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SIUE News Archives December 2013

December 2013

SIUE Mourns Passing of CAS’ Alan Shiller

29 December 2013, 12:15 pm

Shiller, Alan

Alan Shiller, of O’Fallon, Mo., and an instructor in the Department of Speech Communication within SIUE’s College of Arts and Sciences, died Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, of natural causes. He was 62.

For more than 30 years, Shiller taught speech communication courses at the university level. He earned a bachelor’s from Emerson College in Boston. After earning a master’s at Purdue University, he accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Georgia. In 1980, he accepted an offer as an assistant professor at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Mo.

Schiller joined the SIUE faculty in 1999 teaching Oral Argumentation Skills, Nonverbal Communication, Interviewing, Strategies for Teaching Speech, Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking. He received SIUE’s 2001 Outstanding Professor of the Year award.

Arrangements are being managed by The Baue Funeral and Memorial Center in St. Charles, Mo. Visitation at Baue will be held 4-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. Funeral service at Baue will be noon, Thursday, Jan. 2.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the following organizations: Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership of Missouri; 974 Shadow Pine Dr., Fenton, MO, 63026; or the Adrienne Arsht Ailey Camp Miami Fund; 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL, 33132.

For a complete obituary, see the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Mandela Honored at EBR Writers Club Kwanzaa Celebration

20 December 2013, 2:01 pm

Kwanzaa Celebration Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club East St. Louis 12-17-13

During the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club’s 27th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration Dec. 17 at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus (ESLHEC), Nelson Mandela was remembered in poetry, visual presentations and by someone who visited him in prison.

The free event was hosted by Dr. Eugene B. Redmond, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville emeritus professor and co-founder of the Writers Club with Sherman L. Fowler and Darlene Roy (president).

“I met Mandela in jail in 1977 when four of us went to visit him,” said 78-year-old Reginald Petty, of East St. Louis. Petty served as a director of the U.S. Peace Corps from 1966-83. He also was the national director of the Peace Corps for four African countries: Kenya, Burkina Faso, Swazi Land and Senegal.

“My impression was that he had a lot more spirit and drive than I thought someone would have in his position,” Petty said. “At the time, I was working with the African National Conference (ANC) and Winnie (Mandela).”

All participants in the Kwanzaa program helped audience members to “collaborate with ancestors, recognize the importance of Kwanzaa and instill its valuable principles,” said Redmond.

The highlight of the evening was the Kwansaba Candle-Lighting Ritual, performed by the Soular Systems Ensemble, which included Susan “Spit-Fire” Lively, Roy, Roscoe “Ros” Crenshaw, Jaye P. Willis, Troy Swanson, Charlois Lumpkin (Mali Newman) and Redmond. Also on program was Sylvester “Sunshine” Lee’s drum troupe and dance company, the Community Performance Ensemble.

According to the Official Kwanzaa Website:

“Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. Developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community, but also serve to reinforce and enhance them.”

The holiday is celebrated from Dec. 26-Jan.1.

The Seven Principles and the poets lighting the corresponding candle and reading a kwansaba included:

Umoja (Unity) – Redmond

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) – Swanson

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) – Roy

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) – Lumpkin

Nia (Purpose) – Crenshaw

Kuumba (Creativity) – Lively

Imani (Faith) – Willis


Lumpkin’s kwansaba follows:

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

We lend our hearts to share common

cause. We open our minds to create

worlds where none before existed, pooling our

assets to self finance dreams. We stand

united behind our vision of a co-op

economy to build wealth, sustain health, and

ensure the defense of the village nation.

The kwansaba, a poetic form invented by the EBR Writers Club in 1995, consists of seven lines of seven words each with no word containing more than seven letters. Exceptions to the seven-letter rule are proper nouns and foreign words. Both the name and the principles of the poetic device come from Kwanzaa.

The EBR Writers Club was chartered in 1986 and meets from 6-8 p.m. every first and third Tuesday at the ESLHEC. The Club’s trustees are Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Avery Brooks, Haki R. Madhubuti, Walter Mosley, Quincy Troupe, Jerry Ward Jr. and Lena J. Weathers.

For more information about the Club and Redmond, visit, email or call (618) 650-3991.

The Kwanzaa celebration was co-sponsored by SIUE, Black River Writers Press, Drumvoices Revue and the East St. Louis Cultural Revival Campaign.

Photo Information:

SIUE Professer Emeritus Eugene  B. Redmond applauds during the Kwanzaa Candle-Lighting ceremony


School of Business Holds Management Case Competition

19 December 2013, 5:34 pm

Management Case Competition in Dunham Hall 12-06-13Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Business held its third Management Case Competition on Friday, Dec. 6. Hosted in Dunham Hall, the student competition consisted of four teams analyzing and presenting their findings of a Harvard Business Review case.

Instructor Katie Robberson said the competition was first held in the spring. Robberson created the competition with Associate Professor Mary Sue Love, Ph.D. and fellow Instructor Jenni Hunt, as part of their Managing Group Projects classes. The competition was open to 270 students in the class and took place during the semester. The final four teams competed last Friday.

“The students learn important team presentation skills, along with fine tuning the case analysis skills they have been working on during the semester,” said Robberson. “It is an excellent opportunity to learn how to respond to questions from professionals in the business world.”

Robberson and Hunt reached out to School of Business alumni Sarah K. Anderson BS ’02, and Bill Anderson BS ’98, MS ’00, to serve as judges for the competition.  Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing Edmund Hershberger, Ph.D. also sat on the judging panel.

At the end of the competition, Team Managerial Success was named the winner.  The winning team consisted of Martin Lamar, Alex Kniel, Nick Lombardo, and Kelsey Zobrist. For winning, each student earned 5-percent extra credit toward their final course grade.

Lombardo, a junior business administration major from Alton, found the competition to be a valuable experience that provided him with beneficial skills to take into his future.

“Having to combine minds with people you are initially unfamiliar with, learning to work together, developing relationships with them, communicating and ultimately presenting our work were all things I know will be valuable experiences down the road when we fall into our subsequent careers,” added Lombardo.

Photo: SIUE Sophomore finance major Michael Liedtke participated in the third School of Business Management Case Study Competition.



SIUE School of Engineering Hosts Training Program for Chinese Visitors

19 December 2013, 11:41 am

Zhou_Jim_classroomThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering hosted visitors from China this week for a Sustainable Solid Waste Management training program. The training offered the Chinese guests insights as to best practices and management efforts currently used in the United States for the collection, separation, sorting, transporting, and development and implementation of solid waste programs for the public.

The 21 managers and engineers were from the City of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province, China.  Ningbo has an urban population of 3.5 million and produces 1.2 million tons of municipal solid waste annually.

“The city aims to develop a sustainable solid waste management program through source separation and collection, waste minimization and efficient management, and recycling materials,” said Dr. Jianpeng (Jim) Zhou, SIUE associate professor and chair of the Civil Engineering Department in the School of Engineering. “The city also plans to develop institutional and management structures, and programs at various levels for the public’s participation in the solid waste management.”

During the training program, the guests attended presentations and site visits, and engaged in interactive discussions with solid waste management experts. The discussed topics included:

  • Principles and practice of sustainable solid waste management
  • The perspectives, organization, planning and operation aspects of solid waste management public agency and local municipalities
  • An engineer’s perspectives on practical applications and solutions

“The training program brings together high quality professionals and experts, including a world-class speaker Mr. N. C. Vasuki, P.E., BCEE, the former chief executive officer of Delaware (U.S.) Solid Waste Authority,” Zhou said.

The guests also visited SIUE’s Environmental Resources Training Center, which is part of the School of Engineering.

Photo: SIUE’s Jim Zhou (standing, center), associate professor and chair of the Civil Engineering Department, addresses a delegation of visiting Chinese engineers in a School of Engineering classroom.

SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School Student Receives State Award

19 December 2013, 9:31 am

Starr Gibson East St. Louis 2013 Charter Excellence Award 12-17-13

Starr Gibson, a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St Louis Charter High School (CHS), recently received a 2013 Charter Excellence Award from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS).

The 17-year-old was one of five charter high school seniors honored in the state at the INCS convention Dec. 2 and 3. The award also came with $1,000.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d get the award because there are a lot of charter schools in Illinois,” said Gibson, who has a 4.0 grade point average. “But I do work hard. Grades don’t come easy. I study about two hours every day after school.” Gibson added that she is working to be the class valedictorian.

“Starr is the absolute model of everything I think a student should be,” said Colin Neumeyer, CHS language arts teacher. “She has the greatest work ethic of any student I’ve been around. She’s thorough; and she really engages the activities.”

Bridget Nelson, teacher of English IV and women and literature, gave an assignment to her class. Students were instructed to write an essay about the book, “Things Fall Apart” by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe.

“Starr sent an email before the assignment was due,” Nelson said. “She said, ‘I’m attaching the beginning of two essays.’ And she asked me my opinion on which one to pursue.

“I never had a student do that before.”

Gibson has truly developed as a student and learner, Neumeyer said. “She’s not just working for a grade. She’s focused on learning and the process of learning.”

Gibson’s courses this semester include: pre-calculus and introduction to engineering and design, college and career readiness, honors English IV, women in literature and physical education. Some of Starr’s school activities include serving on the Principal’s Advisory Council and CHS Student Council. She is also senior class vice president and a member of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Club at CHS.

When Gibson came to the school as a freshman, a few students called her an “overachiever.” “But I didn’t let it bother me,” she said. “Hard work will pay off.”

Gibson, who has an ACT score of 21, has been accepted to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Tennessee State in Nashville, Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Lincoln University (Mo.) in Jefferson City and SIUE. The high school senior, who wants to be a dietician, has not made any final decisions as to which college she will attend.

“Starr is a prime example of a CHS student,” said Gina Washington, CHS director. “Her academics and 4.0 GPA speak for themselves. I also am impressed with her community service and church involvement.

Washington continued by using a CHS slogan: “I can truly say that ‘failure is NOT an option’ for Starr!”

The mission of the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School is to prepare students who are career-and college – ready upon graduation. To achieve this mission, the school and its staff will positively impact the educational and economic lives of East St. Louis youth through individualized instruction in core academic subjects, exploration of career interests and aptitudes, assistance in realizing students’ talents, high academic goals and expectations that graduates will become competitive employees for the 21st Century.

Photo Information:

Pictured is Starr Gibson, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center Charter High School senior.


SIUE School of Pharmacy’s Kerr Receives ADA’s Outreach Award

19 December 2013, 8:51 am

Kerr_Jessica_mugSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dr. Jessica Kerr, associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy (SOP), received the American Diabetes Association (ADA) LEARN Outreach Award on  Dec. 5.

The annual award is presented to a volunteer who has demonstrated a significant and ongoing commitment to those affected by diabetes by organizing, conducting and facilitating ADA programs and activities that provide education, raise awareness and deliver services in their community.

Kerr became involved with the ADA in 2007. She and colleague Dr. Chris Lynch, director of clinical programs and professor of pharmacy practice in SIUE’s SOP, held a diabetes patient education day on the SIUE campus. They reached out to 15 patients.

Over the past seven years, that program has grown to be the largest ADA program in the Metro-East and helps provide patient education to over 150 patient and caregiver participants.

Over the years, Kerr has coordinated with the ADA Leadership Council, SIUE SOP students organizations and other Madison County Leadership Council members to make sure these education programs are provided free of charge to all participants.

In addition to her volunteer time with the ADA, Kerr is a clinical pharmacist and certified diabetes educator. She provides cardiovascular risk education and diabetes management to central and southern Illinois veterans through the Belleville Community Based Outpatient Clinic associated with the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

She continues to serve as a consultant to many area schools providing education to faculty and staff to ensure safe practices when assisting kindergarten-12th grade students with diabetes.

Kerr’s family history drove her passion about diabetes. “It has to do with my grandfather, Donald Hamner, and his diagnosis with type 2 diabetes,” she said. “I admired his drive to not let a chronic disease hold him back. His example encouraged me to help patients manage their diabetes.”

Kerr’s mission is to empower patients to take care of themselves and minimize the impact of their diabetes. She is grateful for all of the valuable professional relationships from which she and her patients have benefitted through the ADA. She is extremely proud to be making meaningful contributions.

SIUE School of Nursing’s DNP Program Receives CCNE Accreditation

18 December 2013, 3:57 pm

Anne Perry interm Dean of School of Nursing 8-8-13

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Nursing for its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program through December 2018.

The accreditation is effective as of April 3, 2013, which was the first day of the program’s CCNE on-site evaluation. CCNE is the leading accrediting agency for baccalaureate and graduate degree programs in the U.S.

“The site visit was successfully completed with no compliance concerns and official notice of the maximum five-year accreditation was awarded,” said Dr. Anne Perry, interim dean of the SIUE School of Nursing.” We are so proud of our faculty, staff and students and this is a reflection of their outstanding commitment and service.”

In a move to address the future needs of the nursing profession, the School began offering the online post-master’s DNP degree program in August 2011. The degree, a five-semester curriculum, was designed to address the essentials for doctoral education developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Currently, SIUE is one of five accredited DNP programs in the state of Illinois.

Building on their specialty practice, DNP graduates design new models of care, use evidence to improve practice and evaluate outcomes along with identifying and managing the health care needs of individuals, communities and populations. They also use technology and information systems to improve health outcomes. As a terminal professional degree, it prepares graduates to practice at the highest level in their specialty area.

In May 2013, the first 10 DNP students completed the program. “Our first DNP cohort graduated with enhanced leadership and policy analysis skills and improved abilities to translate existing knowledge, including the project management skills to improve health care outcomes,” said Dr. Kathy Ketchum, assistant dean for graduate programs. “Our DNP program excels in preparing nursing leaders for the 21st century.”

Photo: SIUE School of Nursing Interim Dean Dr. Anne Perry.

Entrepreneurs were Focus of SIUE Alumni Association’s Speaker Event

18 December 2013, 3:41 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Speaker Series presented “From Point A to Point B: How to Start a Business,” Monday, Dec. 16, in the B. Bernard Birger Hall Special Events room on the SIUE campus. The event was hosted by the Offices of Alumni Affairs and Educational Outreach.

Steps for starting a business were discussed during the event, according to Laura Hopping, assistant director of Alumni Affairs.

“In the beginning of the program, everyone was asked to share why they came to this event,” Hopping said. A wide range of answers were given, from individuals wanting to create a business to sell an invention to wanting to grow an antiques business, she said.

Guest speakers Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, SIUE School of Business, and SIUE alum Jeffry Harrison, chief operating officer at Rover Enterprises LLC, will guide guests through the path normally traveled between idea and profitability, using proven techniques and a wealth of available resources.

The session included a business plan outline, a brochure on SIUE’s Small Business Development Center and real life examples of entrepreneurial successes and setbacks. Guests were given the opportunity to discuss their business idea and interact with the presenters.

“The Alumni Speaker Series grew out of a desire of our alumni engagement committee to create more opportunities to have alumni engage with alumni and students in the presentation of lifelong learning,” said Steve Jankowski, director of Alumni Affairs at SIUE. “The series was designed to recruit alumni speakers with expertise in a wide-range of subject areas and offer that expertise to alumni and the greater SIUE community.”

Working closely with the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach, the Alumni Association Speaker Series has included topics such as changing careers and grant writing.

Alumni Affairs again will partner with Educational Outreach to bring “Getting Fiscally Fit,” a presentation that will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, in the B. Bernard Birger Hall Special Events Room. The cost is $20 for general admission; free for SIUE students. Registration is available at

“We deeply value the relationship we have with the Office of Educational Outreach as we work together to ensure our alumni know SIUE is their place for lifelong learning,” Jankowski said. “We want our programs to be responsive to the needs and interests of our graduates who may want to learn a new language, become better photographers, or make a dramatic change in their lives or careers.”

This Holiday Season SIUE Charter High School Finds Giving Opportunities among its Own

17 December 2013, 5:26 pm

Staccy Lampkin East St. Louis gift giving holiday drive 12-16-13

On Friday, a select number of students at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School (CHS) will go home with an armfull of wrapped presents.

“I saw a need among some of our students,” said Staccy Lampkin, CHS counselor, who organized and coordinates the CHS Holiday Gift Giving project. This is the second year the counselor has spearheaded the school’s effort to gift some of its students with both items of need and want.

“We give them two pairs of khaki pants and two white shirts, which make up their school uniform and socks, tennis shoes, a pullover or sweat shirt and one item of request,” Lampkin said.

Last year, CHS gave out five holiday baskets. This year, the school has selected 15 students.

“Donations have been pouring in,” Lampkin said. “We may be able to give out more holiday baskets this year.”

The SIUE School of Education, which is the administrator for the CHS, contributed a host of gifts for students. “We sent them about 60 gift suggestions and they bought all of them, plus some more,” said Lampkin.

The SIUE School of Education welcomed the opportunity to participate, said SOE Dean Bette Bergeron.

“The response from SOE faculty and staff was overwhelming,” Bergeron said. “It clearly reflected the School’s support of the Charter High School and its students.

“It is wonderful to have the opportunity to let the CHS students know how much they are valued, and how proud we all are of their incredible successes.”

Several SIUE senior administrators also contributed generously to the project, Bergeron said.

Some additional contributors to the CHS Holiday Gift Giving project included:

• SIUE Office of the Chancellor

• SIUE East St. Louis Center Director’s Office

• Kappa Alpha Psi Edwardsville/Collinsville chapter

• Officer Funeral Home in East St. Louis

• CHS Art Therapy group

• Patricia Thornton, CHS substitute teacher

“It’s amazing that this effort is fulfilling dreams a student otherwise would not have had

filled,” said Gina Washington, CHS director.

Lampkin said she arrived at the idea after observing CHS’ Thanksgiving basket giveaway, spearheaded by Shawn Roundtree Sr., CHS social worker.

“I figured that the students whom Mr. Roundtree was helping at Thanksgiving would also need help for the holidays,” Lampkin said. “As a social worker and school counselor, we work closely with students and come to know some of their needs.”

Parents and guardians of students selected have been notified to come after school Friday to pick up their holiday items, the school counselor said. “Or we will deliver some of the baskets to their homes.

“It’s a delicate situation,” Lampkin said. “We want to be mindful of people’s feelings, while trying to meet their needs.”

 SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School: The mission of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School is to prepare students who are career-and college – ready upon graduation. To achieve this mission, the school and its staff will positively impact the educational and economic lives of East St. Louis youth through individualized instruction in core academic subjects, exploration of career interests and aptitudes, assistance in realizing students’ talents, high academic goals and expectations that graduates will become competitive employees for the 21st Century.

Photo Information:

Staccy Lampkin, counselor for SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School, has coordinated the school’s Holiday Gift Giving project, for the past two years.


SIUE EUE Class Assists Spanish-Speakers in the Area

16 December 2013, 4:27 pm

A Southern Illinois University Edwardsville service-learning project made possible through Excellence in Undergraduate Education (EUE) funding allowed students to help the area’s Spanish-speaking population during the fall semester.

A total of 14 students from a Spanish course spent their time in the Fairmont City Public Library, Casa de la Salud, St. Francis Cabrini, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Kingdom House, Youth in Need and Grace Settlement, and U.S. Legal Solutions. Students engaged in tutoring the area’s Spanish-speaking youth, translating for Spanish-speaking parents during parent-teacher conferences at schools, and providing members of the community with assistance in gaining access to health and preventive care, and legal options.

“This started as a need to expose students learning Spanish to the resources in Illinois and Missouri,” said Dr. Carolina Rocha, associate professor and Spanish study abroad advisor for the SIUE Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. The department is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“As many students cannot travel abroad to be immersed in a Spanish-speaking milieu, this experiential class was an opportunity to learn from the Spanish-speaking members of our community,” Rocha said.

“In addition, students develop citizenship skills by learning from the local needs. Setting up community partners was a very time-intensive task, because it involved contacting many organizations and identifying needs in which students could help.”

Rocha noted the EUE funds from SIUE allowed establishment of critical partnerships. She worked closely with Sara Laux, assistant director of civic engagement from the SIUE Kimmel Student Involvement Center, and Lisa Thompson-Gibson from the Office of Student Affairs.

“The students who volunteered at Fairmont Public Library were surprised to learn that in a community where 30 percent of its members live below the poverty line, internet providers are not available, so the library is the place where children have access to the internet.”

Students, who worked at the U.S. Legal Solutions law firm, translated documents and called clients. Pharmacy student Matthew Ehrhardt worked at Casa de la Salud educating individuals about healthy eating.

Each student took part in a poster presentation highlighting their experiences in the community.

“This type of experiential learning allows students to take content taught in the classroom outside the university and bring the issues affecting the community to the classroom, as they reflect and problem-solve about them,” said Rocha.

“From the beginning, I urged students to relate their volunteering to their own career goals. But it was in their final reflections that it became evident how much they have benefitted from their service, not only improving their language skills, but also developing meaningful ties with the communities.

“For those students who worked with young children, saying goodbye was hard and emotional. Many of the SIUE students promised to return even though the class came to an end. For some others, this was their first experience as volunteers, but one that prompted other service learning experiences.”

Rocha said an example was the SIUE Hispanic Association organizing College Ya!, a fair to reach out to Hispanic families. Many of her students volunteered their free time to serve as interpreters for SIUE.

SIUE Awards 924 Degrees During Fall Commencement

14 December 2013, 11:06 am

Commencement Videos - 9 a.m. | 1 p.m.

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus awarded degrees to 924 graduates today during 2013 fall commencement exercises at the Vadalabene Center on the SIUE campus.

During her remarks to the graduates, SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe referenced the passing of Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South Africa president, and the value of inclusion.

“As Mr. Mandela knew, and as we here at SIUE have worked to impart, inclusion is a commitment,” Furst-Bowe said. “Inclusion is a responsibility. Inclusion is strength.

“Think back on one person you’ve encountered while here at the University who, by the very fact that they differed from you in significant ways, expanded your world and left you changed forever … and for the better.”

The morning ceremony celebrated the matriculation of undergraduate and graduate students from the Schools of Business, Education and Nursing. The student speaker was Candi LeDuc, who earned a bachelor’s in nursing at SIUE and chose to return to her alma mater to achieve a master’s in nursing with a family nurse practitioner specialization.

During her speech, LeDuc recalled insight from a professor. “I remember a professor telling me during nursing school that long after I graduate and I am in my nursing career, I would have these ‘ah ha’ moments occur—moments that may seem to test my patience at the time, but moments that I would look back on and realize that it was a moment that defined me and who I am as a person,” she said.

Caring for an infant who was born with a rare disease and airlifted to the hospital where she worked on Thanksgiving night, and nurturing that child through three months in the hospital provided her with an “ah-ha” moment that would lead her back to graduate school.

Kay Gaehle, associate professor for primary care and health systems in the School of Nursing, was the morning speaker. She received the 2013 Teaching Excellence Award, the most prestigious teaching award available to SIUE faculty members.

Gaehle urged the graduates to “build bridges for your future.” She related a number of professional relationships that unexpectedly came to benefit her career along the way.

“You never know who you may meet in your future that you made an impression upon in your past,” Gaehle said. “As you deal with people and the complex world in which we live, be sure to build bridges for your future.”

The afternoon ceremony included undergraduate and graduate candidates from the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the School of Engineering. Elizabeth H. Littmann, who earned a bachelor’s in computer science in the School of Engineering, was the student speaker.

Littmann originally earned a bachelor’s in nursing but decided it was not the best fit. After revisiting her childhood memories to determine what gave her joy, she made the choice to pursue a new direction at SIUE.

“The wonderful part about my experience at SIUE is the support I felt from both classmates and faculty,” Littmann said. “When I arrived here, I no longer felt like a number in a sea of students. I was valued for my individual contributions to the school.

“True to its mission, SIUE really is a student-centered educational community that is dedicated to communicating, expanding and integrating knowledge. The spirit of collaboration here is enriched by diverse ideas. This institution really does develop professionals, scholars and leaders who shape a changing world.”

Jeff Skoblow, associate professor of English language and literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke during the afternoon ceremony as the recipient of the 2013 Great Teacher Award. Skoblow was honored with the designation by the SIUE Alumni Association and was nominated by his students.

Skoblow encouraged the graduates to continue to read literature. “The most fundamental training and preparation is the most important kind, and to me, that means preparation in thinking, which to me means reading and writing … and that means literature,” he said. “Be a continuing student of your reading and writing. You will have to want to do it and work at doing it, because the world won’t help you as much as we (SIUE) have helped you. That’s the way forward

“Read (William) Morris, (Franz) Kafka and (William) Blake, and keep going. Keep your mind alive.”

Photo: Candi LeDuc addressed SIUE’s morning commencement session in the Vadalabene Center on Saturday, Dec. 14.


SIUE’s Bentley among Ten St. Louis-Area Artists Awarded $20K RAC Fellowship

13 December 2013, 3:03 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Kathryn Bentley, an associate professor of theater and dance in the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of 10 St. Louis-area artists awarded a $20,000 Regional Arts Commission fellowship.

To read more about this exciting news, visit NPR’s St. Louis Public Radio affiliate site, which is part of the NPR digital network.

SIU BOT Approves SIUE ITS Renovations and General Contractors

12 December 2013, 11:51 am

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today at its regularly scheduled meeting on the Carbondale campus approved renovations of the Information Technology Services (ITS) computer room in Dunham Hall on the SIU Edwardsville campus. The Board also approved retention of four area general contractors to manage various small projects at SIUE.

The $1.6 million computer room renovation will be funded by ITS fees ($600,000) and University plant fees ($1 million). Mechanical and electrical systems will be modified 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. The work will be phased to maintain network operations. A qualifications based selection (QBS) process was used to select BRiC Partnership of Belleville as the project designer.

The Board established open service contracts for general contractor services to:

  • Interior Construction Services of St. Louis
  • Plocher Construction of Highland
  • L. Wolf Co. of Granite City
  • Limbaugh Construction of Granite City

As maintenance, repairs and renovation work are necessary on the SIUE campus, the approved contractors will bid to furnish all labor, equipment, tools and materials for small general construction projects. The individual projects will not exceed the formal bid limit of $76,600. The work will be funded from the project budget requiring the services.

SIUE Art & Design Building Receives AIA Architecture Award

12 December 2013, 10:50 am

Art and Design Building addition  13-19-13Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Art and Design annex – certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building – has captured a notable design award from the American Institute of Architects.

The $9 million, 29,000-square-foot addition, adjacent to the original facility and completed in Fall 2012, is the recipient of an AIA Central States Citation Award of Excellence in the commercial architecture category. The AIA region includes five states—Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. St. Louis-based Trivers Associates was the project architect.

Certified by the USGBC as a LEED Gold building in September, SIUE’s Art and Design Building was awarded the AIA honor in late October. LEED’s detailed credentialing system recognizes the owner and architect’s commitment to understand and practice green building practices. To achieve certification at the Gold level, the Art and Design Building surpassed the total number of design points (60) required in these categories: sustainable sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; material resources; indoor environmental quality; and designing a building that has a high level of safety and health for occupants.

This is SIUE’s first building to receive LEED Gold certification, but not the first time the AIA has honored the campus’ design. In 2007, the AIA Illinois Council featured the University’s buildings among the top 150 Illinois Great Places. According to the AIA, SIUE design ranks with such popular structures as the Illinois State Capitol, the Old State Capitol, the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Wrigley Field, the home of Abraham Lincoln and locally Cahokia Mounds.

“SIUE is committed to environmental stability both inside and outside the classroom, and the Art and Design Building is testament to that,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “We’re grateful to the AIA for this select honor.”

Trivers Associate Joel Fuoss, AIA LEED AP and lead designer on the SIUE project, said both the University and design firm were committed to creating a sustainable building with the utmost provisions for both health and safety.

“Safety was a huge priority for all of us,” said Fuoss, adding that a special consultant was enlisted to protect the building’s occupants – particularly those teaching and learning art-related substances – of any potential environmental impact. “There is off-gassing (evaporation of volatile chemicals) and other substances utilized in art creation, and they’re not to be dealt with lightly,” he said. “As the design team, we were committed to recognizing and exemplifying the University’s goals and approach to a sustainable environment. To be recognized by the AIA for this project is truly exciting.”

The two-story building’s positioning of the drawing and painting studios on the north side of the upper floor offers artists many options for use of natural light. “The Art and Design Building, from the core, lauds the wonderful and extensive natural environment that surrounds the SIUE campus,” Fuoss said.

The new building’s second floor also houses the art education and faculty offices, with the university’s art gallery and art history auditorium on the ground level.

More than 95 percent of the construction debris from the project was recycled or reused, according to Fuoss. Eighty-four percent of locally sourced materials also contributed to the project’s AIA commendation. “Even the limestone for the facade was sourced within 500 miles of Edwardsville,” he said.

Incorporating the building addition’s design to complement and enhance the adjacent, original 47,000-square-foot Art and Design facility was a key design objective. “Making the addition highly visible to engage both the campus and the community with the arts was extremely important to the University,” said Fuoss. “The general design concept was to link to the rivers and bluffs that are prevalent in our area,” he said. “The pedestrian flow on the addition’s western side is metaphorical to the river flows.”

SIUE’s award-winning building uses 40 percent less water than a comparable facility that is not designed according to LEED Gold standards. Additional sustainable features include: the state-of-the art heating and air conditioning systems to reduce overall energy consumption by 26 percent; the use of prairie grass in landscaping to eliminate irrigation and set aside green space for the building; and occupancy sensors to regulate lighting when spaces are not in use.

Softball HC Montgomery Contributes to NFCA Book

12 December 2013, 8:48 am

Montgomery_Sandy_actionSIUE softball Head Coach Sandy Montgomery is featured in The Softball Coaching Bible Volume II, a new book recently published by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).

The book features 26 other collegiate softball coaches. It is broken up into six parts with each emphasizing a different aspect of being a head coach for an NCAA program.

Former Iowa head coach and NFCA Hall of Fame member Gayle Blevins put the book together and reached out to Montgomery to contribute.

“The first volume of this book was a pretty good seller in the softball world,” Montgomery said.  “I was honored that someone of Gayle’s stature asked me to contribute.”

The Cougars head coach is the author of Chapter 23, titled “Developing Student-Athletes off the Field.”  Montgomery shares her insight on attributes that winning players should possess, such as accountability, responsibility and work ethic.

Montgomery wrote the chapter shortly after the Cougars won the 2007 NCAA Division II National Championship.  She said that while that championship team wasn’t her most talented squad, it was made up of players who were accountable, disciplined and put the team first.

“You need total players and a culture established within your program,” Montgomery said.
That’s a really important concept for me, and I think it’s instrumental in winning.  You need players with good character, good values and a belief in what you’re trying to do as a program.”

Quotes from former SIUE players Samantha Stanicek (2010-2013) and Kasey (Schlafke) Griffith (2008-2011) also are included as the two share their experiences under Montgomery’s tutelage.

In the book, Montgomery also discussed the importance of coaches being educators and developing student-athletes not only as players, but also as people.

“The culture we’ve established is a big reason why we don’t have many kids leave our program,” Montgomery added.  “You get sustained success with players who contribute both on and off the field.  If you don’t have the foundation for your team to keep being successful together, then you’re not going to win consistently.”

The Softball Coaching Bible Volume II is available for purchase here.

Montgomery and the Cougars kick off the 2014 regular season when they travel to Baton Rouge, La., for the LSU Tournament Feb. 7-8.

SIUE Student Group Continues to Help the Homeless During the Holiday Season

11 December 2013, 11:45 am

Students against poverty Kimmel Leadership Center 12-16-13

Students against poverty Kimmel Leadership Center 12-16-13

For two Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students, their volunteer work has been an up-close look at the homeless not seen in the news.

“I grew up in O’Fallon, Illinois,” said Amanda Lands, a senior majoring in biological sciences. Lands is the events coordinator for SIUE’s Alliance of Students Against Poverty (ASAP). “Being a part of ASAP has shown me homelessness from another perspective. It has made me realize how similar we all are. We all can get knocked down.”

ASAP is the result of an effort started in 2010 by two former University students. Jairris Vermeire and Michelle Schauf founded the SIUE Homeless Program. It began as a student service group’s effort to provide some relief for the homeless in East St. Louis, said Ray Jhala, ASAP president and second-year pharmacy student.

“Our founding principle is everyone deserves to eat,” he said. “Everyone deserves dignity.”

Now more than 45 students from a wide range of disciplines participate in ASAP’s monthly community service work. One Friday a month, students meet in the Kimmel Student Involvement Center to prepare and package food, water, toiletries and other donated items.

“We have meat-based sandwich items, fresh fruit and a dry product such as granola or chips,” Lands said. “We also get help from Students of Sustainability (SOS). In my opinion, one of the amazing things about the University is the way the various campus organizations all work together to meet needs.”

Seasonal items are also given away, such as blankets and scarves. The following day (one Saturday a month), about 14 students load into two SIUE vans and go in search of the homeless in East St. Louis and downtown St. Louis. The students then give away about 40 lunches and other items from the back of the vans. This month’s ASAP food distribution occurred Dec. 7.

“The Alliance of Students Against Poverty is a group of compassionate students dedicated to raising awareness on the issues of homelessness and poverty in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area,” said Sarah Laux, assistant director, Civic Engagement for the Kimmel Student Involvement Center. “The group strives to assist individuals facing chronic homelessness by providing them with prepared meals, clothing and personal hygiene items.”

When the students take their food to the streets, they are typically out for about three hours or until the food is gone, according to Jhala. “The colder it gets, the harder it is to find the people,” he added.

Jhala has been actively involved in ASAP for the past two years, but confesses he started out with somewhat selfish motives.

“I came into this looking to see what I could get out of it, like how it would look on my resume,” Jhala said. “But now I see the great need and opportunity it provides to help people.

“I recall my first few outings,” he continued. “I remember seeing this burned down building, and there were no other buildings around. There was some shrubbery and a little tent.

“There were two or three people living there with a camp fire. And they were there in the winter temperatures. How do you survive like that? I’ve seen this case over and over again.”

For the most part, Lands continued, people are trained not to stare at others, particularly those who are disabled or different.

“But we don’t want the students to look through the homeless either,” she said. “We tell people not to stare. They are not going to the zoo. We want the students to really see the homeless. We want them to see that they are people. They are people who need help.”

Photo Information:

SIUE students, Tene Brink, left, and Amber Blacke, right, bagged snacks for ASAP’s recent outing.

SIUE students Nicole Hoch (right) and Danica Balbach (left) prepared sandwiches for the ASAP’s food giveaway to the homeless.


NCERC’s Caupert Testifies at EPA Public Hearing

10 December 2013, 2:54 pm

Caupert_John_EPA testimonyThe NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert testified against proposed cuts to the Renewable Fuel Standard during an Environmental Protection Agency hearing last week in Arlington, Va.

As director of the NCERC, a biofuels research center that conducts contractual research services for the public and private sectors, Caupert testified about the proposal’s impact on investment in biofuels research and development.

“This proposal has already created uncertainty in the marketplace, resulting in the postponement of millions of dollars of biofuels research projects,” Caupert said. “If the proposed levels are finalized, the results will be financially devastating to many sectors of the U.S. economy. Investment in research, development and commercialization won’t be postponed or slowed down – it will stop.”

Caupert was joined at the hearing by representatives from the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association and hundreds of biofuels advocates from across the country. The hearing allowed stakeholders to issue oral comments in response to the EPA’s proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for 2014, which drastically slashed the biofuels requirements outlined in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The 2014 RVO proposal will remain on the Federal Register for public comments for 60 days before the EPA issues a final ruling.

Photo: The NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert testifies during an EPA public hearing in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 5.

SIUE Fall Commencement Set for Saturday, Dec. 14

10 December 2013, 1:45 pm

JFB_clapping_Spring13The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus will award degrees to 924 graduates when 2013 fall commencement exercises occur at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Commencement will take place in the Vadalabene Center on SIUE campus.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will celebrate the matriculation of undergraduate and graduate students from the Schools of Business, Education and Nursing. Candi LeDuc who is earning a master’s in nursing, will be the student speaker during the ceremony.

Kay Gaehle, associate professor for primary care and health systems in the School of Nursing, is the morning speaker. She received the 2013 Teaching Excellence Award, the most prestigious teaching award available to SIUE faculty members.

The afternoon ceremony will include undergraduate and graduate candidates from the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the School of Engineering. Elizabeth H. Littmann, who is earning a bachelor’s in computer science in the School of Engineering, will be the student speaker.

Jeff Skoblow, associate professor of English language and literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, will speak at the afternoon ceremony as the recipient of the 2013 Great Teacher Award. Skoblow was honored with the designation by the SIUE Alumni Association and was nominated by his students.

With questions about ceremonies, contact the SIUE commencement staff, or call (618) 650-2252.

Photo: SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe.

Alumni Speaker Series Presents: “From Point A to Point B: How to Start a Business”

10 December 2013, 10:00 am
Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, SIUE School of Business.

Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, SIUE School of Business.

SIUE Alum Jeffry Harrison, chief operating officer of Rover Enterprises LLC.

SIUE alum Jeffry Harrison, chief operating officer of Rover Enterprises LLC.

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Speaker Series will present “From Point A to Point B: How to Start a Business,” from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 in the B. Birger Hall Special Events room on the SIUE campus. The event is hosted by the Offices of Alumni Affairs and Educational Outreach.

“During the event, we will discuss the steps for starting a business,” said Laura Hopping, assistant director of Alumni Affairs.

Guest speakers Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, SIUE School of Business, and SIUE alum Jeffry Harrison, chief operating officer at Rover Enterprises LLC, will guide guests through the path normally traveled between idea and profitability, using proven techniques and a wealth of available resources.

The session will include a business plan outline, a brochure on SIUE’s Small Business Development Center and real life examples of entrepreneurial success and setbacks. Guests will be given the opportunity to discuss their business idea and interact with presenters.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch to the session. Those planning to attend can register online. For more information, contact Hopping at 618-650-2762 or The event is free for students and $10 for general admission. The attire is business casual. A campus map is available online.

SIUE Computer Science Faculty Upgrade Classroom Experience

10 December 2013, 8:41 am

Crk_Igor_mugSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Igor Crk and Mark McKenney attended the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking and Storage Analysis (SC13) held in Denver during late November. The SIUE computer science faculty members returned to campus with a LittleFe computing mini-cluster to enhance classroom experiences.

Crk and McKenney are both assistant professors of computer science in SIUE’s School of Engineering. At SC13, they participated in a build-out event and brought back one LittleFe mini-cluster to SIUE. During the workshop, they assembled and configured the hardware, and discussed and tested existing and potential educational modules for classroom use with the LittleFe.

“The mini-cluster is largely intended for use in instructional activity involving high performance computing (HPC), parallel programming, and computational and data-driven science,” Crk said. “Its portability, due to its small size, makes it ideal for classroom demonstrations.

“LittleFe is a welcome addition to the computer science department, where it will be a valuable resource for teaching distributed computing concepts that today’s data scientists in both the industry and academia find essential.”

Faculty portraits 8-16-12According to its website, LittleFe originated in 2005 as an idea by Paul Gray from the University of Northern Iowa, Kean University’s Dave Joiner, Tom Murphy of Contra Costa College and Earlham College’s Charlie Peck. While the faculty members were teaching computational science education, they realized their curricula depended on local computing resources that were not always present.

During November 2010, the LittleFe project was awarded a grant from Intel. The grant’s purpose was to build 25 clusters to be given to faculty members across the United States. These computational science educators, would use their LittleFe clusters to improve or develop curricula for their students, and ultimately for such globally available resources as HPC University (HPCU) and the Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD).

Crk and McKenney are currently developing learning modules to be used as classroom projects involving cluster computing both at SIUE and within the LittleFe community.

They received support from the SC13 HPC Educators Program and the LittleFe Project to attend the conference.

Photos:  Igor Crk (upper right) and Mark McKenney (lower right).

SIU SDM Dedicates $9.5-Million Markarian Simulation Lab

9 December 2013, 12:55 pm

SDM_RibbonCuttingSimulation Lab Press Conference Video

Southern Illinois University President Glenn W. Poshard, SIU Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and SIU School of Dental Medicine Dean Bruce Rotter today christened the SDM’s $9.5 million John and Anna Markarian Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory. The event at the SIU SDM’s Alton campus also featured a variety of dignitaries.

“This addition to the School of Dental Medicine is not only a commitment to the University, but also a commitment to Southern Illinois,” Poshard said. “These types of investments in our students and schools also are an investment in our communities. This project and others within the SIU system provide construction jobs, permanent jobs and a place that will draw visitors to our neighborhoods and contribute to economic well-being.”

Furst-Bowe talked about the significance of this latest building to the SDM, and SIUE’s continued commitment to improving infrastructure for its students. “The state-of-the-art technology offered within the new simulation lab will significantly benefit the preclinical education program offered to our dental students,” Furst-Bowe said. “This will provide our students with all the tools, technology and confidence they need to offer the best possible care for patients.”

John and the late Anna Markarian are the parents of three successful SDM alumni – Drs. John, Ronald and Randall Markarian.

“The (Markarian) brothers stepped up early in the process and provided a lead gift to help equip the new simulation lab,” Rotter stated. “In honor of John and Anna, and to demonstrate our appreciation for the generosity, kindness and loyalty of the Markarian family, the new laboratory space is dedicated in their name.”

“I am so proud to be a SIU School of Dental Medicine graduate,” said Randall Markarian, who spoke on behalf of the family. “My parents always stressed education for us, and my father admired dentists. He prodded us toward dentistry as a career. We are grateful for the lives that dentistry has provided for us.

Rotter also acknowledged Dr. Neal Roller and his wife, Marilyn, who also provided a generous lead gift to the project.

“The new simulation units are a marked technological advancement for our educational program,” Rotter said. “We are excited by the opportunity to offer our students a more authentic simulation of a genuine patient treatment experience.”

Allen Mayer, deputy general counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, represented Governor Pat Quinn. State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-113th District) was on hand along with Illinois Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and Alton Mayor Brant Walker.

Third-year dental student Erin Syzdek spoke on behalf of the students. The president of the SDM student council, she described the improved laboratory learning environment as a major step forward.

Construction of the structure began in October 2012. The School of Dental Medicine received $4.1 million for the project from the state when Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn signed legislation in 2009 that created the $31 billion “Illinois Jobs Now!” plan.

The lab will be a primary site of instruction for 100 pre-doctoral students in Year I and Year II. It contains 60 simulation units. The 18,000-square-foot addition also will include a ceramic reconstruction room, x-ray room, casting and dispensing areas.

The project also included a new fitness center in the facility’s lower level.

Photo: SIU School of Dental Medicine third-year student Erin Syzdek (with scissors) cuts the ribbon for the John and Anna Markarian Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory. From left to right, Deputy General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Allen Mayer, Alton Mayor Brant Walker, State Rep. Jay Hoffman, Illinois Sen. Bill Haine, SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Syzdek, John Markarian (partially hidden), Randall Markarian, SDM Dean Bruce Rotter, SIU President Glenn Poshard, Ronald Markarian and John Markarian.

SIUE’s Luesse Collaborates with Ohio U on NASA Grant

9 December 2013, 12:12 pm
Dr. Darron Luesse, SIUE professor from the Department of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Darron Luesse, SIUE professor from the Department of Biological Sciences.

How do plants react to a lack of gravity and why? Professors from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Ohio University want to find out. Thanks to a roughly $383,000 NASA grant to Ohio University, important work in this area of research will take place.

SIUE Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Darron Luesse and Ohio University Professor of Molecular Biology/Genomics Dr. Sarah Wyatt will focus on how plant life senses gravity and reacts to it. The research, according to Luesse, will aid in the understanding of basic biology.

SIUE’s portion of the grant is $120,926, which will be utilized during a two-year period. The first year of research of the grant will consist of setting up the experiment and refining methods. By the end of the first year, Luesse said the hope is to send their experiment to the International Space Station.

According to the SIUE Graduate School, a graduate assistant will be hired to work closely with Luesse on research, helping to gather data and analyze results.

“This is a unique opportunity for SIUE to participate in a NASA-funded study of the effects of gravity on plant growth, development and physiological processes—raising SIUE’s profile as an institution that can study plant protein expression in the most extreme environments, including space flight,” said Jerry Weinberg, dean of the Graduate School.

Arabidopsis thaliana, the specific plant being studied, is “the number one model organism for plants,” Luesse said, adding, “Arabidopsis is to plants what the fruit fly is to animals.”

While he noted the plant has no agricultural value, its relative small size and completely sequenced genome have allowed the development of many beneficial molecular biology tools for the Arabidopsis research community.

Luesse said while experiments like this have been conducted on Earth for many years, conducting the experiment in space will allow for a “no-gravity control” environment.”

Luesse and Wyatt will place nearly 1,300 Arabidopsis seeds into a small set of petri dishes that will be stacked and secured within a Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) module, designed to fit aboard the International Space Station. Each seed is about the size of a grain of sand. The plan is to transport the seeds into outer space, where they will germinate and grow inside the petri dishes.

“When they arrive at the Space Station, the crew will add some fixative after they’ve grown for about five days; essentially freezing them in time,” Luesse said. “Then the plants will be placed in a freezer and remain there until they are brought back to Earth.”

Upon their return to Earth, the protein will be extracted from the plants and sent for sequencing. Identical control plants will be grown on Earth in tandem with the space flight experiment. These methods will allow detection and quantification of all proteins produced in these different conditions, Luesse said.

“By determining differences between the ground and space flight samples, we gain information about which proteins plants make more of in space, and which ones they stop producing,” he said. “He added these advanced proteomic and genomic techniques allow the study of global changes in growth and development at the molecular level.

Luesse said the researchers will use bioinformatics, the process of using computers to analyze biological data, to make gene networks.

“Using computers to analyze these data sets allows the comparison of thousands of proteins between the two samples,” he noted. “In addition, the bioinformatics programs can integrate existing gene expression data to help increase the relevance of the results.

“In the end, we have an ordered list of proteins that are turned on or off during space flight, and in many cases, a rough idea of their biological function.”

This list of proteins will be used to identify candidates for further study, Luesse added. Future experiments will attempt to determine the specific function of these proteins, figure out why they are turned on or off during space flight, and seek to make use of this information in a relevant way.

This might include recommendations for alternatives to existing agricultural practices, identifying specific proteins that can be targets for genetic engineering or the development of further questions that could be answered by future space-flight experiments.

The research could have a significant impact on the approach to long-term space travel, Luesse said. People currently live on the International Space Station, he added, but the researchers’ work is important, because it looks into the future. In order for individuals to live on other planets, or travel through space for any extended period of time, it will be critical to determine appropriate plant life that can be taken with them to supply oxygen and food.

Kalish Resigns as SIUE Men’s Soccer Head Coach

6 December 2013, 5:15 pm

Kalish_actionSIUE men’s soccer Head Coach Kevin Kalish will step down from his current role at the end of the calendar year, SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt announced Friday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as head coach of this prestigious program to go in a different direction with my career,” Kalish said.  “My relationships with our players, coaches, alumni, faculty and staff at SIUE will last a lifetime.

“My family and I will always have a special place in our hearts for SIUE.  It is never easy to walk away from something that you love, but I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.”

Kalish will transition to working on a full-time basis as the Technical Director for Missouri Boys at St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club.  With a great desire to spend more time with his wife and four young children, Kalish chose to make a change.

“We can’t thank Kevin enough for helping us through the process of becoming an NCAA Division I program,” Hewitt said.  “We thank him for following our vision of having quality student-athletes who graduate from this University.  Kevin has always been a first class gentleman and has always focused on the safety, health and welfare of his student-athletes.”

Kalish has been a member of the SIUE coaching staff for the past 14 seasons, including serving as head coach for the last six years.  Before being promoted to head coach in 2008, Kalish was an assistant coach under Ed Huneke.

“I would like to personally thank SIUE, Dr. Hewitt and Coach Huneke for providing the opportunity to lead the SIUE men’s soccer program and be a part of the Cougar soccer family for the last 14 years,” Kalish said.  “I also want to offer a special thanks to all of the players that I have had the pleasure of working with during my time at SIUE.  Our shared experiences have helped shape me both as a coach and a person.”

During his six seasons as head coach, Kalish posted an overall record of 49-46-16 (.514).  He oversaw the program’s return to NCAA Division I status while becoming a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

SIUE has qualified for the MVC Tournament in every season since joining the league in 2010 and appeared in both the 2010 and 2012 MVC Championship Games.

During 2012, Kalish was named Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) while he and his staff also were named MVC Coaching Staff of the Year.

As head coach, Kalish oversaw the development of 24 MVC All-Conference performers and six NSCAA Midwest All-Region honorees.  Kalish was instrumental in the development of defender Mike Jones, who was selected 28th overall by Sporting Kansas City in the 2011 Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft.

Kalish’s student-athletes also were proficient in the classroom, with nine players being named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team during the past four seasons.  Midfielder Ryan Bauer was named to the 2012 NSCAA Scholar All-America Team.

Associate Head Coach Scott Donnelly will succeed Kalish as head coach in January.  Donnelly joined the SIUE coaching staff prior to the 2012 season.

“”First and foremost, I’d like to thank Dr. Hewitt and Chancellor Dr. Julie Furst-Bowe for the opportunity to serve as the next head coach,” Donnelly said.  “I’m honored to lead this program forward and continue the men’s soccer legacy here at SIUE.

“I have been fortunate to work alongside a coach of Kevin’s caliber and wish him the absolute best as he moves to a new stage of his career.  As a program, everything is in place for sustained success, and our expectations for the future are significant.”

Both Hewitt and Kalish reiterated their faith in Donnelly as he becomes the fourth head coach in program history.

“Scott is the best fit that we could hope to find in a search process,” Hewitt said.  “For the past two seasons, he has demonstrated tremendous skill sets, a commitment to SIUE values and is highly respected by our student-athletes.  The administrative staff never hesitated in its complete support of Scott as the leader chosen to continue the success and tradition of SIUE men’s soccer.”

“This program is in great shape, and it’s poised to have continued success under the leadership of Scott Donnelly and the rest of our staff,” Kalish added.  “The appreciation that I have for SIUE is immeasurable, and I wish all of SIUE the best of luck in the future.”

SIUE’s CLI Approved for AIA Continuing Ed Credits

6 December 2013, 10:16 am

Legislative Issues Panel CLI School of Business 3-1-13SIUE is pleased to announce that its premier continuing education program for the building industry, the Construction Leadership Institute (CLI), has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as an approved program eligible for continuing education credit.

“In addition to architects, many in the building industry such as professional engineers regard AIA Continuing Education certification as a stamp of approval for continuing education to maintain their certifications and licensure,” noted Chris Gordon, co-director of the CLI and chair of the Department of Construction in SIUE’s School of Engineering.

Registration is in progress for the 2014 session of the CLI scheduled to begin in early January.

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, the creation of construction contracts, insurance and bonding, risk management and conflict management. The instructional team includes building industry professionals and subject matter experts.

“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.

To register, call Hindelang at (618) 650-2668 or visit

About SIUE School of Business and the Department of Construction in the School of Engineering

U.S.News & World Report Best Colleges of 2014 lists SIUE among the best Regional Universities Midwest for the 10th consecutive year and among the top 10 public universities in that category. 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 the SIUE School of Business as one of the top 294 business schools in the U.S. and abroad.  The SIUE Department of Construction is accredited by the American Council for Construction Education, a leading advocate for quality construction education.

Photo:  Attendees at a 2013 CLI session.

SIUE Photographers Tour of Cuba Set for March 2014

6 December 2013, 10:00 am

Catedral_de_la_HabanaThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Photographers Tour of Cuba is scheduled for March 9-15, 2014. It is the first tour to Cuba available to people in the greater St. Louis area.

Travelers will experience a rare opportunity to explore Cuba from a photographer’s perspective. The tour is designed for amateurs, professionals and anyone interested in photographing the sites of the country. The small group of 24 individuals also will meet with professional Cuban photographers.

A tour guide and translator will lead the group, who will be among the first Americans to travel to Cuba legally under the new licensing program established by the U.S. government.

Some of the highlights of the six-day excursion will be:

  • Staying at the historical Hotel Plaza in Old Havana and touring the city
  • Exploring the sites of modern Havana and the ancient Morro-Cabañas complex
  • Traveling to Ernest Hemingway´s picturesque fishing town of Cojimar
  • Traveling to the town of Regla and visiting the Church of the Black Virgin
  • Visiting the Fototeca, the Cuban photo archives
  • Meeting Cuban artists and historians

More information is available at

Prices are based on a Miami departure. It is the individual traveler’s responsibility to purchase and make flight arrangements to Miami in time for the scheduled flight to Havana on March 9 at 1 p.m. Recommended arrival in Miami is the night before the flight to Havana. Recommended lodging is the Miami International Airport Hotel.

All prices are based on double occupancy: $3,000 for general community members; $2,800 for SIUE alumni basic members or SIUE faculty/staff; and $2,600 for SIUE alumni premium members or SIUE students.

A $500 nonrefundable deposit is due Jan. 9, 2014 to reserve a spot. Final payment is due Feb. 7. Payment should be made to SIUE Office of Educational Outreach. The trip is restricted to those 18 years old and older.

The trip is offered through a partnership between the SIUE Alumni Association and the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach.

For more information contact Cathy McNeese ( at 618-650-3208 in the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach or Photographers Tour of Cuba Coordinator C. Otis Sweezey ( at 618-650-2360.

Photo:  Cathedral de la Habana.

42nd Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair Features Talent and Merchandise

4 December 2013, 2:47 pm
Students Erin Sullivan, left, and Jenna Santarelli check out jewelry in the MUC on Wednesday during the 42nd Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair.

Students Erin Sullivan, left, and Jenna Santarelli check out jewelry in the MUC on Wednesday during the 42nd Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair.

SIUE students Jenna Santarelli, left and Erin Sullivan, look at items on display during SIUE's annual craft fair.

SIUE students Jenna Santarelli, left and Erin Sullivan, look at items on display during SIUE’s annual craft fair.

Local artists and vendors are displaying their work today and tomorrow during at the 42nd Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair.

A variety of jewelry, clothing, stained glass and more are for sale until 5 p.m. today and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in the Morris University Center Goshen Lounge.

SETO Presents Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

4 December 2013, 11:59 am
SIUE students will perform in the Student Experimental Theater (SETO) rendition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the Metcalf Theater now through Dec. 8.

SIUE students will perform in the Student Experimental Theater (SETO) rendition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the Metcalf Theater now through Dec. 8.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Metcalf Student Experimental Theater 12-04-13The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Student Experimental Theater Organization (SETO) presents Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tonight through Dec. 8.

Based on the novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, SIUE students from the Department of Theater and Dance are taking the stage for performances tonight through Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

The show will take place in the Metcalf Theater on the SIUE campus. For more information, or for ticket information, call the Fine Arts Box Office at 618-650-2774, or toll-free, 1-888-5168, ext. 2774. Complimentary tickets are available for SIUE students.

SIUE & WashU Collaborate on NSF Optimal Control Theory Research Grant

4 December 2013, 10:18 am
Pictured is Dr. Urszula Ledzewics, SIUE distinguished research professor and professor of mathematics and statistics.

Pictured is Dr. Urszula Ledzewics, SIUE distinguished research professor and professor of mathematics and statistics.

Faculty members from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Washington University in St. Louis are collaborating on a National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant, examining ways to control cancer treatments and the spread of infectious diseases.

SIUE Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Dr. Urszula Ledzewicz and Wash U. Associate Professor Heinz Schaettler, from the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, recently were awarded the grant—as principal investigators from their respective institutions—to focus on applications of optimal control theory, a field bridging mathematics and engineering to address problems arising in biomedicine.

Ledzewicz, an SIUE distinguished research professor, received approximately $202,000 for SIUE’s portion of the project. She has worked with Schaettler, her husband, on projects for many years. In their past research they have focused their research on mathematical models for various types of cancer treatments. This work will continue under the new grant, aiming at more insights on cancer therapies, especially for combinations of traditional and novel approaches.

These treatments include chemotherapy or radiotherapy targeting cancer cells; immunotherapy, which bolsters the immune response to fighting cancer cells, and anti-angiogenic therapy, responsible for blocking cancer blood vessel growth, thus incapacitating tumors. Through optimal control, the two will analyze the effectiveness of various protocols for combination therapies in the fight against cancer.

“Dr. Ledzewicz is an internationally renowned scholar in the applications of optimal control,” said Dr. Adam Weyhaupt, an associate professor and chair of the SIUE Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “Her work advances the current state of the art in optimal control, while her continued work with graduate students at SIUE will impact the field for years to come.”

Dr. Jerry Weinberg, dean of the SIUE Graduate School, said the project allows for the dissemination of knowledge on optimal control theory to graduate and undergraduate students in mathematics and engineering.

“The work of SIUE’s Dr. Ledzewicz and Dr. Schaettler at Washington University is a key collaboration between our two institutions,” Weinberg added. “Their research contributes to cutting-edge cancer studies and seeks to optimize cancer treatments.”

One of the specific topics under investigation in the project will be metronomic chemotherapy. This is a way of administering chemotherapy at a lower dose—varying or constant—over prolonged periods that has been found to be very effective in several aspects.

“This kind of protocol not only kills cancer cells, but has an anti-angiogenic effect and provides a boost to the immune system,” Ledzewicz said. “It’s like killing three birds with one stone.

“There is growing evidence that indicates more is not necessarily better, but a properly calibrated biographically optimal dose (BOD) can lead to better outcomes.”

This is a topic on which Ledzewicz and Schaettler plan to collaborate with researchers at the Center of Cancer System Biology of Tufts University School of Medicine to use methods of optimal control theory on numerous types of cancer treatments.

Ledzewicz said problems and results of the analysis also can apply to other fields in biomedicine. A second new direction to be pursued under the grant concerns epidemiology—the branch of medicine that focuses on the incidence and spread of infectious diseases in large populations. The two collaborators intend to analyze mathematical models for the spread of infectious diseases from the point of view how to apply vaccinations, treatment and sanitation with the goal to minimize the number of infected individuals, while at the same time controlling the cost.

Ledzewicz has had her research supported by NSF grants for nearly 25 years, but in the current time of tight federal budgets, she said she is “happy that the NSF decided to continue this support.”

Lessons in History, the Holidays and Volunteerism Close Learning Season

4 December 2013, 10:13 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Office of Educational Outreach presents lessons in history, the holidays and volunteerism this week and next to close the Lifelong Learning

Two programs are planned for today:

  • 10:30-11:45 a.m., “A New Look at an Old Foe: Admiral Yamamoto and Pearl Harbor,” featuring community member Walter Hall.

“Since Pearl Harbor there have been many investigations to establish responsibility,” said Cheryl Brunsmann, SIUE’s assistant director of Educational Outreach. “The one factor ignored by all these investigations was the Japanese themselves, and Admiral Yamamoto himself.”

The presentation will focus on Yamamoto, himself, who planned and ordered the attack at Pearl Harbor.

  • 1:15-2:30 p.m., “Celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and the Twelfth Night in Southern Illinois,” with John Dunphy, owner of Second Reading Bookshop.

Dunphy will share his stories of holiday customs, legends and tales of Southern Illinois, including an examination of the residents of Prairie du Rocher celebrating La Guiannee on New Year’s Eve and hosting a King’s Ball on Jan. 6. He will also talk about old-time Irish and German methods of celebrating the holidays.

The cost to attend each of the programs is $2 for members and $5 for non-members. Those who attend either of these events can park for free in Lot P, which is located behind 200 University Park. Upon parking, enter the first set of double doors and room 1127 is immediately inside. Check out campus maps here:

The final Lifelong Learning program of the semester will take place Tuesday, Dec. 10:

  • 10 a.m. “The Value of Volunteering,” presented by Dr. Aminato Cairo, SIUE assistant professor of Anthropology, will focus on how students from one of her courses, titled “Ethnographic Fieldwork” learned about real life anthropological skills through engaging volunteer organizations.

“Students had the task to learn about the value of volunteering through participating in volunteer activities and engaging their subjects through interviews, participant observation, surveys and other techniques,” Brunsmann said. “Students will share what they have learned about the value of volunteering with the community.”

The event will take place at Main Street Community Center, 1003 N. Main St. in Edwardsville. There is no cost to attend and no advanced registration is required.

Educational Outreach offers a full array of exciting, intriguing and insightful programs throughout the academic year. Along with Lifelong Learning programming, the office provides Leisure Learning classes and workshops. To register, visit Learn more by visiting the Educational Outreach website, or contact Cheryl Brunsmann, assistant director of community education programs,, 618-650-3209. If leaving a message or sending an email, provide name, daytime phone number and email address.

SIUE Pharmacy Students Participate in Great American Smoke-Out

3 December 2013, 10:14 am

smoke out 1SIUE School of Pharmacy students participated in the Great American Smoke-Out Thu., Nov. 21 at Places for People in St. Louis, a non-profit mental health clinic. Six pharmacy students helped educate Places for People clients on the benefits of smoking cessation.

The Great American Smoke-Out event informed approximately 30 individuals about nicotine replacement therapies and tobacco/smoking risks. Participants were encouraged to take the pledge to quit smoking.

“It is incredibly important for student pharmacists to get involved in community service events such as the Great American Smoke-Out,” said Dr. Kelly Gable, SIUE associate professor of pharmacy practice and psychiatric clinical pharmacist at Places for People. “Adults living with serious mental illnesses die on average 25 years earlier than other Americans, largely due to treatable medical conditions. Quitting smoking can have a vital impact on the quality of life of these individuals.”

Oliver Mills, Gabrielle Spann, Cheyenne Newsome, Lauren Youngberg and Lauren Richards, all 2014 SIUE PharmD candidates, and Maggie Wong, PharmD, St. Elizabeth/SIUE PGY1 Resident, participated in the event.

The Great American Smoke-Out is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is held annually on the third Thursday of November.

Melucci Italian Studies Committee Announces Partnership with SIUE Department of Foreign Languages and Literature

3 December 2013, 9:17 am

Melucci_Matt_mugThe Matt Melucci Italian Studies Committee has announced a partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The committee will raise funds necessary to support activities involving the study of Italian language and culture as well as assisting students in study abroad programs, and helping bring lecturers and international presentations to the SIUE campus.

A former Madison County circuit clerk, Melucci passed away in May 2012 at age 68. He left behind a highly established legacy of loyal community service. His unique personality and dedication to serving the public is reflected by his many friends and colleagues who enthusiastically worked with him and highly respected him.

“It is with this deep sense of gratitude and appreciation to Matt’s memory that this committee has established a fund supporting educational programs and activities,” stated committee Chair and retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice Philip J. Rarick. “We know that Matt would be honored that his dream and hard work towards promoting Italian language, culture, and SIUE students interested in studying internationally will carry on.”

In addition to 20 years of community service, Melucci had a deep appreciation for his Italian heritage. He demonstrated a passion to learn as much as possible about Italy’s history and its contributions to Western Civilization. He greatly enjoyed learning the Italian language. For Melucci, the language was a gateway to better understanding Italy’s culture, its people and a history that spans more than 2,000 years.

Melucci was instrumental in helping build a sense of community among those of Italian lineage in Southwestern Illinois. He was president of the Italian-American Club of Southwestern Illinois and was an advisory board member of the Italian Cultural Association of Southern Illinois (ICASI). He was an advocate in promoting the teaching of Italian at SIUE.

“Foreign languages help open new professional doors to SIUE majors not only nationally, but also internationally,” stated Dr. Joao Sedycias, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. “The Matt Melucci Fund will help us introduce Italian language and culture to SIUE students who aspire to reach into the global marketplace.”

Contributions may be made to the SIUE Foundation-Matt Melucci Italian Studies Fund, B. Bernard Birger Hall, 30 N. Circle Dr., Edwardsville, IL 62026. The SIUE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Photo: Matt Melucci.

SIU SDM Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Set for Dec. 9

2 December 2013, 3:42 pm

SDM Ribbon CuttingA ribbon cutting ceremony for the $9.5 million Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory and Student Fitness Center on the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine campus in Alton will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9.

SIU President Glenn W. Poshard and SIU Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe will be among University representatives, faculty, staff and students on site to celebrate the result of years of planning and commitment. The event will take place on the Alton campus, 2800 College Avenue.

Construction of the structure began in October 2012. The School of Dental Medicine received $4.1 million for the project from the state when Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn signed legislation in 2009 that created $31 billion “Illinois Jobs Now!” plan.

The lab will be a primary site of instruction for 100 pre-doctoral students in Year I and Year II. It contains 65 simulation units. The 18,000-square-foot addition also will include a ceramic reconstruction room, x-ray room, casting and dispensing areas. Space in the new facility also replaces the school’s fitness center.

Refreshments and tours of the new facility will be available immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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