Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE
Institutional Header

SIUE News Archives December 2012

December 2012

Morris University Center Director Receives National Certification

21 December 2012, 12:21 pm

Joseph Pearson, director of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Morris University Center, is among a total of 81 individuals to earn the national designation of Certified Auxiliary Services Professional (CASP) from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS).

"It was important for me to get this distinction as I continue to strive for excellence in my profession, said Pearson. "The CASP certification also means national recognition for SIUE."

CASP is a 4-year certification for aspiring auxiliary service professionals. It is the only certification that demonstrates recipients have met a high standard of excellence, as defined by experts in the industry. The certification also shows that these professionals have the skills necessary to be a Director of Auxiliary Services, said Jim McDermott, business manager of SIUE's Morris University Center (MUC).

McDermott, a member of NACAS since 2000, is one of only 20 people whom the organization sanctioned to create and administer the CASP distinction.

"In 2004, NACAS thought about how we could elevate and recognize young professionals in our field," McDermott said. "Auxiliary service is everything you can do at a university that is outside of the classroom.

"A professor gets elevated from an assistant to associate to a full professor," McDermott continued. "We didn't have anything like that in auxiliary service, so we wanted to build the profession."

McDermott worked for several years with other NACAS members to design a methodology to advance and recognize auxiliary professionals. After extensive research, the group devised a test of 150 questions with a time allotment of three hours and deals with such topics as management, leadership, business operations, ethics, marketing, communications, student development, food services and more.

The first exam was given in 2011. McDermott and the other designers of the CASP certification were among the first to take and pass the test.

"Jim brought the test to my attention and encouraged me to look into the certification process," Pearson said. He was one of 28 people who passed the certification test that was given in the fall of 2012. Those making certification were notified in December.

Universities and colleges now look for professionals who are CASP certified, said McDermott, who is involved with NACAS as a regional board treasurer, national certification commissioner and national professional development committee member.

NACAS, founded in 1969 and headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., is a non-profit higher education association that serves auxiliary service professionals at colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, Lebanon, Australia, Ireland and Qatar. NACAS' membership includes: 370 four-year public institutions, 250 four-year private institutions, 150 community colleges and 30 historically black colleges and universities. For more information visit

SIUE Hospice Volunteer Program featured in St. Louis Beacon

19 December 2012, 3:11 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted one of the largest hospice volunteer training sessions on record in mid-November in the Morris University Center. Nearly 300 students signed on for the SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative. The St. Louis Beacon did a follow-up feature story last week. Read it here.

CMIS Student Receives Enterprise Leadership Award

18 December 2012, 4:48 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business named Joseph Randazzo as the recipient of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Student Organization Leader of the Semester Award. Randazzo is a senior computer management and information systems (CMIS) major.

The scholarship is awarded to student leaders who participate in events, show a willingness to take on responsibility, promote innovative ideas and effectively involve others in the organization.

Randazzo is the president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), and was nominated by the AITP Faculty Adviser Andrea Hester, Ph.D. Hester also is an SIUE assistant professor of CMIS.

Hester said she nominated Randazzo because of his dedication and leadership skills. "Upon being named president, Joe immediately went into action," said Hester. "Joe began planning activities before the fall semester began."

"I've always had this motivation to give others knowledge," Randazzo said. "And that is what I strived to do within AITP."

Enterprise Talent Acquisition Manager Steve Talbott noted that Randazzo met all criteria and demonstrated measured results in moving his organization forward.

"His enthusiasm and leadership served as a great example for others," Talbot

Senior CMIS major Joe Randazzo (left) accepts his award for Student Organization Leader of the Semester Award from Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Steve Talbott.

t said. "Ultimately, Joe's vision has given AITP and its future leadership a blueprint to ensure growth and success. We are honored to have the opportunity to recognize him."

Randazzo is proud of the award, adding, "I appreciate the professors who nominated me and the School of Business for giving me the opportunity. Enterprise has been a cornerstone in the SIUE community by giving students many opportunities, and I am thankful for getting this award."

Randazzo accepted his award at a Dec. 13 reception in the large conference room of the new Cougar Business Resource Center (CBRC). He received $100 and will be recognized with fellow recipients at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Student Organization Recognition Program to be held in April.

Enterprise, a primary supporter of the School of Business, has been sponsoring the Student Organization Leader of the Semester and the Student Organization of the Year Awards since 2006.

The SIUE School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review lists SIUE as one of the top 296 business schools in the U.S. and abroad for the seventh consecutive year. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in accounting, computer management and information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. More than 23,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business. For more information about the School of Business, click here

Nearly 1,000 Graduate during Furst-Bowe's First SIUE Commencements

15 December 2012, 4:00 pm

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe shakes hands with a graduate at the 2012 fall commencement ceremony.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe spoke at her first commencement ceremonies on campus today. She acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the nearly 1,000 graduates who earned their degrees and wished them well as they entered the next phase of their lives.

"At the end of this ceremony you will share alumni status with about 90,000 of your fellow Cougars," she said. "Remember to always set your priorities and your goals. Also, it really pays to get involved in your community. Take advantage of networking opportunities and give back."

Furst-Bowe provided the graduating class with more encouraging words that encompassed the institution's guiding principles, including its mission and vision, as well as the values of citizenship, excellence, integrity, openness and wisdom.

"I am excited to take part in my first commencement exercises at the University," she said. "It is always an honor to send the next generation of teachers, practitioners, scholars and professionals out into the world."

Supported by family and friends who filled the SIUE Vadalabene Center, the students during both ceremonies listened to the University's 2012 Great Teacher Award Recipient Dr. David Kaplan, an associate professor of physics.

The Great Teacher Award was established by the SIUE Alumni Association in 1970. It recognizes SIUE faculty who demonstrate excellence and innovation in providing an education to SIUE students, and whose interaction with those students has brought about a positive and often powerful impact. During both ceremonies Kaplan addressed the graduates and audiences, talking about his pride in the institution and its competent faculty.

During the 9 a.m. ceremony, which celebrated the matriculation of undergraduate and graduate candidates from the schools of Business, Education and Nursing, Matthew McElwee of Edwardsville, who earned a bachelor's in business administration, delivered a speech to his fellow graduates.

In his address he said, "Because I see before me the future educators of our children, the future caretakers of our sick or injured, and the future business leaders tasked with reorienting this economy, all of the sudden tackling the future doesn't seem quite so intimidating when I know that so many other competent individuals are working alongside me."

The afternoon ceremony celebrated the matriculation of undergraduate and graduate students from the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), as well as the School of Engineering. Elisabeth Knierim of Bethalto, who earned her bachelor's in chemistry education through CAS, spoke during that ceremony.

"SIUE itself is a culmination of experiences and people, forcing us to grow in one way or another," she said. She infused some humor in her speech, adding, "We have been able to work on our reflexes by defending ourselves from the geese, test our ability to pull all-nighters and see how much new information can fit into our brains at one time."

Based on feedback she received from other SIUE students, as well as graduates, Knierim referenced the University's aesthetic appeal, and its caring and highly competent faculty members as the top "positives" about the SIUE experience.

SIUE Chancellor Continues Care, Commitment to Hospital Sisters Health Systems

14 December 2012, 10:07 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe has been selected to serve on the Quality Committee of the Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) Board.

Furst-Bowe, who worked diligently for the HSHS while living in Wisconsin, has continued her commitment to the health care system by agreeing to the recommendation from the HSHS Board's Governance and Nominating Committee.

"I am grateful to continue to support a health care system that does so much good for the communities it serves," said Furst-Bowe. "The HSHS' mission, in part, is to assist those in need, to care for the most vulnerable and to provide high quality health care services to communities in Wisconsin and Illinois."

The HSHS sponsors 13 hospitals in 12 communities in Illinois and Wisconsin, with an integrated network of more than 2,350 physicians. The health care system has served 3 million people in Illinois and Wisconsin. HSHS is both directed by its history in the objective of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis and its commitment to modern best practices.

HSHS President and CEO Mary Starmann-Harrison thanked Furst-Bowe for her ongoing support. "I express appreciation for your willingness to serve," said Starmann-Harrison, "and for the gifts that you will offer to support our governance as Hospital Sisters Health Systems grows and develops in this dynamic and changing healthcare environment."

SIUE School of Business Students Present Project Management Video

13 December 2012, 4:57 pm

Starring in a video about the future of project management were students from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's School of Business.

The students presented the 10-minute video Nov. 16 to more than 400 professionals at the Project Management (PM) Symposium in SIUE's Morris University Center. Graduate students of the CMIS 540 class produced the video that discussed current topics in project management.

Students created the video as part of their project for their class, Project Management Fundamentals and Best Practices, taught by Jo Ellen Moore, professor of Computer Management and Information Systems.

From beginning to end, the video is created, edited, produced and circulated by students. The students' "client" was Director of Executive Education Sandra Hindelang. "I was delighted with the finished product," said Hindelang. "It was simply astounding that a group of 30 individuals with no real experience in project management and video production could put together, in such a short time, a sophisticated performance with high level production values."

Moore said her main role was on the sidelines acting as the project management office. "I teach them Project Management fundamentals, best practices to employ, and provide Project Management templates and advice," said Moore. "The success or failure of the project is in the students' hands."

Scott Loehring felt a little pressure as he took on the role of project manager for the group. "There is always pressure when you take on a visible role within a project, and this was no different," said Loehring. "However, I had a great support system that included Dr. Moore, our Project Analyst Ahmed Abulkhair and our talented team members. I never felt alone while undertaking this role."

Designed to simulate the " Today's Professionals"segment of NBC's The Today Show, the video discusses the future of project management, skill sets needed in the field, motivational factors and the importance of work-life balance.

In order to measure the success of the project, a delivery and evaluation team was created. The team sent out an electronic survey to all participants present at the symposium.

"The feedback we received from symposium attendees suggests that the topics we covered were highly relevant to working projects in the current employment climate," said Russell Blaine, Ph.D., team leader of delivery and evaluation.

Moore said the students would still learn Project Management skills regardless of the success of the project. "Frankly, from a teaching perspective, I can help them learn just as much from an unsuccessful project as I can a successful one," she said. "It's just that a successful project like this one is a much more pleasant experience for the students."

While the class is part of the Project Management program offered through the MBA and M.S. CMIS graduate programs, the School of Business recently changed its curriculum requiring all undergraduate business majors to take a class in managing group projects. This new class MGMT 331 addresses both the hard skills and soft skills that contribute to project success.

To see the video, click here.

The SIUE School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review lists SIUE as one of the top 296 business schools in the U.S. and abroad for the seventh consecutive year. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in accounting, computer management and information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. More than 23,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business. For more information, visit the School of Business.

Longest Tenured SIUE Faculty Member Donates to CAS

13 December 2012, 2:32 pm

Dr. Ralph Axtell (left) with SIUE Dean of College of Arts & Sciences Aldemaro Romero.

Axtell Donates to SIUE Video

Dr. Ralph W. Axtell presented a $100,000 check today to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Aldemaro Romero, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). A professor of Biological Sciences, Axtell has the longest continuous record of service to SIUE of any faculty member.

The presentation was made on the first floor lobby of the Science Building on campus. Associate Professor Paul Brunkow, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, also participated.

"This gift will go as an endowment to the SIUE Foundation," Axtell said. "The proceeds will be available to the SIUE Department of Biological Sciences henceforth. It is hoped that both the current faculty and our past students can and will contribute to this endowment as they see fit."

"Dr. Axtell is one of SIUE's original biological sciences faculty," Romero said. "Ralph is a faculty member who was here not only during the establishment of the current campus, but also the design and construction of the current science lab complex. Up until recently, Ralph's work schedule was typically seven days a week from three in the afternoon to three in the morning - evidence that Ralph is a highly dedicated faculty member!

"In the latest CAS book, "After the Academy," one can read Dr. Axtell's contribution to SIUE's unique history. This gift will carry on his legacy at SIUE for generations of future students."

The donation will provide an endowment to support teaching and research activities in the ecology and organismal biology teaching laboratory," Brunkow said. "In particular, it will enhance teaching collections for the labs. Our wide range of biological materials is stored in various locations and with varying levels of quality.

"In addition to the endowment enhancing, formalizing and maintaining the pedagogical and research value of our collections, we now will have a central location for the collection with proper environmental controls and housing. As a result, students will benefit through enhanced learning of evolutionary biology, comparative anatomy, plant and animal systematics and behavior, and physiology."

A Norfolk, Neb., native, Axtell joined the SIU biology faculty in 1960 at the Shurtleff College campus in Alton. He served as the Biology Department faculty chair from 1965 to '67.

After moving to the new Edwardsville campus in 1965, he became general herpetology editor in 1968 for the American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists for the journal COPEIA and continued in that position until 1972.

Axtell was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1968. He became president of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR) in 1983.

He has published approximately 100 illustrations, maps and peer reviewed papers in which eight new species or subspecies were described. In 2006, a Texas and Mexican lizard, Sceloporus poinsettii axtelli was named in his honor by Robert G. Webb.

A World War II veteran, Axtell earned a bachelor's in 1953, a master's in 1954 and a doctorate in 1958, all from the University of Texas at Austin.

College of Arts and Sciences: As the foundation of SIUE's exceptional liberal education, the College of Arts and Sciences offers students access to more than 50 accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Faculty help students explore diversity of ideas, experiences and people while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of a global society. Through study abroad and service-learning programs, SIUE students are better prepared to help our region's businesses succeed and become leaders in our communities.

SIU BOT Approves SIUE Electrical, ITS and Vadalabene Renovations

13 December 2012, 2:20 pm

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today at its regularly scheduled meeting on the Carbondale campus approved the replacement and upgrading of the electric distribution system on the Edwardsville campus. The project will improve system reliability, operations and capacity. The cost is expected to be $11 million and will be funded by facilities fees.

In September, the Board approved the development of designs and cost estimates to replace and upgrade certain components of SIUE's electric distribution system. Plans were to look at improving reliability, operations and capacity to support the campus facilities master plan.

During the planning process, three alternatives were analyzed: 1) to make no initial system replacements or upgrades; 2) to complete only selective replacements and upgrades; 3) to complete replacement of aged components and upgrades.

Analyzing life-cycle costs over 15- and 30-year periods found that a complete replacement and upgrade of system components had a lower overall cost than performing no initial work and a comparable cost to a project for selective replacements and upgrades.

The project will be accomplished in multiple phases as funding is available and to coordinate power outages with the academic schedule. A Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process selected BRiC Partnership to prepare the final design and bid documents for the replacement work. An engineer, independent of the consulting architect, will provide design and document review of the plans and specifications on behalf of the Board prior to bidding.

The Board also approved development of plans and cost estimates to renovate the Information Technology Services computer room in Dunham Hall on the SIUE campus. The project cost will be finalized once a comprehensive estimate is determined. Funding is expected to be from ITS fees and University operating funds.

Plans will examine designs and costs to modify mechanical and electrical systems by replacing the heat exchangers, reconfiguring or replacing server racks, and replacing the electrical distribution and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in the room. The current room configuration was designed for the mainframe which was decommissioned in 2009.

SIUE will use its on-call engineering firm, BRiC Partnership, to help determine the extent of the work to be done and the estimated cost. That firm was selected using the Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process. Final project and budget approval and award of contracts will require further Board action.

The Board also approved development of plans and cost estimates to expand the Vadalabene Center Student Fitness Center weight room and to renovate the VC's south entrance. The project cost will be finalized once a comprehensive estimate is determined. Funding is anticipated from student fitness center fees and University plant funds.

Plans will look at designs and costs to construct an addition to the free-weight room with an expansion of approximately 4,000 square feet.

The remodeling of the VC's south entrance at the point where the Student Fitness Center connects to the VC and the adjacent area of expansion will be required. A Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process will be used to select an architect consultant for the project. The consultant will help determine the extent and the estimated cost of the work. Final project and budget approval and award of contracts will require further Board action.

CMIS Alumni Visit Campus to Speak to Students

12 December 2012, 4:26 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's School of Business brought back alumni to talk to students Thursday, Nov. 27. Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Computer Management and Information Systems (CMIS) Anne Powell invited alumni to speak to her CMIS 270 students about the class and how it relates to their future jobs.

With four alumni in attendance, two main themes were discussed: The importance of base knowledge and internships.

Junior CMIS major Asiah Partee of Belleville said the alumni reassured her that SIUE is preparing the students for the workforce. "Everything that we go over in class is an important tool that everyone going into the CMIS field will need to know," she said. "I learned that if you have base knowledge then you will be more receptive to learning new things and adapting to new environments."

Noah McCloud, of BJC Healthcare, who graduated in 2005, spoke to the students reassuring them that the time and money they spent on their education was worth it, and the networking opportunities they have been exposed to are an invaluable asset. "It's good for them to see that SIUE alumni are abundant in the professional world, and all of the effort in their studies at SIUE is worth it," he said.

Powell brought alumni back to speak to her students because of feedback she received from previous students. "One piece of feedback was that several students indicated they would like a guest speaker in CMIS 270 to talk about the course's relevance to what they do on a day-to-day basis," she said.

While the speakers were brought back to help the students, McCloud said it is good for the alumni, too. "No question it's beneficial to me," said McCloud. "Students bring a great new set of ideas, culture and experience. They ask thoughtful questions due to their fresh perspectives and are the heartbeat of the future of IS and business, in general. I hope the students enjoy the conversations as much as I do."

"I thought it went quite well," Powell said of having speakers visit her class. " One of the guest speakers actually brought in his work from CMIS 270 from nine years ago."

The SIUE School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review lists SIUE as one of the top 296 business schools in the U.S. and abroad. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in accounting, computer management and information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. More than 20,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business. For more information about the School of Business, visit:

SIUE and Smartsheet Combine to Teach Effective Project Management Skills

12 December 2012, 3:16 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is teaming with Smartsheet to ensure its students have a competitive advantage when entering the workforce.

College graduates entering the business world must have management skills when it comes to group projects. Their ability to define scope, create breakdown schedules and use Gantt charts need to merge with their ability to handle conflict, empower teams and influence behavior to achieve desired outcomes. Potential employees with these demonstrated skills are better suited fundamentally for successful careers.

SIUE's School of Business offers new coursework in its curriculum that combines project management theory with the use of cloud technology from Smartsheet's online collaboration tool was chosen by the faculty over more traditional project management software like Microsoft Project and has proven critical to the success of the program.

"Teaching students how to be effective managers of group projects is becoming a core component of university business curriculums," said Mary Sue Love, a course coordinator and associate professor for the SIUE School of Business. "By introducing students to Smartsheet, not only will they have real project management experience under their belts, they'll have first-hand knowledge of how popular cloud tools can be used to facilitate discussion, collaboration, transparency and accountability. In today's ever-changing business landscape, this unique skill set will help SIUE graduates stand out in their job searches."

While the course Managing Group Projects (MGMT 331) is required for all 1,200 business students at SIUE, it's also become a popular elective throughout the university. "Because Smartsheet is easy to use and flexible enough to support a wide range of group projects and collaboration initiatives, we're seeing it take hold with our students and also pull in students from other departments," said Katie Robberson, an instructor who teaches the course. Once students have completed the course, they have free access to Smartsheet through graduation from SIUE.

"As an employer continually looking for exceptional talent, I wholeheartedly agree that preparing the next generation of business professionals to collaborate effectively in groups is invaluable," said Mark Mader, CEO and President of Smartsheet. "Using our collaboration platform as the foundational technology for students to grasp the hard and soft skills necessary to succeed as a professional is a great testament to the utility of Smartsheet in the classroom, and the workplace."

More than 21,000 organizations in over 100 countries license Smartsheet's cloud-based collaborative work platform to organize, plan and execute a broad spectrum of projects and processes ranging from marketing campaigns to product launches, business operations, sales pipelines, strategic planning and HR initiatives. Smartsheet is deployed in a broad range of customer environments, from large enterprises including HomeAway, DHL, Toshiba, ESPN, Sony Music, and MetLife to small and medium-sized companies such as Motion Federal Credit Union and Cypress Grove Chevre.

About Smartsheet
Smartsheet, a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) company, offers businesses an intuitive online collaboration tool. The ease of use of the familiar spreadsheet-like interface, coupled with file sharing, work automation and Gantt chart features have made it a popular and highly functional online collaboration tool for teams. Organizations worldwide rely on Smartsheet to help manage their work. Customers include construction companies, consulting firms, schools and universities, utility firms, government entities, healthcare organizations, high-tech firms, non-profits, manufacturing and law firms, among others. Smartsheet also offers pre-built templates and integrations with leading cloud apps including Google Drive, Box and Salesforce to ensure users are up and running quickly. Visit for more details.

About SIUE School of Business

The SIUE School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review lists SIUE as one of the top 296 business schools in the U.S. and abroad. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in accounting, computer management and information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. More than 20,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business. For more information about the School of Business, visit:

Furst-Bowe Provides Leadership Tidbits at Ed-Glen Chamber of Commerce

11 December 2012, 3:45 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe provided thoughts on leadership today at the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce "Breakfast with a Leader" event at Birger Hall on the SIUE campus. Nearly 30 individuals, mostly businesspersons under 40 years of age, attended the event sponsored by the Young Professionals Group (YPG).

Fresh from serving as the keynote speaker last week at the Zairi Institute conference on competing in the digital economy, Furst-Bowe returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and shared insights from her more than 20-year career in higher education.

Furst-Bowe had served as provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs since 2005 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis. She joined the UWS faculty in 1990 and progressed through the administrative ranks to become second in command.

Furst-Bowe saw all the right elements come together at SIUE when the opportunity arose upon the retirement of her predecessor, Dr. Vaughn Vandegrift, this past spring.

"We have such a beautiful campus, and we're so close to St. Louis," she said. "I got such a welcoming feeling when I interviewed, and I continue to sense that. There is great support from the community, which views the University as an asset, which isn't necessarily the case everywhere."

Furst-Bowe hit the highlights of what she believes young professionals need to focus upon. "You need to set priorities and set goals as to what's next in your career path," she said. "Having a mentor is a key ingredient and getting involved in your community is so important as you build your network."

Furst-Bowe fully understands the difficulty of striking the elusive balance of a career and a family life. "I'm probably not the best example of that, because my husband and I have always had our careers," she said. "It's different for each individual, and you need to decide whether moving every 3-to-5 years is something that you want to do."

"It's a myth that you can have it all," Furst-Bowe mused. "Well, maybe you can have it all, but just not all at the same time!" She advised joining a few, select organizations that you're passionate about to avoid stretching oneself too thin.

Furst-Bowe's greatest challenge in transitioning into the chancellor's seat at SIUE has been the learning curve. "I went from a situation where I knew everyone in the room to not knowing anyone when you sit down at the table," she said. "That's a major challenge, so building relationships is key."

Despite its growing enrollment and safe, attractive campus, SIUE still has catching up to do according to Furst-Bowe. "As an institution, we are behind in online education," she said. "I routinely receive feedback from people who want to earn a master's degree, but don't necessarily have the time or ability to get to campus. Online education also opens the door to more international opportunities."

"Managing change is difficult," Furst-Bowe said. "As you propose new or different initiatives, you hear from those who 'have always done it that way.' So in decision-making, I get down to what is best for our students.

"Our most important issues right now are the recruitment and retention of students while continuing to supply a high quality education."

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe.

SIUE CAS Dean Romero Publishes 15th Book

11 December 2012, 12:48 pm

SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aldemaro Romero published his 15th book, titled "New Approaches to the Study of Marine Mammals."

The book, which he co-edited with long-time colleague Edward Keith (NOVA Oceanographic Institute,) is a collection of articles documenting modern and cross-disciplinary methods for the study of marine mammals. Keith passed away suddenly during the completion of the work.

The ten chapter volume has a strong environmental component, with many of the articles touching on how human activities are affecting aquatic life, and have done so over time. The contributing authors were chosen for their cross-disciplinary approaches to research which provide new insight into well documented problems.

IERC & CCSR Report on Challenges Districts to Face Implementing Teacher Evaluation Law

10 December 2012, 3:17 pm

Illinois school districts are expected to face numerous challenges when implementing Illinois' new teacher evaluation guidelines, according to a new report from the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) and the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR).

The CCSR, in collaboration with the IERC, located at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, released a study today highlighting strategies some districts are using to overcome obstacles anticipated from the 2010 teacher evaluation law. Known as the Performance Evaluation Reform Act, the law requires administrators and union officials in school districts across the state to agree by 2016 on plans for stricter teacher evaluation procedures that include using student academic progress as one of several teacher performance indicators.

"These new systems have a ton of potential to not only produce more accurate results, but also to improve instruction in the classroom, and ultimately, student achievement," said Brad White, the lead author of the study and a senior researcher with the IERC. "However, it's going to take a lot of hard work and cooperation to make sure that they are well-designed and thoughtfully implemented so they can fulfill this potential."

The report was the result of collaboration among researchers at the CCSR with the IERC. According to the report, researchers examined the teacher evaluation systems in select Illinois school districts that already had implemented some components of the new law.

Using interviews with teachers, principals and administrators in those districts, researchers were able to determine that while the evaluation reforms in place were viewed as a significant upgrade over previous practices, they presented several major challenges. Common problem areas included promoting deeper understanding and more widespread acceptance of these systems, improving the accuracy and usefulness of the performance ratings, reducing the burdens on school principals, and finding appropriate ways to incorporate student achievement gains into teacher evaluation scores.

The intent of the study is to assist other school districts across the state in planning new evaluation systems. The report describes numerous practical strategies that case study districts employed to overcome obstacles.

The full report and a summary are available for review on the IERC website at

Dr. Morgan Named Associate Dean for Research

10 December 2012, 2:15 pm

Dr. Susan Morgan was named the new associate dean for research in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Graduate School on Wednesday. After serving as the acting associate dean for research since last year, Morgan was appointed by Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Jerry Weinberg.

"As she steps into this office, Dr. Morgan brings with her a passion for interdisciplinary collaboration and effective team-building, a commitment to raising the profile of SIUE scholarship and to increasing SIUE competitiveness with external agencies," Weinberg said.

Morgan started her career at SIUE in the School of Engineering's Department of Civil Engineering in 1996. During her tenure, she has received the National Society of Professional Engineers' Young Engineer of the Year Award and the Society of Women Engineers St. Louis Distinguished New Engineer Award, both in 2001. Her hard work has resulted and led to her oversight of 16 internal and 19 external grant projects, including a major National Science Foundation institutional grant supporting the recruitment of students into engineering.

Weinberg continued that Morgan has proved herself an avid researcher and collaborator by working with colleagues from other institutions and departments. Morgan also has worked to establish teams such as the St. Louis metropolitan group GREEN (Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network). She left the School of Engineering, where she was the graduate program director and then chair of civil engineering to take on the role of acting associate dean last year.

"I'm excited by the opportunity to continue working with the exceptional ORP staff as well as outstanding faculty and staff from across SIUE," Morgan said. "I look forward to assisting with building SIUE's scholarly infrastructure, as well as developing and implementing exciting projects that will have local, regional, national and international impact."

The Gardens at SIUE Exhibit Shines Light on Disappearing Trees

10 December 2012, 1:28 pm

Giant Panda or Wollemi Pine: Which one is more endangered in the wild? The answer may be surprising. There are less than 100 mature Wollemi pines in the wild compared to 2,500 mature wild giant pandas.

"Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat," a new traveling exhibit in The Gardens at SIUE this winter, seeks to increase public awareness of the precarious future of the world's endangered trees. Jane Drake, director of The Gardens, invites visitors to embark upon a global journey exploring a series of compelling tree stories from around the world. Each story reflects the exhibit's primary theme - the need to save endangered trees in order for future generations to experience their numerous benefits, including medicinal, agricultural, ecological and aesthetic.

Here are two examples of endangered trees and their benefits:

- Pacific Yew: Thousands of people are alive today because of a chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, which originally derived from a chemical in the Pacific Yew ( Taxus brevifolia). It is used for breast, ovarian and lung cancer treatment.

- Wild Apple: The Wild Apple ( Malus sieversii) is the primary ancestor of domesticated apples. Wild Apple is more genetically diverse than the ones we eat, which are primarily cloned by grafting and tissue culture. The Wild Apple can be used to breed better, disease-resistant apples.

"Vanishing Acts" calls attention to the many threats facing trees today, including unsustainable harvesting, land-use changes, invasive species, climate change and pollution. The exhibit acknowledges the often complex circumstances in which immediate human needs compete with long-term sustainability.

The exhibit demonstrates graphically that ecosystems are shaped by cause and effect. For example, the disappearance of an individual tree can endanger the living conditions for surrounding plants, animals and insects. Protecting trees helps promote the health of their ecosystems, because a more diverse group of plants, animals, and insects can respond to changes better than a place where there is less biological diversity.

Exhibit panels include world maps showing where the trees live and engaging stories about vital conservation efforts. Viewers will find simple, specific action steps to promote tree conservation efforts, including planting trees, supporting organizations that plant and protect trees, and sharing what they've learned with others.

The exhibit is funded by The Morton Arboretum and the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services, Museums for America Grant Program. The Gardens at SIUE will host the self-guided exhibit until April. Trails are open daily to the public from dawn to dusk.

The Gardens at SIUE is a Missouri Botanical Gardens Signature Garden comprised of existing woodlands, a pond, grasslands and an arboretum on a lush and rolling 35-acre site. The Gardens is a living laboratory dedicated to supporting the educational and research mission of the University. For more information, contact Jane Drake at (618) 650-3788 or

An exhibit panel from the "Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat" self-guided tour at The Gardens at SIUE.

School of Pharmacy Faculty Selected to Broaden, Diversify Leadership Skills

7 December 2012, 1:44 pm

Lakesha Butler, clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is passionate about improving the level of patient care for underrepresented minorities. It is one reason that she was an excellent candidate to participate in the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellows Program, according to Dr. Gireesh Gupchup, dean of SIUE's School of Pharmacy (SOP).

"She also enjoys mentoring underrepresented minority students," said Gupchup, who nominated Butler. "The St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellows Program would allow her to channel that passion and lead change in the pharmacy profession."

Butler is one of 66 people, representing 39 organizations in the bi-state area, who were chosen to participate in the popular yearlong program, said Valerie Patton, vice president of Economic Inclusion and executive director of the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative.

"The program will be a good fit to develop my leadership skills, to build relationships with other professional minorities in the St. Louis region and to learn strategies to engage SIUE in more expansive diversity initiatives," Butler said. Currently, she teaches in the SOP and has coordinated the School's Summer Diversity Camp for the past several years and serves as faculty advisor to the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA).

Butler is also a clinical pharmacist at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in St. Charles. The free clinic serves uninsured residents of St. Charles County. "I work alongside physicians and nurse practitioners, and they depend on me for medication management and diabetes education for their patients," said the clinical pharmacist.

SIUE's School of Pharmacy is committed to improving the health of minority. "We are just beginning our efforts as a new school and hope that some of our programs, such as the Summer Diversity Camp, will eventually help in this process," said Gupchup.

Butler is expecting that the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellows Program will help empower her to be a better educator and pharmacist.

The St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative is a 12-year-old project that was funded by the Civic Progress, which consisted of 30 large companies and employers in the St. Louis region, according to Patton. The Initiative became part of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association on Oct. 1.

"The Initiative works on strategies, solutions and programs in the area of work force diversity and inclusion through training and consulting," Patton said. "The program also addresses the interests and challenges of professionals of color as they work to develop and advance their careers."

For more information, visit St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative.

SIUE Mourns Passing of Matthew Felts

7 December 2012, 1:05 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville community today is mourning the death of undergraduate student Matthew Felts, who died Wednesday night after a life-long struggle with a heart condition. The 23-year-old Felts was a heart transplant recipient in 2006.

Felts was a senior psychology major in the SIUE School of Education, and a native of Springfield, Ill. He is the son of Jerry and Rhonda Felts, and he was engaged to Christine Miller. He was scheduled to walk at commencement on Dec. 15.

"Our entire SIUE community sends its condolences to Matthew's family and friends as this tragedy represents a great loss for our University," said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. "We know that Matthew will be missed by everyone with whom he interacted on campus."

The family will receive friends for a memorial gathering from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. A memorial ceremony is set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the same location.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois, 640 N. LaSalle, Suite 280, Chicago, IL 60610 or Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, Attn: Gwendolyn Blakemore, 425 Spring Lake Dr., Itasca, IL 60143.

SIUE's Dennis Mares Interviewed on KMOV-TV

7 December 2012, 12:15 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies Dennis Mares was interviewed Wednesday by KMOV-TV reporter Ray Preston.

Mares provides research for The WAVE program, an effective crime-fighting technique utilized in the Metro East, as it continues to search for funding. See the interview here.

It is hoped that Mares' work will supply the information to demonstrate the program's success.

MUC Hosts 41st Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair at SIUE

6 December 2012, 4:03 pm

The Morris University Center hosted its 41st Annual Arts & Crafts Fair at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus. The fair was held Wednesday and Thursday in the MUC.

More than 30 different vendors displayed their crafts for sale. Items ranged from Christmas ornaments to jewelry of all kinds, to hand carved wooden items, to handmade baskets, to scarves and hats and more.

One of the craft vendors included Roger Pfalzgras of Staunton (pictured above), who makes guitars out of cigar boxes.

National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Welcomes New Members

6 December 2012, 2:16 pm

Eight University Housing residents at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville were inducted into the Red Storm Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). The induction ceremony occurred Dec. 2 in Evergreen Hall.

The following University Housing residents and SIUE students, all from Illinois, were inducted into the 2012-2013 Red Storm Chapter: Danielle Birk and Ashleigh Tinley, both of Belleville; Ke'Asha Jones of Kankakee, Beau Butzirus of Bloomington, Stephanie Sandifer of Edwardsville, Priscilla Perez of Tinley Park, Mitchell Huseman of Campbell Hill, and Amanda Hyett of Dalton City.

National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) is the recognition branch of the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH). NRHH inductees are those who are among the top 1 percent of residence hall leaders, have a minimum accumulative 2.5 grade point average and reside in housing for at least two semesters prior to the time of selection. Inductees are also required to reside in housing during the semester of selection, be a non-professional contract holding student and exhibit outstanding leadership and service in SIUE University Housing.

Nate Pauley, NRHH alumnus and Evergreen Hall community director, was the keynote speaker at the induction ceremony. Pauley spoke about his experiences as a NRHH member and how it impacted his career and personal development.

Following the event, NRHH Advisor Vicky Dean said: "We are excited to welcome our newest members. Our hope is that all of our members, will find their involvement in NRHH to be a powerful experience and a positive impact on their leadership skills."

Each year, the Red Storm Chapter also inducts honorary members. Honorary members are those who, while not meeting the requirements of an active member, have contributed significantly to University Housing or NRHH. This fall, the Red Storm Chapter inducted Jackie McCauley, Cougar Village community director and Officer Lora Johnson of the SIUE Police Department as honorary members. Since 2006, approximately 30 faculty and staff have been inducted as honorary members. Also since 2006, more than 120 SIUE University Housing residents have been inducted into the NRHH.

For more information on NRHH, contact Vicky Dean, NRHH advisor and assistant director for Residential Education at or (618) 650-5296.

Grammy Award Winning Soprano Captivates SIUE Crowd

4 December 2012, 5:04 pm

The stunning vocals of famed Grammy Award winning soprano Christine Brewer filled the Meridian Ballroom at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Monday evening.

Clad in an elegant red gown, Brewer hushed the crowd of nearly 300 people with a poignant voice that reflected an array of emotions with unmatched eloquence and fire.

"I didn't know things like this existed on campus," said Jeff Kypta of Collinsville. Kypta is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering. He plans to attend more of the campus musical opportunities made available to students.

"I wanted to come here tonight to see what she is all about," said Tiffany Stang of Mount Olive. Stang, a freshman majoring in English, attended the event with a friend. She said she enjoys the programs and activities, like Monday's concert, that are made available to students.

During her performance, Brewer moved flawlessly from work to work, with masterful storytelling through myriad emotions expressed on stage. Through contemplation to sadness to joy, Brewer captivated the audience of students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

"This was a great opportunity for our campus to hear a famous opera singer," said Steve Sperotto, director of the Kimmel Leadership Center. "We are pleased that the Singers Society sponsored the event with funding support from Student Government."

Alice Nelson, a highly sought after vocal coach and accompanist, as well as a world performer, provided the accompaniment. Nelson is a member of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis staff.

Brewer is a Grand Tower, Ill., native who started out as a music teacher before beginning her illustrious career with the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus. Identified as one of the top 20 sopranos of all time by BBC Music, she delivered a dazzling performance and spoke honestly with the crowd about her experiences as a performer. The opera singer and recording artist has traveled the globe, performing in such venues as the famed New York Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House.

She also has sung with the with the philharmonics of New York and Los Angeles, and the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas. In Europe, the soprano counts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Orchestre de Paris and Toulouse Orchestra as regular partners.

Brewer has made appearances with the Malaysia Philharmonic, New World Symphony and Toronto Symphony. She also has been invited to perform for the re-opening of Covent Garden with Plácido Domingo for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Brewer has worked with notable conductors of the world, including Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Valery Gergiev, Robert Shaw and many more. Last night's performance included some works of Richard Wagner delivered in German, early works of Aaron Copeland and a work titled "For the Color of My Mother," which was a poem written by her daughter, Elisabeth. Brewer also delivered a collection of playful Christmas songs to a delighted audience.

To pass along her love of opera to the future generations, Brewer introduced "Opera-tunities" to the sixth grade students of Marissa Elementary School in Marissa, Ill., where she once taught.

Brewer will host a masterclass with sopranos from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Dunham Hall Choir Room. The masterclass is free and open to the public.

SIUE Pharmacy Professor's Longstanding Work Earns Innovative Award

3 December 2012, 3:15 pm

Getting pharmacists involved in patient care is the wave of the future. It is something Scott Bergman, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy associate professor, has been doing for more than five years. Bergman's body of work earned the Excellence in Innovation award, presented by the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA).

"I'm passionate about moving the profession of pharmacy forward, because I know that pharmacists can make such an impact on patient's lives," said Bergman. "Today, more medicines are available, and doctors need more help with medication therapy management."

Specifically, Bergman has been working to train pharmacists across the state in testing patients for influenza, interpreting results and initiating treatment plans. Bergman's research has shown that patients get treated faster for the flu if they are tested in a pharmacy, rather than waiting to see a doctor.

Bergman, an IPhA member, has been working with a total of seven community pharmacies in the Metro East, Central, Southern and Northern portions of Illinois.

"These pharmacies that volunteered to participate are more progressive and want to get involved in patient care instead of just dispensing medicine," said Bergman, who conducts pharmacy practice work in Springfield.

Bergman's practice is a multi-disciplinary one, where he works with the SIU School of Medicine and Infectious Diseases division. For the past six years, Bergman has worked at Memorial Medical Center and St. John's Hospital, both in Springfield, and has been an SIUE School of Pharmacy (SOP) faculty member. About 10 percent of his time is spent in the classroom.

"I see the patients at their bedside when they are hospitalized," Bergman said. "I recommend antibiotics, doses to physicians and check for drug interactions."

Bergman was the first SOP faculty member to work with doctors at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

"We're all working together to improve patient care," Bergman said. "But I'm grateful for this Excellence in Innovation award as it is recognition for all the hard work I've put into advancing the profession of pharmacy in central and southern Illinois."

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff foursquareoff socialoff