Participate in Congressional Agriculture Advisory Council

22 August 2013, 2:24 pm

NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert will share his biofuels expertise during a joint Agriculture Advisory Board meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) next week in Decatur.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the Agriculture Advisory Boards of two sitting congressmen to share ideas and opinions on critically important legislation, including the passage of a comprehensive Farm Bill,” Caupert said. “From the biofuels perspective, we are particularly invested in negotiating continued funding of biofuels research and development initiatives under the Farm Bill’s energy title.”

Caupert is frequently called upon by legislators in Washington D.C. and Springfield to testify on biofuels policy. In April, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), nominated Caupert to participate in a Senate Democratic Caucus briefing on the “Revitalization of Rural America.” He has served on Davis’ agriculture advisory board since its formation in January 2013.

“Congress continues to negotiate vital pieces of agriculture legislation that directly impact those who work and live in the 13th Congressional District and beyond,” Davis said. “My advisory board’s input helps shape my perspective on modern agriculture and allows me to better advocate for these important issues in the House Agriculture Committee and on the House floor.”

The joint board meeting will take place from 8:30-10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at the National Sequestration Education Center, 3883 Howard Brown Blvd. on the campus of Richland Community College in Decatur.

The event is timed to coincide with the annual Farm Progress Show, the nation’s largest agriculture showcase. The 2013 show features more than 500 exhibitors and more than 300 acres of field demonstrations.

Photo: U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (D-Ill.) with NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert.

Ice Cream Social Draws Hundreds

21 August 2013, 4:46 pm

Hundreds of students, faculty and staff turned out for the annual Merchant’s Fair and Ice Cream Social on Wednesday in the Goshen Lounge at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Watch SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and Edwardsvile Mayor Hal Patton hand out free Dairy Queen Blizzards to the crowd.

More than 60 businesses and organizations had informational booths at the fair and provided samples, products and materials.

The fair and ice cream social is sponsored by the SIUE Campus Activities Board Cougar Welcome Committee.


SIUE Awarded $1.2 Million Grant to Train Science Teachers

21 August 2013, 8:32 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. During the next five years, the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program at SIUE will graduate and certify 36 secondary science teachers to serve in high-needs rural and urban communities in southwestern Illinois.

The program provides funding for scholarships, stipends and programming to recruit and prepare STEM majors to become middle school and high school science teachers. The program is a partnership of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), School of Education, SIUE STEM Center, master teachers, community-based organizations, local community colleges and the cooperating school districts.

“The need for teachers, who can not only educate but truly inspire our children to become the next generation of engineers and scientists, is absolutely paramount for keeping our economy strong and discovering innovations to solve the challenges of our growing population,” said Jerry Weinberg, associate provost for research and dean of the Graduate School.

This  multi-disciplinary effort will be led by Jessica Krim, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education; Kelly Barry, associate professor of biological sciences in CAS; Sharon Locke, director of the Center for STEM Research, Education and Outreach in the Graduate School; and Susan Wiediger, associate professor of chemistry in CAS.

Three novel elements of the program design are a self-efficacy framework, a focus on recruitment of pre-health professional students and regional capacity building. The objectives of the project are to:

  • Recruit highly qualified STEM students that demonstrate an aptitude for teaching
  • Provide these students with an enhanced experience in STEM education and research
  • Supply high-needs middle and high schools with exemplary science educators
  • Increase outreach in the communities of southwestern Illinois
  • Disseminate project findings for use in other STEM education settings

The program will implement strategies for recruiting and nurturing cohorts of STEM teacher candidates during their college years and into their early teaching careers in high-needs schools. Key components of the program are:

  • A self-efficacy framework that imparts confidence and skills to developing teachers
  • A two-phased recruitment strategy that exposes underclassmen to the rewards and challenges of education and offers scholarships and research opportunities to upperclassmen
  • The development and support of a STEM teacher network in southwestern Illinois high-needs schools

Ten summer internships will be awarded annually to SIUE and local community college freshmen and sophomores with an intended or declared major in STEM disciplines who show promise to be strong teachers. Interns will teach in a variety of educational outreach programs at SIUE or with community partners for a total of 200 hours during the summer. They will receive training in science pedagogy for informal learning, meet regularly with project staff to reflect on their experiences and give a culminating presentation at the end of the summer.

Competitive Noyce Scholarships valued at $11,500 per year will be awarded to juniors and seniors with a STEM major who are committed to pursuing STEM education careers. Noyce Scholars will conduct outreach with disadvantaged middle and high school students, observe master teachers in high-needs schools and take on the challenges of formal research in their content area or STEM education. Scholars also will receive funding to attend the National Science Teachers Association annual conference.

After graduation, new teacher support will include a summer face-to-face workshop, online mentoring and support, and professional development events to maintain a collaborative network of peers and supportive master teachers in southwestern Illinois. The new teachers will have access to and support from the SIUE STEM Center, which provides numerous services to educators, including a lending library and professional development opportunities.

“SIUE has a strong history of K-12 STEM programs that educate and inspire,” Weinberg added. “The NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Grant is an exciting opportunity for SIUE to pass these ideas on to a group of STEM teachers who will impact hundreds, if not thousands, of regional students to become that next generation.”

Through outreach activities built into the program design, the Noyce interns and scholars will reach an additional 2,500 middle and high school students, providing “minds-on” STEM activities designed to generate interest and enthusiasm in STEM and STEM careers.

SIUE Students to be Dancing in City Streets at Annual Block Party

20 August 2013, 3:13 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the city of Edwardsville welcome back students this week with the 14th Annual Block Party. Music, food and fun are the order of the day starting at 6 p.m. Friday, August 23.

The University and the city host the annual event, which runs until midnight, at the intersection of Second and St. Louis streets in Edwardsville’s downtown. SIUE students, faculty and staff, and the community are invited to attend the party with no admission charge.

“This event has become a grand tradition to introduce new and returning students to the Edwardsville community,” said Michelle Welter, associate director of the Kimmel Leadership Center. “Edwardsville has so many outstanding restaurants and businesses serving a wide variety of tastes and needs. This event showcases Edwardsville’s best and familiarizes our students with the downtown area.”

Back for another performance is local favorite The Smash Band, which features front man Smash, a long-time St. Louis radio DJ. The band plays music from the 60’s through today. A deejay will entertain from 6-8 p.m. before The Smash Band takes the stage from 8 p.m. to closing.

Food vendors will line the downtown streets, along with many non-food vendors offering products, services and information.

The Block Party has grown since it began in 2000, with about 3,500 people attending last year. This year, Welter is expecting about the same numbers, if not more.

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

Photo: SIUE students dance in downtown Edwardsville during the 2012 Block Party.


SIUE School of Engineering Enrollment Surging

19 August 2013, 5:01 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s 2013 fall semester began today highlighted by a projected record total enrollment of more than 1,400 students in the School of Engineering. Undergraduate programs in the Schools of Education (4.5 percent), Business (3.9 percent) and Nursing (2.6 percent) all are enjoying enrollment increases.

The School of Engineering’s projected total enrollment has climbed 12 percent (127 students) since last fall and 34 percent (352 students) during the past six years. Dean Hasan Sevim has overseen steady growth from 1,048 total students in 2008. The School also is experiencing a rise in the ACT scores. This year’s 143 freshmen directly admitted into the School had average math and composite ACT scores of 28.5 and 27.5, respectively.

“Ultimately, we have faculty dedicated to teaching excellence and mentoring,” Sevim stated. “Our reputation in teaching and research is spreading fast, and our 2+2 agreements with regional community colleges are providing highly qualified students. Plus, we have a growing international reputation with exemplary cooperation from our overseas partners.”

“With our Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Dental Medicine at capacity, the interest in our professional schools reflects that prospective students are making decisions based upon career aspirations,” said Scott Belobrajdic, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management.

The new freshman class average ACT (23.1) increased three-tenths of a point over last year and is the highest in University history. The increase is seven-tenths of a point better than 2011.

“Our new direct entry options in business, engineering, nursing and pharmacy attracted 170 first time freshmen entering the University, which had a direct impact on the average ACT,” Belobrajdic said. “Their mean ACT is 28. Direct entry allows us to compete for high achieving students who were opting for direct admit options with private and public competitors in previous years.”

The School of Education also is developing early-entry options for students interested in its undergraduate programs.

New transfers are up to 1,252 students, an increase of 27, which is the highest since 2006.

“An increase in transfer students is a trend that we expect to see continue as families consider financing a college education,” Belobrajdic said. “The debt accrued to attend college is a highly visible issue, and families are analyzing options to minimize their cost. So, attending a community college to obtain transferable credits and then transferring into a four-year university is a viable option. SIUE’s positive relationships with local and area community colleges benefit all parties in those situations.”

SIUE Fall 2013 Projected* Enrollment Facts & Figures

  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 10.4 percent (111 students) in the School of Engineering
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 4.5 percent (49 students) in the School of Education
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 3.9 percent (40 students) in the School of Business
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 2.62 percent (26 students) in the School of Nursing
  • New transfer students are up 2 percent (27 students)
  • Total new students (freshmen, transfers and international) exceeds 3,000 for 11th consecutive year
  • Freshman Enrollment: 1,963
  • Total undergraduate enrollment is down 1.1 percent
  • Total graduate and professional enrollment is down 4 percent
  • Total Projected 2013-14 Enrollment: 13,825, which ranks fifth all-time at SIUE

*Figures are fluid until 10-day census figures confirmed on Sept. 3

Belobrajdic pointed to a decline in high school populations in Illinois and throughout SIUE’s recruiting base as a critical factor for the smaller freshman class this year.

The School of Education’s graduate program accounts for the majority of the decrease in graduate enrollment.

Belobrajdic acknowledged that one of the most challenging aspects of this year’s enrollment trends has been reflected in graduate programs specific to K-12 audiences. These challenges are due in large part to the state’s current economic climate resulting in school budget cutbacks and decreases in professional funding for teachers.

Also impacting graduate enrollments are new state requirements regarding the preparation of school-based administrators, which have been implemented to increase quality and reduce the number of licensed principals in the state through legislated higher program admission requirements and rigorous program standards.

SIUE’s School of Education is proactively meeting the current needs of districts and teachers by offering endorsements in high need specializations, as well as providing flexible scheduling options including online and hybrid courses and programs taught off campus to enhance access.

Students Perform Community Service within SIUE Experience

19 August 2013, 2:59 pm

Approximately 700 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students participated in four community service projects on Saturday, Aug. 17, as part of the SIUE Experience.

The four projects included:

  • Greenwood Cemetery: An historical African-American cemetery in North St. Louis that no longer receives federal funding, creating an on-going need for maintenance and clean-up. Volunteers removed overgrown weeds and vegetation to preserve the cemetery. Dred Scott’s wife is buried in this cemetery. 
  • Watershed Nature Center:  An organization dedicated to providing environmental education, passive recreation and enjoyment of native habitats. Their mission is to promote environmental stewardship and provide opportunities for the community to understand and appreciate nature.  Volunteers were needed to plant native plant species and remove invasive species to preserve the watershed habitats.  As part of the Cahokia Creek watershed, the Watershed Nature Center is comprised of over forty acres of wetlands, prairies, and upland and lowland forests.
  • Granite City Community Garden:  A network that brings neighbors together to create and sustain gardens that benefit the Granite City community.  GCCG needed assistance with planting crops, tending to growing crops and weeding.
  • Sunshine Cultural Arts Center:  The Community Performance Ensemble of East St. Louis engages children and youth through a holistic cultural arts program. With a vision to impact the lives of more youth, the organization acquired a building with a plan to transform it into the Sunshine Cultural Arts Center. Volunteers were completing light construction and painting to transform the building’s rooms into music and dance classrooms.

The SIUE Experience allows freshmen to make connections with the University and each other. Activities began with Move-In Day on Thursday, Aug. 15, and continued throughout the weekend. Some of the events included the Chancellor’s Welcome and Playfair, the Class of 2017 photo by the Cougar Statue and the Cougar Kick-Off at Korte Stadium.

Photos: 1) Gary Sims Jr. (left) and Rebekah Bartholomew work at Greenwood Cemetery.

2) SIUE students carry cleared brush to a dumpster in Greenwood Cemetery.

3) SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe (center, left) with Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs flanked by student volunteers at the Sunshine Cultural Arts Center in East St. Louis.


SIUE Sets World Record During Men’s Soccer Match

16 August 2013, 9:19 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville established a world record tonight during halftime of the Cougars men’s soccer match against UW-Milwaukee as 1,134 fans simultaneously popped the tops on cans of Pepsi Next at Ralph Korte Stadium. See the video.

The event was all part of the SIUE Experience as the University welcomes students for the 2013 fall semester which officially begins on Monday, Aug. 19.

Learn more about Pepsi Next here.

Photo: SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe celebrates world record with Korte Stadium crowd.

NCERC’s Trupia is Featured Speaker during USDA Summit

16 August 2013, 4:40 pm

Dr. Sabrina Trupia, director of research at the NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will address an international audience via teleconference Tuesday to share her expertise on sweet sorghum, an emerging advanced biofuel feedstock.

Trupia will present her findings on “Sweet Sorghum Inclusion Rates in Ethanol Production.” The audience will include plant breeders, agronomists and scientists from Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina and China. All are studying the conversion of sweet sorghum to biofuels and bio-based products.

Trupia will address the group as they participate in the Workshop on Sweet Sorghum for Biofuels and Chemicals sponsored by the Foreign Agricultural Service, Agriculture Research Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The worship is being held simultaneously in Philadelphia and Wyndmoor, Pa.

“With EPA’s approval of grain sorghum as an advanced biofuels pathway, an increasing amount of attention and research is turning to the use of sweet sorghum as a feedstock for biofuels and bio-based products,” Trupia said. “Our collaborative research on sweet sorghum with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program demonstrates that interest.”

“We heard a lot of great things about Dr. Trupia’s sorghum presentation at FEW this summer,” said Kevin Hicks, ARS Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products Research leader. “Since the topic is highly relevant to our workshop, we invited her to update our participants.”

Trupia’s 2012 breakthrough conversion of corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol cemented her reputation as a leader in the fermentation of cellulosic feedstocks. She is a highly sought-after presenter at industry conferences and symposiums. In June, Trupia was the only presenter selected to give three highly anticipated talks during the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis.

In September, Trupia is set to deliver two presentations at the National Advanced Biofuels Conference in Omaha.

Photo: Dr. Sabrina Trupia.

Freshmen Learn, Laugh and Link Up at SIUE Experience

16 August 2013, 4:20 pm

How can more than 1,950 incoming freshmen understand the values of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, begin to feel a part of the campus community and get to meet some of their classmates? The answer is The SIUE Experience.

Freshmen continued today to make connections with the University and each other. Activities were scheduled throughout the day and night, and through the weekend. Some of the happenings included the Chancellor’s Welcome and Playfair, the Class of 2017 photo by the Cougar Statue and the Cougar Kick-Off in the Korte Stadium. The SIUE Experience began Thursday with Freshmen Move-In Day and continued with Freshmen First Night at the Morris University Center.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe greeted freshmen at Playfair: “You’ve come to the right place. We are excited about what we have to offer, and what you have to contribute.

“This is not going to be an easy time,” said Furst-Bowe. “I remember my first semester of college. It was a balancing act. The key is to use your time wisely. Make sure your education is your priority. We want to see you walk across the stage four years from now.”

“This has been really fun,” said freshman Sarah Turner at the Playfair. The student from Petersburg was sitting on the ground in a large circle with about 100 of her fellow classmates who were all born in the month of July. “At first, I was having a hard time meeting people. But this has made it real easy.”

Freshmen piled onto the Rec Plex field to the booming tunes from such artists as Macklemore, Robin Thicke, Rihanna and Justin Bieber. Students enjoyed a series of ice-breakers and eventually were grouped together by their birthday months.

Then they were hurled a series of questions, of which they had to meet in the center or cross over the circle if answering in the affirmative. “Are you the only child in your family? Do you consider yourself to be a trustworthy person? Have you told your parents you were going one place and then went another?”

“I like it because it’s getting people involved with each other,” said Janice Cooper of Calumet Park.

Earlier in the day, freshmen gathered in various classrooms around the campus, where a Cougar Guide talked about the five SIUE values: excellence, inclusiveness, wisdom, integrity and citizenship.

Leading one class was Tiffany Maglasang, a senior with a double major in psychology and Spanish. She had students participate in an “excellence exercise” that required them to write things that both add and take away from achieving excellence. The list included:

• Staying focused

• Being prepared for class

• Wanting to succeed

These were three of several answers from the group consisting of Kelsey Lepper, Meghan Campbell, Brianna Langland and Kellie Horrell.

Caleb Baker and Rebecca Taylor wrote some of their thoughts about factors that hinder success:

• Partying

• Not going to class

• Being lazy

The Chancellor summed up her message of excellence to students by quoting Katherine Dunham, the legendary late dancer, choreographer and anthropologist who was an artist in residence at SIUE, “I always believe if you set out to be successful, you already are.” Katherine Dunham Hall on the SIUE campus houses the departments of Theater and Dance, Music and Mass Communications.

The SIUE Experience continues Saturday and Sunday with such activities as community service projects, campus exploration and residence hall meetings. It was started in 2012 to increase freshmen retention and success, said Kara Shustrin, program specialist in the SIUE Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

“One of the biggest things we hope to accomplish,” said Shustrin, “is to build connections among the freshmen, between them and upper classmen and between them and the campus community.”

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottom land and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.

Photo Information:

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe welcomes the 1,800 incoming freshmen at Friday’s Playfair.

One freshman group at Playfair lifts a willing participant to rousing cheers and applauds.

Eddie the Cougar is hoisted high by freshmen at the Playfair.


SIUE Mourns Passing of Paul Maynerich

16 August 2013, 2:43 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville community today is mourning the death of undergraduate student Paul Maynerich, who passed away Tuesday in an automobile accident.

A native of Virden, the 19-year-old Maynerich was about to enter his sophomore year in the School of Education.

Counseling services are available to students by calling 650-5666 or visiting the Counseling Health Services Office in the Student Success Center lower level adjacent to the Morris University Center.

Prayer service will be at 2:45 p.m. today at Sacred Heart Church in Virden followed by visitation from 3 to 8 p.m. at the church.  There will be a one hour visitation prior to the 11 a.m. funeral Mass on Saturday Aug. 17, at St. Joseph The Worker Church in Chatham.

For a complete obit, visit Calvert and Ferry Funeral Homes.

Entrepreneurial Alum Promotes Diversity

16 August 2013, 1:18 pm

SIUE alum Veronica Armouti recently founded the Senala Group, a company that assists businesses on the topics of diversity and inclusion. Alton Telegraph writer Natasha Sakovich featured Armouti in a story published Aug. 15. Armouti was a double major earning a bachelor’s in sociology and history (’86) and a master’s in policy analysis (’88) from SIUE’s College of Arts and Sciences.

SIUE Alum Takes SWIC Appointment

16 August 2013, 9:57 am

SIUE alum Frank Miles has been appointed  executive director of the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus at Southwestern Illinois College. Alton Telegraph writer Kathie Bassett wrote about Miles’ new position in a story published Aug. 15. He has a bachelor’s in government and public affairs (’83) and a master’s in public administration (’88) from SIUE’s College of Arts and Sciences.

SIUE Lecturer Named Director of Greene County Economic Development Group

15 August 2013, 4:58 pm

Jim Mager is a lecturer in the SIUE School of Business for management and marketing, and is a former director of the SIUE Small Business Development Center. He has been named managing director of Greene County Economic Development Group. Read about Mager’s appointment in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

SIUE Freshmen Move into Residence Halls with Help from New Friends

15 August 2013, 4:37 pm

Incoming freshmen, buoyed with anticipation and vehicles loaded down with personal belongings, moved into residence halls today at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “Movers and Shakers,” aka sophomore, junior and senior SIUE students, helped their new classmates make the transition to college life. Watch the video on

It took about seven hours for 500 “Movers and Shakers” to help 1,400 freshmen move into Woodland, Prairie and Bluff residence halls, according to Michael Schultz, director of University Housing.

The first vehicle to arrive at Prairie Hall was carrying Gurnee native Sarah Von Kampen and her mom, Sandy. “We were the first ones here this morning,” said Sarah, “and they were all smiles. It was a welcoming sight.”

“We packed our SUV so full, I needed a crow bar to get me out,” said Sandy Von Kampen. “And they had us unpacked in about five to 10 minutes.”

Freshman Alex Lukert of Chatham was also impressed with the speed in which his SIUE classmates helped him and his family unload. “I didn’t have to carry my own stuff. I’m looking forward to this year, new people and new experiences.”

The “Movers and Shakers” program began in 1996 and is critical in welcoming students to SIUE, said Schultz.

“I love SIUE, and I love helping out,” said David Hinkl, a junior, rolling a dolly piled high with the belongings of Kamrie Payne of Chicago.

Further down the driveway, sophomore Courtney Skaggs reached for boxes inside a SUV, showing words written on the inside of both her forearms. “criminal justice” is written in black magic marker on her left and “psychology” is scribed on her right.

“I’m a double major,” Courtney said. “If people ask, I can tell them about my major.”

“One girl we moved in today said, ‘You guys have a tough job,’ Courtney said. “I told her, ‘No, it’s really a lot of fun.’ ”

Logistically, moving a student into a new home can be hard work, said Mallory Sidarous, marketing specialist with University Housing. “We encourage our volunteers to not only carry heavy items,” she said, “but also to welcome new students, talk to them about their campus experiences and answer questions.”

Sitting outside of Woodland Hall waiting for his son (Elijah Adams) was Lee Langon of Flossmoor. “It was fantastic, a godsend,” Langon said. “We could have been forever trying to move in.”

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottom land and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of nearly 14,000.

Photo Information:

“Mover & Shaker” Nick Glandon helps Kamrie Payne, a freshman from Chicago, move her belongings into Prairie Hall.

Freshman Shelby Tomanovich receives a welcome from SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. Kim Durr, executive assistant to the chancellor and one of the “Movers & Shakers” is in the foreground. Furst-Bowe both welcomed students and helped carry items during the Move-In Day.



SIUE School of Business’ Tim Jacks Presented at Malaysia Conference

15 August 2013, 3:49 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Tim Jacks, Ph.D., presented two papers during the Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA) June conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Jacks is an assistant professor of computer management information systems (CMIS) in SIUE’s School of Business.

GITMA was created in 2000 by Prashant Palvia, Ph.D., who is currently at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The annual conference brings educators, researchers and practitioners together to share ideas on international aspects of information technology.

Jacks first became affiliated with GITMA through Palvia who was his dissertation chair. Since he was first introduced to GITMA, Jacks has attended four conferences. This year, he presented papers on the topic of e-health.

His first paper, “Provider vs. Vendor Perspectives on EHR Implementation Issues,” explained differing views of stakeholders, namely medical providers and vendors, in the implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems. His second paper was a manuscript regarding “attitudes toward risk taking as a moderator between hospital firm culture and CEO/CIO identification of key healthcare information technology issues.”

With his participation in GITMA, Jacks is always reminded that the world is getting “flatter.”

“It’s always good to see my friends and colleagues from Turkey, Germany, New Zealand, China, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Malaysia, Canada, etc., but it’s amazing when you pause to think about it,” said Jacks. “I collaborate with these people via email and skype all the time. The scope of my work is truly global!”

Jacks also updated the status of the World IT Project. The project is designed to examine important worldwide issues confronting IT employees in both staff and management. Requiring extensive research of different countries, he is part of a seven-member core research team to collect data from the various countries.

While in Malaysia, Jacks experienced the culture outside of the conference.  He visited a large Mosque in Putrajaya and the Batu Caves north of Kuala Lumpur that involved climbing up 272 steps to the Hindu temple.

Having traveled to many different countries, Jacks said he enjoyed Malaysia’s very friendly people.

“My favorite local custom was to put your hand over your heart any time you said ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ or ‘you’re welcome’,” said Jacks.

“I strongly believe that this global perspective benefits our students, which is why I am such a supporter of SIUE’s international travel programs,” noted Jacks.

Photo: Assistant Professor of Computer Management Information Systems Tim Jacks, Ph.D. presented at the Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA) conference.

SIUE Appoints Retzlaff as Faculty Athletics Rep

13 August 2013, 4:03 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe has appointed Dr. Bill Retzlaff as NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Retzlaff succeeds Dr. John Meisel who has served as the University’s FAR since 1979. The FAR serves as a faculty voice, ensuring balance between academics and athletics for the benefit of the student-athlete. The FAR plays a key role in administering NCAA policies at a local as well as a national level.

SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt said Meisel’s service to the University should be commended.

“It has been my privilege to work with Dr. Meisel since coming to SIUE in 1989,” Hewitt said. “John’s tireless service to the University as the FAR will be missed. He has been a selfless presence in helping to build a solid athletic foundation at SIUE while promoting academic excellence.

“I look forward to continuing this work with Dr. Retzlaff as the program moves forward at the NCAA Division I level.”

Retzlaff joined the faculty at SIUE in August 1999 with a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Environmental Sciences Program. He is currently a tenured professor of biological sciences and serves as one of the three associate deans in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

During the last two years, Retzlaff has served as a faculty representative on the SIUE Intercollegiate Athletic Council (ICAC). Retzlaff chaired the SIUE ICAC during the 2012-2013 academic year. Retzlaff also formerly served as a graduate student representative on the Athletic Council at Clemson. During SIUE’s transition to Division I certification, Retzlaff served on the SIUE NCAA Division I Certification Committee – Academic Integrity Sub-Committee.

Administratively, Retzlaff is responsible for student and faculty research, student travel, and physical assets of the CAS. Academically, he has taught SIUE undergraduate and graduate courses in biological sciences and environmental sciences at SIUE along with freshman seminar courses on sustainability. Since joining the SIUE faculty, graduate students mentored by Retzlaff have completed 33 master’s theses or research papers.

Retzlaff earned a bachelor’s in forest management in 1981 and a master’s in forestry in 1984 from Auburn University. He earned a doctorate in forestry with a minor in plant physiology from Clemson University in 1987.

He has published 38 peer-reviewed articles in a broad array of research arenas including forestry, air pollution, horticulture, and environmental science and engineering. Along with his students, Retzlaff has presented scholarly work more than 180 times at regional, national, and international conferences.

Research on greening of the urban environment conducted by Retzlaff, his collaborators, colleagues, and students is internationally recognized. He currently serves as the co-director of the Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network (GREEN) housed at SIUE. He also is Chair of GREEN’s Research Committee and is a member of the Board of the international trade organization Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Retzlaff, Dr. Susan Morgan, and three of their former MS students have recently published a book chapter based upon their green roof research in a McGraw-Hill book titled “Green Roof Construction and Maintenance.”

Wind tunnel testing conducted at SIUE under the direction of Retzlaff, Morgan, and Dr. Serdar Celik has become part of the building code standard for wind uplift of green roofs in the International Building Code. Recent innovative work by Retzlaff and his undergraduate students is incorporating native plantings into green roof installations.

Photo: SIUE’s Dr. Bill Retzlaff.

SIUE to Set World Record During Men’s Soccer Match

13 August 2013, 9:38 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will attempt to establish a world record on Friday, Aug. 16, during halftime of the Cougars men’s soccer match against UW-Milwaukee. Nearly 2,000 fans will simultaneously pop the tops on cans of Pepsi Next at Ralph Korte Stadium.

The Cougars and Panthers are set for kick-off at 7:30 p.m. The Cougar women’s soccer team entertains Western Illinois at 5 p.m.

The event is all part of the SIUE Experience as the University welcomes students for the 2013 fall semester which officially begins on Monday, Aug. 19.

Ticket prices are: general admission – $7; SIUE faculty/staff – $5; senior citizens – $5; and students ages six to college with ID – $4. Admission is free for children five-years-old and younger.

Learn more about Pepsi Next here.

SIUE Archives Featured in Belleville News-Democrat

12 August 2013, 8:38 am

SIUE Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Steve Kerber has been managing the school’s historical documents and items since 1995. Belleville News-Democrat writer Teri Maddox interviewed Kerber in an article published Aug. 11.

Edwardsville, Glen Carbon Businesses Ready to Welcome SIUE Students

9 August 2013, 1:07 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Office of Admissions on Friday delivered about 50 signs to merchants in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon. Business owners displayed the “Welcome SIUE Students” signs either inside or outside of their stores.

“We’re happy to do it,” said John George, co-owner of Bev George & Associates, Realtors, 235 North Main St. in Edwardsville. “Our daughter, Sarah, graduated with her master’s in English from SIUE this year.” John’s wife, Bev George, is a SIUE alumna. She received a bachelor’s in English in 1975 and a master’s in education in 1978.

Laura Lynch, owner of Bailey Cakes, 229 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, said she was displaying her sign because of the importance of SIUE in the community.

“The purpose of SIUE Sign Distribution Day is to allow businesses to welcome SIUE students,” said Kelley Brooks, admissions coordinator of recruitment.

Students begin arriving on campus Thursday, Aug. 15. SIUE classes start on Monday, Aug. 19.

The practice is more than 10 years old, according to Todd Burrell, director of the Office of Admissions. The office has additional signs for any merchant desiring one. For more information and to obtain a sign, please call (618) 650-3705 or visit their website.

Photo Information:

Elizabeth Fillback, SIUE graduate student, and John George, co-owner of Bev George & Associates, Realtors in Edwardsville, show the University’s new welcome sign.

Laura Lynch, owner of Bailey Cakes in Edwardsville, accepts a “Welcome SIUE Students” sign from Elizabeth Fillback, SIUE graduate student.


IERC: Illinois HS to College Success Report Useful, Needs Refining

7 August 2013, 4:12 pm

The Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has released a report with findings from an evaluation of the newly designed Illinois High School to College Success Report (HS2CSR).

The new HS2CSR is one of the first collaborative endeavors among the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to combine their fairly disparate data systems. The first HS2CSR report was released in June 2011 followed by the second report during February 2013.

“As Illinois develops its longitudinal data system, it is critical to evaluate the dissemination and usefulness of the HS2CSR,” said Brenda Klostermann, associate director for administration for the IERC and an assistant research professor at SIUE. “There also is a need for suggestions for improvement, in order to guide development of future reports,”

The evaluation study examined the dissemination, usefulness, and impact on collaborative efforts. IERC also solicited stakeholders’ suggestions for improving the report.

Based on responses from an online survey, focus groups, and feedback from postsecondary administrators and faculty, the report’s findings include:

  • Widespread dissemination of the HS2CSR was limited. Based on survey responses, 33 percent received both reports. However, 43 percent of respondents reported not receiving either report.
  • Of those who received the HS2CSR, many have found it useful, primarily to monitor student success and to collaborate within institutions.  A focus group participant commented, “The one piece that was very helpful was where it identified the actual courses, especially for math, when we were trying to speak to students and parents about college readiness.”
  • More collaborative activity utilizing the report occurred within the K-12 sector and occurred within institutions, rather than cross-institutions.
  • Concerns were expressed about reliance on self-report data and comprehensiveness of the data. For example, the report only contains information on students attending Illinois public institutions. Inclusion of all postsecondary schools would provide a more complete picture.
  • Suggestions from study participants to improve the report included increasing the report’s ease of use, increasing the data’s representativeness and providing additional data elements.

“Experiences with the first two HS2CSR releases provided opportunities to learn what went well and where improvements can be implemented,” Klostermann said. “Results from this evaluation show that the report is not as widely disseminated as hoped. However of those who did receive it, many are finding it helpful in their collaborations within their institution. Some are utilizing it across institutions.”

Klostermann pointed out that increasing the representativeness of the data and ease of use, along with improving dissemination and providing training to more fully utilize the report would likely result in expanded use. These steps would foster communication and collaboration among secondary and postsecondary educators to improve student achievement.

For more information, contact Klostermann, the author of the report, (618) 650-2840 or (866) 799-4372.  The Research Brief and the Technical Report, with a detailed description of the study and findings, are available at

SIUE Among Largest Life Science Research Organizations in St. Louis

7 August 2013, 11:01 am

SIUE ranks fifth among top life science research organizations in St. Louis according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Writer Nicholas Ledden did the ranking by number of local research employees. Read the ranking at

SIUE Alum Is Among Top 10 History Teachers in Illinois

7 August 2013, 10:45 am

SIUE alum Stephanie Berry is a fifth grade teacher at Smithton Community Consolidated School District. The Illinois State Board of Education selected her as one of the top 10 history teachers in the state. Read about Berry in the Belleville News-Democrat. She earned a master’s in education from SIUE.

SIUE Workshop Geared to Faculty Infusing Sustainability into their Classroom

6 August 2013, 5:19 pm

Professors, researchers and others discussed ways to integrate sustainability into the classroom, campus and life at a special workshop offered on Tuesday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The Summer 2013 Mississippi Project III: “Green Curriculum, Green Campus, Green Community” was held from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Lovejoy Library. The same workshop will be repeated on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

The seminar facilitators were Dr. Connie Frey Spurlock, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies and SIUE sustainability faculty fellow; and Kevin Adkins, SIUE sustainability officer. Each participant received a copy of “Earth in Mind” by David W. Orr.

Those attending the workshop included:

• Dr. Aminata Cairo, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology in the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences

• Dr. Susan Murray, assistant professor in the Department of Accounting in the SIUE School of Business

• Kris Schachel, sustainability coordinator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale

• Janet Donoghue, assistant to the sustainability coordinator at SIUC

• Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor, instructor II in sociology at St. Louis Community College-Meramec

• Lisa Ciszczon Brennan, English instructor and assistant director of the Writing Center at McKendree University

• Steve Taylor, mathematics graduate student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

“The faculty provides the expertise,” Frey Spurlock said. “We are here to facilitate the process. The workshop gives an opportunity to enhance teaching through questions about sustainability.”

Sustainability is defined loosely and will be for each faculty member to determine, said Adkins. “A chemist and an English professor will both look differently at how they can include sustainability in their curriculum,” he said.

Workshop participants discussed the need for and development of sustainability. They learned about the origins and achievements of the SIUE Sustainability Office.

The best part of the workshop is to explore options, according to Frey Spurlock. “Curiosity is part of sustainability,” she said. “Asking questions about issues involves critical thinking and good things can transpire as a result of critical thinking.”

As it relates to accounting, Murray said, she wants her students to consider the “Triple Bottom Line.”

“Today, it’s not just enough to ask the question of whether or not we made money,” she said. “We have to consider – people, the planet and profits – that is the Triple Bottom Line.”

The first thing to consider as it relates to sustainability is culture, according to Cairo.

“My students will benefit from learning cultural navigation and people skills,” Cairo said. “When you have cultural standards, it will affect how you relate to others, your environment and your world.”

The day-long workshop included two guest presenters:

• Don Corrigan, environmental journalist, professor of journalism and global journalism at Webster University, and editor-in-chief and co-publisher of the Webster-Kirkwood Times & South County Times newspapers

• Martino-Taylor, sociologist and environmental crime researcher and SIUE alumna

The workshop is modeled after the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona University and the Piedmont Project at Emory University. Both received national attention for their innovative approach. It was named after the Mississippi River to reflect the bi-state area.

The idea of sustainable discussion with SIUE faculty began in 2009 with luncheons. The lunch meetings evolved into the Mississippi Project I in 2011.

“I’m encouraged about the progress we’ve made with SIUE faculty,” Adkins said. “We’re continuing to work towards a more sustainable future for us all.”

When looking at the problems of the environment, one can get overwhelmed, Frey Spurlock said. “One big hurdle to get past is the thought that you can’t make a change,” she continued. “But in fact, you can in so many different ways. We have just to be persistent.”

For more information, visit sustainability at SIUE.

Photo Information:

Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Susan Murray, assistant professor in the Department of Accounting of the SIUE School of Business; Kevin Adkins, SIUE sustainability officer; and Dr. Connie Frey Spurlock, SIUE sustainability faculty fellow.

Dr. Aminata Cairo, assistant professor in the department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, discusses the importance that culture places in sustainability.


Perry Appointed Interim Dean of SIUE School of Nursing

6 August 2013, 8:22 am


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle has named Dr. Anne G. Perry as interim dean of the School of Nursing. Perry, RN, EdD, FAAN, is a professor of nursing and the School’s former associate dean for academic programs.

Perry earned a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Michigan, a master’s in nursing from Saint Louis University, and a doctorate in education from SIUE. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  She joined the SIUE faculty in 2004 while serving in both teaching and administrative roles. Prior to SIUE, Perry held academic appointments at SLU.

“I am honored and pleased to be appointed interim dean,” said Perry. “During the past 10 years under Dean Maurer’s guidance, the School made significant strides in advancing our mission.

“During my tenure as interim dean, we will continue to advance excellence in education as we move forward with preparing new programs, such as the post baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice (DNP) and an accelerated registered nurse to baccalaureate (RN-BSN).

“We will continue to collaborate with our clinical partners as this shapes the practice of nursing in the southern Illinois region. An emphasis on faculty scholarship will remain, so that students receive the best academic preparation.”

Perry is the author and co-author of textbooks and references in nursing fundamentals and clinical skills. “Basic Nursing,” “Fundamentals of Nursing,” “Clinical Nursing Skills and Techniques,” and “Nursing Intervention and Clinical Skills” are required reading in nursing schools in 13 countries and are translated into 10 languages.

As a clinician and researcher, Perry’s contributions to pulmonary nursing and nursing language development involve both research and policy-making. She has investigated and published findings regarding topics that include weaning from mechanical ventilation, uses of the therapeutic intervention scoring system, selected critical care topics and validating nursing diagnoses.

Dr. Laura Bernaix, professor and chair of primary care and health systems nursing in the School, assumes the role of interim associate dean for academic programs. Bernaix earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from SIUE and the University of Evansville, respectively. She achieved a doctorate from Saint Louis University.

More than 90 percent of Bernaix’s 26-year teaching career has been at SIUE. Most recently, Bernaix has five years of experience as chair of the largest department in the School.

“In Dr. Bernaix’s role as chair, she created an environment for faculty to succeed and achieve tenure,” said Perry. “She facilitated teaching assignments to support faculty during their doctoral course work. She also worked with faculty to be successful in didactic and clinical teaching.

“She expects excellence in her own endeavors. However, most important is her willingness and tireless efforts to assist young faculty to succeed.”

Bernaix has multiple peer-reviewed publications and serves as an editorial advisory board member to the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. She also is a member of the Research Advisory Panel for the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrical, and Neonatal Nursing (WHONN).

Photo: SIUE School of Nursing Interim Dean Ann Perry.

SIUE School of Nursing Dean Marcia Maurer Retires

5 August 2013, 10:00 am

Dr. Marcia Maurer, dean of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing since 2003, has retired effective July 15, after leading the School to preeminence during the last decade.

“Dean Maurer’s passion, energy, and demand for excellence positioned the School as a leader in nursing locally, regionally and statewide,” said Ann Boyle, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.  “She has been a highly respected campus leader during an era of immense growth at SIUE. She definitely will be missed.”

Maurer holds a doctorate in higher education administration along with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. She came to SIUE from Loyola (Ill.) University where she served as associate dean of nursing and graduate program director. With her 20 years of experience in higher education, national recognition for her expertise in perinatal medicine and a reputation for commitment to excellence, she joined SIUE with the goal of moving the School to higher levels of achievement and recognition.

As dean of the School of Nursing, Maurer’s vision and leadership set the trajectory for the School’s expansion and growth during the last 10 years. She partnered with many clinical agencies in the region to position the School as a leader in clinical nursing, shaping the quality of nursing practice in both Southern Illinois and metropolitan St. Louis. In 2004, the University was honored when Maurer was selected for a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship.

With her focus on growing the School’s reputation on all fronts, the number of doctorally prepared faculty in the School increased by 45 percent. Also under Maurer’s leadership, undergraduate and graduate enrollment in the School more than doubled to more than 850 students.

Several new programs were added, including the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program which began in 2006; the traditional bachelor of science in nursing program which was extended to the regional campus in Carbondale in 2010; and the addition of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program which began in fall 2011.

These new programs continue to remain highly competitive, selecting students with the highest qualifications as they fuel enrollment growth. Under Maurer’s leadership the School’s undergraduate and graduate programs, including the program in nurse anesthesia, have maintained full and complete accreditation status.

During the last semester, Maurer has worked on a special project for the provost. She completed substantial research and produced a comprehensive report on the concept of building a senior living community in SIUE’s University Park. The facility would feature a unique Health and Wellness Center staffed by SIUE faculty and students in health care and related disciplines.

During the last semester, Dr. Anne Perry served as interim dean and she will continue in that role this year. A search for a permanent Dean for the School of Nursing is anticipated to begin in 2014.

Photo: Retired SIUE School of Nursing Dean Marcia Maurer.

SIUE Graduates 500+ During August Commencement Ceremonies

3 August 2013, 12:00 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville celebrated more than 500 graduates today during its August commencement exercises. The summer ceremony took place this morning in the Vadalabene Center. Watch commencement on

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe along with Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle addressed the graduates.

Furst-Bowe complimented the grads for their achievement and impact. “You’ve come from a wide variety of backgrounds with a broad base of experience and interests,” she said. “And yet, you all have in common the fact that you’ve forever changed this University.”

The chancellor challenged the graduating class to maintain its values and focus. “Those who develop a long-term plan and fully engage in the opportunities presented along the way and who give back, you will experience the most success. As a part of this long-range view, and to help those following you, remember to support public higher education in the years to come.”

The student speaker was Alyssa Patton of Bethalto. She graduated with a bachelor’s in political science from the College of Arts and Sciences. Patton focused on the various surprises that a student experiences during one’s matriculation.

“Although we’ve had both good and bad surprises, we’ve all succeeded, triumphed and overcome,” Patton said. “We didn’t do it by ourselves as we’ve had the help of a teacher, family member, spouse or friend. There are difficult and delightful times ahead, but I challenge you to persevere. You just might surprise yourself!”

Kevin Nesselhauf, president-elect of the SIUE Alumni Association board of directors, welcomed all the graduates into the alumni association.

Photo:  SIUE student commencement speaker Alyssa Patton of Bethalto.

Noted Author and Speaker Ignites Educators to Motivate Minority Students

2 August 2013, 3:41 pm

Baruti Kafele, a best-selling author who calls himself “America’s Principal” and an advocate for the potential of black and Latino students, spoke to a group of Metro East educators yesterday at the request of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School.

“Educators must see themselves as the number one determinant to the success or failure of black and Latino students,” said Kafele, author of Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life and a former New Jersey high school principal.

Kafele held a day-long workshop on the Charter High School teachers’ first day of fall orientation. Also invited to the opening session were educators from the SIUE Upward Bound programs, the East St. Louis School District #189 and other area school districts. About 40 individuals were in attendance.

“We were elated to host Principal Kafele,” said Gina Washington, director of the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School. “His message is encouraging, applicable and invigorating. I saw him at a conference in Philadelphia, and it changed the way I viewed my students.”

Success, according to Kafele, begins with one’s view about black and Latino students. But in considering their gains in the classroom, people will typically mention the “Achievement Gap.”

“I can’t accept the ‘Achievement Gap,’ ” he said, “because it implies there is something wrong with those on the other side. We need to close the “Attitude Gap,” which is the gap between those who have the will to strive for excellence and those who do not.”

The problem, Kafele added, is not about reading, writing and math, particularly in providing support for black male students.

“A man is someone who has love, respect, appreciation and responsibility for himself,” said the motivational speaker. “They don’t have a reading and writing problem. They have a manhood problem.”

“It’s sad that many young black males don’t see themselves coming from centuries of greatness,” the author said, “because they haven’t been taught their history.”

Kafele said he incorporates the richness of black history into shaping and encouraging the young minds of his students. “I have to introduce them to themselves,” he said, “because many of them don’t know where they came from. No one has told them.”

Kafele also said when he was a high school principal, he enlisted men to serve as mentors to high school students.

But at the crux of what Kafele said he is trying to accomplish now, and is traveling from city to city to achieve, is to challenge and “fire up” the way educators think about black and Latino students.

“What’s wrong with these boys?” Kafele asked the crowd. “Nothing. What’s wrong with us?”

“America’s Principal” gave educators three criteria to teach students:

• A passion for children

• A passion for teaching and learning

• A passion for your own personal and professional development

“His perspective on the criteria for effective teaching is an important one to embrace,” said SIUE School of Education Dean Bette Bergeron. “Educators, who are passionate about who and what they teach, will give students the motivation to soar and achieve at the highest levels every day.”

After the presentation, Charter High School Language Arts teacher Colin Neumeyer, arrived at an assessment of himself.

“I have established a reputation here at the Charter High School to be all academics and discipline,” Neumeyer said. “I am sort of the no-nonsense teacher here.

“I want to now build on that foundation, employ Principal Kafele’s message about turning it back onto the students and making them want from themselves what I want from them.

“I am also going to expose the students to the rich African American literary perspective,” Neumeyer continued, “and provide them that part of their identity that Principal Kafele was talking about.”

School starts Monday, Aug. 12 for SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School students.

Kafele’s eventual successes in education did not come easily. The now sought-after speaker and author was a high school dropout. He quit school in the ninth grade, only to go back one year later and graduate with a 1.5 grade point average.

“I had a high school guidance counselor tell me I’d never amount to anything,” Kafele said. “He couldn’t dream of me being successful.”

After graduating from high school, he went back to the streets for five years but grew weary of his lack of direction and ambition. Kafele then went to Kean University in New Jersey, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in management science/marketing.

He later received a master’s in educational administration from New Jersey City University. It was in college that one professor told Kafele, much to his dismay, that he would be a public speaker. Another instructor said he was a good writer.

Key to Kafele’s transformation was his study of the life of Malcolm X. Kafele said he named himself and selected “Baruti,” which means teacher in the southern African language of Tswanna.

For more information on Kafele, visit


SIUE Holds Summer Commencement Exercises Saturday

2 August 2013, 10:10 am


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will celebrate more than 500 graduates during its August commencement exercises later this week. The summer ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 3, in the Vadalabene Center. Watch commencement on

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe along with Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle will address the graduates.

The student speaker will be Alyssa Patton of Bethalto. She is graduating with a bachelor’s in political science from the College of Arts and Sciences. Kevin Nesselhauf, president-elect of the SIUE Alumni Association board of directors, also will speak.

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