Armed with tools that can help manage anger and frustration, juvenile offenders who spend time in the Madison County Detention Center in Edwardsville are finding ways to squelch bad habits and learning to live productive lives. And, it's in large part thanks to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students and their mentor Jeremy Jewell, an associate professor of psychology in the SIUE School of Education.
Expanding on a master's thesis from two of his students about five years ago that studied the use of relaxation techniques among college students, Jewell decided to build a program targeting juvenile offenders within the detention center system. "I thought this was a great idea so we began to use it and in the last four years it has evolved into using undergraduates in my research class to help these kids in the detention center,' Jewell said. "We have about six to eight students involved and we go out Monday through Friday from 3-4 p.m. and teach these skills at the Madison County detention facility."
Jewell said he created a program of what we might call anger management techniques for those in a detention center. "We call it the Relaxation Skills Violence Prevention Program, or RSVP for short," Jewell explained. "We see a new group of kids each week, teaching them some coping skills for when they get upset with their friends or their parents. They can use these skills while in the detention center or for when they leave. We teach them to do more than act out-screaming, cursing, running away or punching someone-when they get angry."
Although using anger management and relaxation skills to help cope is not new, what makes Jewell's program unique is that it's built around five days of sessions because of the short amount of time that a juvenile offender is kept at the center. "There are three specific techniques," he said: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and also guided imagery. The kids can use these when they get angry at a teacher, in the home, or elsewhere. The idea is to have them practice these techniques, then review the techniques and then we encourage them to use their new skills when they get on the outside and for the rest of their lives."
Jewell said the age range of those in the detention center generally is 10-17. "Most of them are having trouble in the home, or at school; some are in alternative schools, some are chronically truant, some are trying to get their GED," Jewell pointed out. "And, some of these kids are accused of a range of offenses from shoplifting to domestic battery to murder."
According to Jewell's research, there is no other program published-either in the mass market or in the academic world-written specifically about using these skills with juvenile offenders in juvenile detention. "This is a unique population which almost always circulates every 30 days," Jewell said. "There are long-term programs about dealing with juvenile offenders but nothing specifically aimed at the juvenile detention center setting. This is the only kind of program in the country that I have been able to find."
One of Jewell's students who helps at the detention center, T. Allison Lawler, says she has grown personally because of her involvement in the program. "I have become not only a different person but I've also become a better and more appreciative person," Lawler said. "After hearing some of the stories the kids share, it made me realize how good I had it growing up and how good I still have it. I also thank God every day for making me a very open-minded and empathetic person because this helps me work well with the juveniles." Lawler said that when she first started the program at the center, she believed the juvenile offenders were "dangerous" and "bad" but the first session with them allayed her worst fears. "I realized that these were just kids who made a few bad decisions," she said. "Every day I work with them, I learn more about life and I am more and more thankful for what I have in life. I'm also thankful to SIUE for making this possible."
Jewell said RSVP seems to be working but he's in the process of writing a federal grant to help better track the results of the program. "We have found in the past four years that the students who go through the program, compared with those who are waiting to enter the program, tend to be less stressed, anxious and fearful. We seem to have had a very significant impact on their feelings about being fearful and anxious, and their abilities to manage their anger."
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Student Call Center has been established in an effort to stay connected with alumni and friends, update records, and seek private support for the University, according to Josh Olmsted, assistant director of Annual Giving for the SIUE Foundation and manager of the call center.
"The Center has created 25 new student jobs on campus," said Olmsted, who joined the SIUE Foundation in August. "We have been able to hire a great mix of students representing a variety of majors and programs. The students are experiencing great 'conversations,' learning about the career paths our alumni have taken and sharing what campus looks like today. While our students are capturing information from our alumni, they are also gaining invaluable skills that will assist them in their professional careers down the road," Olmsted said. "All of our student callers have a passion for SIUE, and they are able to share that connection with our alumni."
Olmsted started his fundraising career at Indiana University, a nationally recognized leader in philanthropy, while obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees. SIUE Foundation Director of Annual Giving Julie Babington said Olmsted is a "phone-a-thon expert" and has done a remarkable job hiring and training students. "We are delighted to have his specialized 'caller coaching' expertise," Babington said. SIUE Vice Chancellor for University Relations Patrick Hundley said the phone program had been outsourced in the past. "Bringing the phone program back on campus has proven to be a success, as it has already surpassed the amount raised from last year," Hundley said. He also pointed out the program anticipates bringing in more than $190,000 in gifts and pledges this fiscal year.
Said Olmsted: "The next time your alma mater calls, we encourage you to pick up the phone, give a warm hello, and take a moment to share your SIUE experience with one of our SIUE student callers in the Call Center."
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business student Kseniya Petrova recently attended the Winter 2010 Beta Gamma Sigma Student Leadership Forum in Tampa, Fla.
Petrova, who is a senior, was chosen as a student representative to attend the biannual leadership event, which is hosted by Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society that serves business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB-I.)
Attendees participated in interactive individual and team activities throughout the event. The programs were organized to develop leadership styles.
The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association recently announced the election of its new board members, with a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student leader among the mix, elected to represent a region of the country.
Dillon Thorne, a graduate student in the SIUE School of Education's kinesiology department, who works in campus recreation, was elected to serve as the region III student leader. Region III includes nearly all major colleges and universities in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and part of Canada. One representative is chosen for each region.
Thorne, who earned his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University, will assume his responsibilities, starting in April at the NIRSA annual conference in Anaheim, Calif.
NIRSA provides education and development for professional and student members. It also promotes the incorporation of quality recreational programs, facilities and services for diverse populations. The organization uses its resources to encourage ethical and healthy lifestyle choices.
According to its vision statement, NIRSA is committed to being internationally recognized for its leadership role in higher education, and is devoted to student and professional development, education, research and standards.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recently learned it will receive $572,417 from the National Science Foundation to purchase Raman and infrared microscopes for interdisciplinary research.
The project, titled MRI-R2: Acquisition of Raman and Infrared Microscopes for Interdisciplinary Research, will aid anthropologists, biologists, chemist and professionals in other academic disciplines.
Julie Holt, associate professor and chair of the SIUE Department of Anthropology, acted as the principal on the grant proposal, requesting the money to buy the equipment. She stated in the proposal that the equipment will be used to "analyze samples, including bones and soil to look for the presence of poisons and other contaminants."
The proposal continued: "The results of (scientists') work will provide information about past human health, and will also provide timely information about the potential impact of environmental contaminants on the health of living humans…Using these microscopes will enable our students to realize broader research and career opportunities in anthropology, archaeology, biology, chemistry and environmental sciences."
The funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Cheryl Heard, president of Racial Harmony in Swansea and assistant director in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Kimmel Leadership Center, will be honored during a ceremony Monday, March 8, by the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc. for her outstanding youth development initiatives and awareness.
Heard, who lives in Collinsville, is being recognized for her work with the Center for Racial Harmony for the last 15 years, as well as her community involvement and enhancement initiatives. As a coordinator of the annual Center for Racial Harmony Gathering, as well as her efforts to organize and lead community dialog series presentations monthly, and achieve financial support for the Challenge 12 program-an education and youth development program-Heard has made her mark as a strong community leader.
During her 15-year tenure with the center, Heard has served as a member of the education, youth development, membership and nominating committees, as well as on the board of directors. She also served as vice president of the organization and now is president.
As an administrator for the Kimmel Center, Heard has presented seminars on diversity, community service, leadership, motivation and staff development. She is a member of several civic, professional, honorary and advisory organizations.
Heard earned a master of science in education at SIUE and a baccalaureate at McKendree University. She also is a graduate of the Coro Women In Leadership Program in St. Louis.
Jack G. Kaikati, professor emeritus of marketing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, recently co-wrote an article in the print edition of the Wall Street Journal about the resurgence of the practice of bartering, thought by many to be defunct. The article, published Jan. 25 in the WSJ's Journal Report, also was co-written by Andrew M. Kaikati, a doctoral candidate in marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis.
The Kaikatis maintain that bartering-given the state of the global economic downturn-is a way to "secure goods and services, move excess inventory and attract new customers without laying out precious cash." They then list four ways of bartering that occur in the United States: Consumer-to-Consumer, Business-to-Consumer, Business-to-Business and Government-to-Business.
"The annual value of barter trade by North American companies expanded to $12 billion in 2008," they wrote, "from $7.78 billion in 2001," this according to the International Reciprocal Trade Association, a nonprofit group that promotes bartering as a form of commerce. They go on to note that bartering, with the predictions of future frugality because of the current recession, "we believe bartering activities in the U.S. will persist and flourish well after economic growth resumes."
Congratulations: Darlene Selwood, office support associate for the education area of the Department of Art and Design, is the February recipient of the Employee Recognition Award. In the photo, Selwood (center) received the award from Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenneth Neher (far left). She was nominated for the award by Patricia "Gussie" Klorer (second from left), a professor in the department, and Dianne Lynch (second from right), a superviser in the department. Also shown is College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aldemaro Romero. In addition to the plaque Selwood was presented, she was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant or other Dining Services locations, and parking close to her office for the month. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
Three University Housing staff programs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville received "Top Ten Program" awards at the Illinois State Resident Assistant Association (ISRAA) conference from Feb. 5-7 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Founded in 1984 at Northern Illinois University, ISRAA is a member-operated organization dedicated to providing information, communication, recognition and collaboration for students employed as Resident Assistants (RAs). Any college or university in the state of Illinois with a residential housing program is eligible for membership.
The annual conference is a three-day event during which delegations from member schools meet to network and exchange ideas. Delegates participate in educational sessions to learn about issues facing college students and strategies for being successful in an RA role. Top 10 Program awards are voted by delegates who attend the conference. The Most Outstanding Program Award is determined by a vote of the ISRAA Resident Assistant Communication Chair and Executive Board.
University Housing staff members presented three of the Top 10 programs at the conference:
Laura McCulley, RA, Cougar Village; Zachary Sanderson, RA, Prairie Hall; Tashana Turner, RA, Cougar Village; and Rex Jackson, community director of the Cougar Village 500 Side, also attended the conference and presented their program: "Don't Get Burned," which highlights causes of both resident and RA "burn out," and identifies tools to effectively overcome the problem. A dozen SIUE Housing RAs attended the conference including Jackson and Farney, who served as advisors to the SIUE delegates.
SIUE University Housing has a long tradition of involvement with the ISRAA organization, including playing host to the 2005 annual conference at SIUE, says Housing Director Michael Schultz. "I feel it's very important to support our student leaders in the RA role," he said. "ISRAA gives students a chance to share experiences as well wisdom and stories with those in similar roles at other institutions. As the needs of residential students evolve, the information exchange provides resources and support to our student staff."
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association will play host to an Alumni Networking Breakfast from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, at The Gateway Center, One Gateway Dr., Collinsville. The hour-long event will include an appearance and presentation by Congressman John Shimkus. The event will be an excellent opportunity to network with fellow SIUE alumni and enjoy a free breakfast of pastries, fruit and coffee. With 2,000 SIUE alumni residing in the Collinsville area, possible business opportunities could arise, so attendees are encouraged to bring business cards.
In 1990, Shimkus was elected Madison County treasurer and won his first term in 1996 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 20th Congressional District. Following redistricting in 2002, he represents the 19th district. He earned an MBA at SIUE in 1997. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a member of the Army Reserves, Shimkus retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2008 after 28 years of military service.
Parking for this event is free; to register for this free event, visit the Web site: www.siue.edu/alumni. For other information, call Katie Bennett, assistant director of Alumni Affairs, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or, by phone: (618) 650-2762.
The SIUE 4 Haiti effort collected materials for the ongoing medical effort in Haiti. The generous outpouring of support yielded nearly $15,000 in donated items that will be useful to the medical personnel in Haiti, according to Denise DeGarmo, associate professor of political science and chair of that department as well as head of the collection drive. "The collection drive for Haiti got off to a good start," she pointed out. "We retreived items from drop-off points in Rendleman, the MUC, and Peck, and we've been storing them in the Political Science conference and lab room. There were so many great items." DeGarmo said the medical materials will be shipped for dispersal to HIV/AIDs clinics in Haiti, which was rocked by a massive earthquake in January, virtually destoying the capital city of Port-au-Prince. In the photo, SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift visited to observe donors' generosity. He was joined (from left) by Narbeth Emmanuel, SIUE vice chancellor for Student Affairs and coordinator of the University-wide SIUE 4 Haiti effort; Michael Ruggless, a junior in the School of Education and a volunteer in the collection effort; Ken Moffett, assistant professor of political science; and, at far right, Kim Durr, executive assistant to the chancellor, also a volunteer in the collection drive. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
The Southern Illinois University system, which for decades has provided a fertile environment for the development of major technologies, will showcase current research and inventions March 30 when the system presents the Technology and Innovation Expo on the SIU Edwardsville campus. Faculty inventors in the fields of biochemistry, engineering, medicine and pharmacy from SIU Carbondale, SIU Edwardsville and the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield will combine forces to showcase the latest research under way on the three campuses.
The Expo also will focus on opportunities for potential partners to help make this cutting-edge research a commercial reality. Scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. that Tuesday in SIUE's Morris University Center, the event will feature presentations by SIU faculty inventors who have technology to license. The event promises to bring together academics, entrepreneurs and business people to increase awareness of available technologies that can lead to new products and innovations in a networking environment. "American universities have carried much of the responsibility for technology transfer from the laboratory to the commercialization of ideas and inventions," said SIU President Glenn Poshard. "The SIU system is proud to have played a major role in this endeavor over many years. The SIU Technology and Innovation Expo allows the campuses to display our efforts in this process," he said.
Faculty inventors will present throughout the day, including SIU School of Medicine's William Halford, PhD, who will talk about the latest progress of his work in herpes vaccine. Inventors from SIU Carbondale will reveal the latest research in biofuels and advanced materials startup companies that have resulted from university research. SIU Edwardsville's featured inventions range from new drugs for treatment of Alzheimer's to magnetic refrigeration, a promising energy technology. Keynote talks will be given by successful industry collaborators James Bashkin, chemistry director/co-founder of NanoVir, and Matt Kulig, serial entrepreneur and currently COO for Aisle411.com
Also featured at the Expo in the afternoon will be a panel of experts discussing "Ideas to Markets: Successful Technology Commercialization." Panel members from industry, university administration, inventors and investors will provide insight into the technology commercialization process. Throughout the day exhibits and poster presentations by speakers, SIU faculty, students, and event sponsors will be on display in the common areas. The event will include lunch and a catered reception for attendees. Registration is required and tickets are $25 per person.
Event information-including the Expo agenda, speakers, sponsorship opportunities and registration-is available online: techtransfer.siuc.edu/tie/s10, or by calling (618) 650-2166.
Sponsors for the event include Ameren Economic Development, Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP, Madison County Community Development, St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, the Madison-Bond Workforce Investment Board, and Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois. The event is being organized by the SIUC Technology Transfer Program, the SIU School of Medicine, the SIUE Graduate School, the SIUE Southwestern Entrepreneurship Center and SIUE's University Park, a research park on the campus.
(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy and the Southwestern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center, through the SIUE School of Business, will present a half-day Intellectual Property Seminar in partnership with Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP.
The event will focus on copyright, trademark and patent issues. Topics will be of interest to academic researchers, university technology managers, corporations and small businesses.
The seminar will be held at the SIUE Technology and Management Center, University Park, from 8:30 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Feb. 25. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and a continental breakfast will be served.
While attendance at the seminar is complimentary, registration is required to Stephanie Dorssom at email@example.com.
Carl Springer, the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for a decade, has decided to return to the classroom to pursue scholarly interests in Classical Studies.
Springer, who has published numerous books and articles, will work on critical edition and translation of the collected works of Latin poet Sedulius, who was very popular in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Springer also will edit and translate a book on Martin Luther's use of the fables of Aesop.
Coming to SIUE from Illinois State University in 2000, where he had been a professor and chair of the Foreign Language Department, Springer took on the role of associate dean for student development and general education in the College of Arts and Sciences.
During his tenure as associate dean, Springer has played a vital role in developing the Lincoln Plan, a serious attempt to reform General Education and SIUE. Springer also contributed largely to the design and implementation of the New Freshman Seminar requirements; increased the College's support for study abroad and directed the development for the College of Arts and Sciences colloquium series. The theme for the sixth CAS Colloquium, which will take place in April 2010 is "Thinking about Evolution."
Returning to his scholarly roots, Springer will teach courses through the SIUE Department of English Language and Literature in Latin, Ancient Greek and other subjects related to Classical Studies.
"Dr. Springer made incredible contributions to the College over the past 10 years," said SIUE College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aldemaro Romero. "He was always supportive of faculty and students among whom he gained a lot of respect and recognition. He has also been extremely helpful and insightful during my first few months as a Dean and I want to extend to him my most sincere gratitude for the tremendous job he has done."
Auditions for all ages for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Summer ShowBiz 2010 theater season are set for Friday, Feb. 19, in SIUE's Dunham Hall. For a musical theater part, participants must prepare 16-32 bars of a show tune; bring sheet music. For a non-musical role, prepare a one minute monologue. Call backs will take place Saturday, Feb. 20. To reserve an audition time, call (618) 650-2773 or drop by the Department of Theater and Dance in Dunham Hall.
The three Summer ShowBiz 2010 productions are:
Summer Showbiz is a summer production program that has been offered by the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance for more than 30 years.
"Spirit and Opportunity" have always been prominent in the life of Steve Squyres, the NASA scientist best known as the face and voice of the Mars exploration mission including the pioneering and spectacular drive across the Red Planet's surface by two high-tech robotic rovers. As the acclaimed scientist and principal investigator of NASA's Mars Exploration Program from 1988 to 2004 when the mission came to fruition, Squyres will be on campus as part of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Arts & Issues series Feb. 17, with a theme of "Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet." He will appear at 7:30 p.m. that Wednesday in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of SIUE's Morris University Center.
Squyres, who currently is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, will detail to the Arts & Issues audience how he turned what seemed like an improbable dream into a successful $800 million reality. He will discuss the risks taken, the mistakes made and how the project's goals were ultimately achieved. Arts & Issues series Coordinator Grant Andree says he is excited about Squyres' presentation. "During Steve's appearance Feb. 17, the audience will enjoy never before seen photos of the Mars surface taken by those rovers," Andree said. "Our patrons may recall how similar NASA photos ignited a firestorm of interest in space exploration at the time of the mission.
"If you've never seen NASA's Mars photos before, you are in for a visual treat." In addition to his teaching duties at Cornell, Squyres has served as chair of the NASA Space Science Advisory Committee and participated in many of NASA's exploration missions. By applying his experience from the Mars mission in the corporate world, Squyres provides fresh approaches to managing large teams, working together under pressure and operating effectively in unpredictable environments.
Tickets for "Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet" are $27; SIUE employees and retirees, as well as all senior citizens, $25; SIUE students, $13. Ticket information, subscription rates and ticket sales are available on the Web site: artsandissues.com, or by calling (618) 650-5774.
Jeremy Peissig of Milwaukee, who graduated in December with a bachelor's in international business from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business, recently was honored with the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation Student Leader of the Semester Award.
From left in the photo of the ceremony are Steven C. Talbott, talent acquisition manager with Enterprise Holdings; Peissig; Lee Lewis Jr., community relations manager with Enterprise Rent-A-Car; and SIUE School of Business Dean Gary Giamartino. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
The award recognizes SIUE business students who are nominated by student organizations for outstanding participation and responsibility. Peissig's award recognizes his work in his final semester at SIUE as president of Emerging Leaders Influencing Through Experience (ELITE), a student organization that strives to foster relationships with fellow business majors as well as SIUE administrators and alumni.
Peissig was chosen for this award because of his hard work and dedication to ELITE, while achieving numerous accomplishments last semester including his representation of business students at various events such as the Dean's Society Dinner and SIUE Preview. He also was instrumental in organizing a "Welcome Back" BBQ for returning students, organizing T-shirt sales, organizing a membership drive for ELITE and also re-opening the third-floor student lounge in SIUE's Founders Hall.
The award carries with it a $100 stipend and certificate. In addition, Peissig will be recognized at a reception later this spring semester that will honor all Enterprise Rent-A-Car award recipients.
Peissig has worked on projects aimed at ELITE's two initiatives-acting as a liaison between students-faculty-alumni and working to develop professionally outside of the classroom. Peissig organized a Lunch & Learn program and corporate information hours, as well as participated in the School of Business Open House and orientation sessions. His commitment to the organization showed by ensuring a smooth leadership transition for ELITE upon his graduation.
The SIUE School of Business is among an elite 10 percent of business schools worldwide that have earned the prestigious seal of approval from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The School has been AACSB-I accredited since 1975. This assures that students receive the highest quality in strategic resource management, interaction with faculty and achievement of learning goals.
In addition, the SIUE Accounting Program is accredited through AACSB-I. Less than 33 percent of AACSB-I accredited business schools hold an accounting accreditation.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, operated by the SIUE School of Business in East St. Louis and Edwardsville, has announced formation of an alliance with ACCION USA-known as a leader in U.S. microfinance.
According to SBDC Director Kwa Mister, ACCION USA will be used by his office as a referral partner to provide access to capital, as well as business technical assistance and financial education to underserved small business owners in the region. "With this partnership we sought to bring more resources to Southwestern Illinois," Mister said, "in an effort to develop and support the growth of small business throughout the region."
ACCION USA "empowers low-to-moderate income business owners so that potential successful entrepreneurs-often minorities including women-can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen communities," Mister pointed out.
Since its inception in 1991, ACCION USA has provided more than $119 million in small business loans, ranging from $500 to $50,000, offered nationwide via the ACCION USA on-line lending platform.
For more information about small business loans, call the SBDC at the East St. Louis office, (618) 482-8330, or the Edwardsville office, (618) 650-2929, or visit the SBDC Web site: www.siue.edu/business/sbdc, or the ACCION USA Web site: www.accionusa.org.
The Illinois Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The Black Theater Workshop of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will present The Journey to Freedom, a production by students who wrote or selected the material to be performed. SIUE students Curtis Lewis and Sharaina Turnage are serving as production coordinators for the show; the faculty advisor for the workshop is Kathryn Bentley, an assistant professor of theater and dance at the University. Journey opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb.19, and continues at the same curtain time Saturday, Feb. 20, both in SIUE's Metcalf Theater. A 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, matinee performance also will be staged in the Metcalf.
This year's workshop will include "Freedom Means to Me," a poem written by Cassaundra Sampson, and a piece written by SIUE graduate Greg Fenner, Last of a Dying Breed, which looks toward change. "In life we all are going on a journey," Lewis said, "and sometimes the path leads to a dead end, but through the dead end there is one end that leads to a destination called freedom. It takes courage to have true freedom and the journey can be arduous." Lewis is a junior and theater performance major at SIUE.
Turnage points out that everyone has experienced a journey to freedom in their own lives. "It's not just a black thing," she said. " Journey to Freedom is about conquering your greatest fears and growing from them." Turnage is a sophomore who also is a theater performance major. Turnage and Lewis also say that the audience will be able "to travel along with the actors and through the journey there is a way to get freedom."
The late Lisa Colbert founded the Annual Black Theater Workshop at SIUE in 1998. She was an assistant professor in the Department of Theater and Dance and the artistic director at the time of her death in 2002. Colbert's family and friends, along with the department, have created a scholarship that is awarded annually to an exceptional theater student who must exemplify the life of Lisa Colbert. Donations may be made to the Black Theater Workshop Fund, which supports the annual production and allows the University to continue to nurture young artists in their quest for a creative and cultural outlet.
There is no admission fee to the workshop. For more information or directions to the Metcalf Theater, please call SIUE's Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774, or, toll free, (888) 328-5168, ext. 2774.