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February 2014

SIUE School of Nursing to Offer Doctorate for Nurse Anesthetists

28 February 2014, 5:56 pm

KetchumKathy-001_smThe nurse anesthesia (NA) program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing has been approved to transition from a master’s degree program to a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program in May 2015.

SIUE’s DNP NA program has received all university approvals and recently received approval from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs (COA) in January 2014. SIUE is the first higher education institution in the St. Louis metropolitan area to offer a doctoral degree for nurse anesthetists.

The new program will retain its core anesthesia curriculum, but will also incorporate the School’s DNP curriculum. The master’s program requires 31 months, 72 credit hours and 2,428 practicum hours. The DNP NA will require 36 months, 80 credit hours and 2,740 practicum hours. The transition to the DNP reflects the changes in the national health care system, as well as the growing need for nursing leaders to have extensive knowledge to design, implement and assess care.

“We are extremely excited that the SIUE nurse anesthesia program will now lead to a DNP degree,” said Dr. Kathy Ketchum, assistant dean for graduate programs. “Our students will incorporate advanced leadership and evidence-based skills into their theory-guided anesthesia practice to achieve the highest quality patient outcomes.”

Interim Dean Anne Perry noted that the approval from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs is essential to ensure continued academic preparation for nurse anesthesia providers in the region. By 2022, COA is requiring all nurse anesthesia programs to transition their curricula from a master of science to a doctor of nursing practice.

Students currently enrolled in the program will receive a master’s degree with a specialization in nurse anesthesia. Those submitting applications for the 2014 cycle will be applying for the DNP NA, with accepted students beginning the new program in May 2015.

The SIUE School of Nursing began offering a post-baccalaureate nurse anesthesia master’s in 1990.

Photo:  Dr. Kathy Ketchum, assistant dean for graduate programs.

SIU SDM’s Joy receives ADEA’s Junior Faculty Award

28 February 2014, 5:15 pm

Joy, AnitaDr. Anita Joy, assistant professor in the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, has been named the 2014 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Junior Faculty Award recipient.

This national accolade recognizes excellence in teaching, research and service to a faculty member who has held a full-time position for five or fewer years. Joy will be acknowledged at the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Antonio during March.

“Dr. Joy has distinguished herself as a highly regarded member of our faculty, engaging our students in active learning and research,” said Dr. Jessica Hinz, SIU SDM assistant professor and a representative on the ADEA Council of Faculties. “She lives her motto, ‘I teach because I want to learn,’ and constantly demonstrates how to accomplish excellence in teaching, research and service. She is an asset to our institution and dental education as a whole.”

Hinz nominated Joy, who received further support from the ADEA committee at SIU SDM, ADEA student representatives Everett Brokaw and Leah Rippy, and SDM Dean Bruce Rotter.

As part of her award, Joy will be given a $2,500 stipend to cover travel expenses to the conference and to further her teaching, research and service efforts.

Joy earned a bachelor of dental surgery in 2001 from M.S. Ramaiah Dental College and Hospital in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. She achieved a doctorate of anatomy and cell biology from Rush University in 2010.

She joined the SIU School of Dental Medicine in August 2010.

Some SIUE Women Cover Their Heads to Expand Their Minds

28 February 2014, 3:26 pm

Hijab Day Challenge at SIUE Muslim headscarf 02-26-14

Yesterday approximately 80 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women of different faiths and backgrounds went through their day wearing a Muslim headdress called a hijab.

The silent, colorful cultural experiment was part of the Muslim Student Association’s Hijab Day Challenge at SIUE. On Wednesday and Thursday in the Morris Student Union, the student group talked about the headdress, gave demonstrations on how to wrap it and passed out approximately 90 hijabs.

Then for a full day on Thursday, many women from across the campus covered their heads, some in devotion, some in curiosity and others in solidarity. The Challenge was the initial idea of Amina Musa, vice president of SIUE’s Muslim Student Association.

“I got lots of compliments on it, and I wasn’t constantly checking myself in the mirror,” said Abigail Overstreet, a junior majoring in psychology and biology. “I’m always picking at myself. But I felt more focused.”

Overstreet was one of about 50 people who attended the Thursday evening panel discussion about the Hijab Day Challenge at Lovejoy Library.

“I was very comfortable wearing it,” said Jodi Cox, a graduate student working on a master’s in public administration. “This is not my first time. I’ll do it again. I love scarves.”

Cox has worn a hajib previously while in Jordan visiting her partner, First Class Sgt. Robert Heck.

The panel discussion was held to provide information about Muslim customs and teachings on women covering their head. Serving on the panel were Imman Musa, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Saint Louis University, and SIUE’s Dr. Sabina Fatima, assistant professor in philosophy.

Muslim women wear the hijab because of their devotion to God, Musa said. Imman is Amina’s sister.                           Hijab Day Challenge at SIUE Muslim headscarf 02-26-14

“A common misconception is that the wearing of the hijab is connected to a man,” Musa said. “It is an act of obedience toward God and not a man.”

Musa cited the story of Adam and Eve in the Qu’ran. After the two had eaten of the fruit, felt shame and had been sent back to earth, clothing was given to them as a covering. Musa quoted 7:26 of the Qu’ran: “O you children of Adam! We have sent down to you clothing to cover yourselves as well as to be an adornment to you.”

There are many reasons women wear the hijab, said Fatima, who is originally from Pakistan. “But the perceptions out there are also many. One is that we are oppressed. This one gets the most media coverage.

“We need to abandon making women’s bodies the site for political and social studies.”

One reason for wearing the headdress, Musa and Fatima said is to free a woman’s mind from trying to fit into a standard of beauty.

“In many cultures there is an over emphasis on the woman’s body,” said Musa. “It’s empowering to say I have a choice over my body.”

“When I was coming here tonight, I didn’t have to worry about how many days I haven’t washed my hair, just that my presentation was ready,” said Fatima, to ripples of laughter. “You can transcend your body.”

Expanding and exposing minds is the purpose of the various events held at the Lovejoy Library Friends Corner, said Regina McBride, dean of Library and Informational Services.

“This is the intellectual center of the University,” McBride said. “We’re pleased to sponsor these events that support diversity and cultural exchange.”

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

Photo Information:

Amina Musa, vice president of SIUE’s Muslim Student Association, helps Sherryl Jewell , a junior majoring in forensic chemistry, tie her orange hajib.

Musa helps secure the pale pink headdress on Kortney Walden.


Sunday’s India Night Postponed

28 February 2014, 12:07 pm

Due to the Winter Storm Watch for Sunday, India Night 2014 has been postponed until Friday, March 21. The event had been scheduled for Sunday, March 2, at 5 p.m. in the Morris University Center.

Tickets purchased for March 2 can be used on March 21. Also, those same tickets turned in at the door on March 21 will be used in a drawing for an IPAD mini. So hold onto your tickets and join our Indian students next month.

The March 21 event will be held in the Meridian Ballroom of the MUC starting at 5 p.m.

SIUE to Participate in $320 Million Digital Lab Project

27 February 2014, 4:33 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville administrators are enthused about the institution’s role in the $320 million Digital Lab for Manufacturing announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama. The Digital Lab is an applied research institute that will both develop and demonstrate digital manufacturing technologies, and deploy and commercialize those technologies across key manufacturing industries.

Chicago-based UI Labs has been awarded $70 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to fund the Digital Lab. Digital manufacturing is the use of an integrated, computer-based system comprised of simulation, three-dimensional (3D) visualization, analytics and various collaboration tools to create product and manufacturing process definitions simultaneously.

The $70 million cooperative agreement from the DoD will be leveraged by commitments of $250 million from industry, academia, government and community partners, forming a $320 million Institute. This investment is part of President Obama’s vision to re-invigorate U.S. manufacturing, creating new jobs and economic development, and spurring future innovation.

The Digital Lab will be the nation’s flagship research institute for Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI), applying cutting-edge technologies to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthening the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain, and reducing acquisition costs for the DoD. It will be housed in Chicago with a network of manufacturing partner and research sites across the United States.

“We are thankful to take part in this initiative as we work hard to build engineering technology and industrial capabilities related to DMDI in the state of Illinois,” said SIU President Glenn Poshard.

SIUE’s contribution would most likely be to investigate advanced manufacturing systems that are agile and flexible with maximized visibility for information and product flow. SIUE’s principal investigator will be Sohyung Cho, associate professor of industrial engineering in the School of Engineering.

“Advanced technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) that enables real-time tracking of products, will be at the core of agile and flexible manufacturing systems,” Cho said. “This technology will potentially provide complete visibility for parts over all the logistics operations not only for manufacturing, but also for transportation and distribution, storage and inventory, and retailing and delivery.

“In addition, we expect to investigate advanced decision models that can help manufacturing enterprises to understand possible consequences of business actions and to review and adjust these decisions accordingly.”

UI Labs is a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative, bringing together industry, universities and government to shape tomorrow’s most important business, economic and cultural challenges.

UI Labs will bring together 40 industry partners, and more than 30 academia, government, and community partners, plus an additional 500 supporting companies and organizations to create the Digital Lab. Leading industry participants include General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin and Siemens.

“SIUE’s partnership in the DMDI award will increase metropolitan St. Louis industry’s access to the capabilities of our faculty, students, and facilities to improve their competitiveness and spur economic growth in the region,” said Jerry Weinberg, associate provost for research and dean of the SIUE Graduate School.  “Projects will provide opportunities for our students to add to their educational experiences while working on real-world problems.”

ADA Congratulates SIUE on Metro East Step Out Contribution

27 February 2014, 3:44 pm

ADA-AwardAmerican Diabetes Association Metro East Manager Rawnie Berry congratulated SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe earlier this week for the University’s contribution to the success of the 2013 Metro East Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.

SIUE was a Platinum Sponsor of the October 5 event. Furst-Bowe spoke at the Walk Day’s opening ceremony. SIUE staff managed a publicity tent, and displayed literature and promotional material. Eleven SIUE student organizations raised $1,850.

Local attendance was a record 775 participants. Overall, the event raised $110,309, which made the Metro East Step Out No. 1 nationally in exceeding its ADA goal.

Photo (L to R): SIUE Vice Chancellor of University Relations Patrick Hundley, ADA Metro East Manager Rawnie Berry, SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, SIUE Administrative Associate Karen Kaufman and SIUE Director of Annual Giving Julie Babington.

Tarlton’s Steve Cronin Named 2014 Distinguished CLI Alumnus

27 February 2014, 3:06 pm

CLI Construction Leadership Alumni Reception 02-21-14Steve Cronin, vice president of Tarlton Corp. in St. Louis, is the recipient of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s 2014 Construction Leadership Institute (CLI) Alumni Award. The ceremony was Friday, Feb. 21 as a part of the CLI Alumni Day celebration.

CLI Advisory Board Chairman Jim Frey (Alberici Corp.) and program co-director Chris Gordon, associate dean of the SIUE School of Engineering, presented the award.

“CLI’s goal is to produce accomplished leaders who will have a profound impact on the St. Louis area construction business,” said Gordon. “Steve Cronin exemplifies the qualities of the high caliber leaders who have emerged from this program.”

The CLI Alumni Leadership Award recognizes an outstanding graduate who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to the St. Louis area building community. Cronin was a member of CLI’s 2004 inaugural class.

Tarlton President Tracy Hart, Chief Operating Officer Dirk Elsperman, and Senior Vice Presidents John Doerr and Matt Pfund joined Cronin for the event. CLI alumni representing 10 years of the program and the Class of 2014 participated in the festivities.

CLI is an executive education program jointly developed by SIUE’s School of Business and the School of Engineering’s Department of Construction. It brings together professionals from many sectors of the building industry.

Since CLI’s creation, more than 250 professionals have benefitted from the nine-week program that strengthens leadership, strategic thinking, communications and key management skills.

SIUE School of Nursing receives IBHE 2014 Nursing School Expansion Grant

27 February 2014, 2:19 pm

Laura Bernaix Interm Assistant Dean of Nursing 8-7-13The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) announced in early February that the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing received a 2014 Nursing School Expansion Grant. With a value of $255,848, the Expansion Grant will provide financial support to help fund the School of Nursing’s Accelerated Online RN to BS program.

The IBHE’s Expansion Grant provides financial support to high-quality nursing programs to help increase the number of degrees earned from Illinois institutions of higher learning.

“Our Accelerated RN to BS program was designed based on the directives issued by the Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses by 2020,” said Dr. Laura Bernaix, associate dean for academic programs in the SIUE School of Nursing.

“This program is for Registered Nurses who are returning to school for their baccalaureate degree,” said Dr. Roberta Harrison, assistant dean for undergraduate programs. “It is an innovative, timely and evidenced-based program tailored to facilitate student success. By addressing the common barriers experienced by RN’s returning to the academic setting, it will facilitate improved student retention and graduation.”

Nursing programs eligible for the Nursing School Expansion Grant include associate degrees in nursing (ADN), Registered Nursing to baccalaureate degree completion programs (RN-BSN), and baccalaureate degrees in nursing (BSN). These programs must meet accreditation requirements and other eligibility criteria.

Expansion grants are determined in a competitive process and are awarded on the basis of NCLEX-RN pass rates and other performance criteria. The grant funds may be used to hire faculty, develop new programs and increase classroom space to expand capacity.

Photo: Dr. Laura Bernaix, associate dean for academic programs in the SIUE School of Nursing.

SIUE History Professor Wins Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Award

26 February 2014, 3:34 pm

Dr. Jessica Harris

In a year or so, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dr. Jessica Harris hopes her newly written book will make a good and lasting contribution to 20th Century African American history. She is an historical studies assistant professor in SIUE’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The book will be the result of Harris’ winning the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty. She was one of several junior faculty members selected nationwide to participate in the competitive program. The fellowship is effective from June 1, 2014-June 30, 2015.

“I was surprised and am still taking it all in,” Harris said. “I will spend the year finishing my book. The working title is Before the Panthers: Black Women and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Oakland, California 1900-1940.”

The objective of the Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty (CEFJF) is to “increase the presence of under-represented minority junior faculty members and other faculty committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and sciences.”

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation provides the Mellon Foundation grant used to administer the program. Winners enjoy a year-long sabbatical, a senior faculty mentor and a three-day retreat. Harris will attend the retreat from June 23-25 in Atlanta, Ga.

In 2011 Harris received her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. in African American History from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.. She came to SIUE in 2011. Some of the course subjects that Harris has taught and is teaching at SIUE include: the History of Black America, U.S. history from 1877 to the present, Love, Labor Liberation: Black Women in the 20th Century, The Black Freedom Movement, and Black Greek-Letter Organizations in Historical Perspective.

Harris names two books that have most influenced her approach to teaching African American history: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois and The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. As for research, the book that most impacted her studies on African American women was Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves, 1894-1994 by Deborah Gray White.

“I see my research as part of long standing efforts by scholars, in a range of fields, to document the experiences of African Americans in the United States,” Harris said, “and likewise, make visible their contributions to this nation’s history and culture.

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

Photo: Dr. Jessica Harris


SIUE School of Pharmacy Prepares to Educate Students on Prescription Drug Abuse

25 February 2014, 1:32 pm

Kerr_Jessica_mug2_smBeginning in March, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy students and faculty will deliver age-appropriate presentations regarding prescription drug abuse to students in grades 4-12 in the Metro East region. The approximately 30-minute presentation entitled “Rx for Destruction” will follow Illinois Common Core Teaching Standards. Presentations will be given until May.

Each presentation discusses objectives, such as defining the difference between safe use, misuse and abuse; discussing reasons behind prescription abuse; and identifying situations where students may be pressured to abuse such medications.

Along with adhering to a set of objectives, these presentations follow the Illinois Common Core Teaching Standards. Examples of the standards met include:

  • 3B.5a: Analyze how present decision making affects college and career choices
  • 3B.5b: Evaluate how responsible decision making affects interpersonal and group relationships
  • 22.A.3a: Identify and describe ways to reduce health risks common to adolescents

This program was developed with the assistance of local government officials, law enforcement, area school officials and educators

For more information, contact Dr. Jessica Kerr, associate professor of pharmacy practice, at

Photo:  SIUE School of Pharmacy’s Dr. Jessica Kerr.

SIUE Rooftop Vegetable Garden Seeks Crowdfunding Support

24 February 2014, 10:13 am

Rooftop Vegetable Garden for Crowdsourcing video 01-28-14People around the world have the opportunity to contribute to a vegetable rooftop garden project at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. An SIUE collaborative research team is seeking financial support for the project by garnering donations via online crowdfunding.

The project team has posted the Veggie Rooftop Garden project on to initially raise $8,100 from the community to support the students working on the project.

Led by Susan Morgan, professor of civil engineering and associate dean of the SIUE Graduate School, and Bill Retzlaff, professor of biological sciences and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the project will establish a vegetable garden on the patio rooftop of the Morris University Center.

“The concept builds upon the notion of using “green roof” technology for a sustainable approach to stormwater management and energy consumption, while studying the effects of using a waste product in a growth medium,” Morgan said. “But above that, the garden will provide learning and job experiences for both graduate and undergraduate students.”

Students will learn about green roof technology and vegetable production. All produce will be used by SIUE Dining Services or donated to initiatives such as The Campus Kitchen at SIUE, which keeps food from going to waste while feeding those in need. SIUE recently received a $5,000 grant sponsored by The Campus Kitchens Project Inc. to open a local Campus Kitchen.

The collaborative effort is part of the SIUE’s Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network (G.R.E.E.N.). In this project, G.R.E.E.N. is partnering with Filtrexx, St. Louis Composting and Illinois American Water to install the vegetable rooftop garden.

Funds will go to support the work of an undergraduate student and a graduate student on the project. It is hoped that by raising many small donations from a large network of donors, the project can reach its funding goal quickly. Those interested in providing donations to the project may easily submit their donations, however small, to Superior Ideas, a crowdfunding site owned by Michigan Technological University.

Photo: Site of the proposed vegetable rooftop garden at SIUE’s Morris University Center.

SIUE’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day Continues to Grow

22 February 2014, 3:09 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosted nearly 150 middle school-age girls for the second annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The event was Saturday, Feb. 22, in the SIUE School of Engineering Building and offered young girls exposure to the engineering field.

The program drew almost 50 more participants than last year said Sofia Chkautovich, chair of the event committee and a junior civil engineering major from St. Louis.

The goal is to learn the different types of engineering and discover what engineering is all about,” said Chkautovich, the chair of the SWE event committee. “At SIUE, we want girls to know the possibilities in the math and science fields, and see the possibilities in a traditionally male-dominated field. This is about empowering women, so that they know their options.”

Activities included small groups using teamwork to design and create miniature roller coasters, ferris wheels and slingshots. The attendees also managed balance with marshmallows and designed robot commands.

An approximately 60-member volunteer group comprised of professional women engineers and SIUE students supported and guided the participants. Following the completion of each activity, the professional engineers and the SIUE engineering students offered analysis.

“We discover that as the girls get more comfortable with each activity and their team, they become more competitive and produce the best structure,” Chkautovich said. “They move from being intimidated or afraid to being interested, lose that protective cloak, and see the result of teamwork and bonding.”

The parents were also included as SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim and female engineers spoke to them about future career paths for their daughters.

For more information, contact or visit

2014 Friends of Art Auction Set for April 3

21 February 2014, 2:27 pm

IMG_7822_smThe Friends of Art, along with the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Department of Art and Design, invite the public to the 35th Annual Art Auction on Thursday, April 3 at Lewis and Clark Community College in Edwardsville.

The 2014 auction features original artwork, which may be previewed at 6 p.m.  Gary Niemeier of Ahrens & Niemeier auctioneers will start the bidding at 7 p.m.

This lively event features fun and friendly competition that provides participants as much excitement in bidding as winning the item.

Last year’s auction featured 179 art pieces in all media that were donated by faculty, visiting artists, alumni, friends and advanced students.  The Silent Auction offered 75 additional artworks for sale.

Since 1979, the Friends of Art has assisted staging the fund-raiser for the Department of Art and Design in the College of Arts and Sciences. The event provides resources to bring in local, national and international artists and lecturers to the SIUE campus. It also provides monies to purchase art books and videos for Lovejoy Library, funds for students to attend national conferences, and awards for the annual high school exhibits and other SIUE student exhibits.

Admission is free to students and those who have donated works for the auction, as well as members of the Friends of Art. Tickets for the general public are $5 at the door. A cash bar will be available. LCCC is located at 600 Troy Road in Edwardsville.

For event information and to view images of artwork to be auctioned, visit our website or Facebook page Friends-of-art-SIUE.

For additional information, contact Dianne Lynch at (618) 377 8622 or email

Photo: A painting by the late Mike Smith, an emeriti facu

SIU SDM’s Gillespie Named Associate Editor of Anaerobe

20 February 2014, 5:52 pm

Anaerobe has selected Dr. Jane Gillespie, professor of microbiology at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, as associate editor of Molecular Biology and Genetics. Anaerobe is the official journal of the Anaerobe Society of the Americas and the Japanese Association for Anaerobic Infection Research.

Anaerobe is the leading scientific journal focused on bacteria and other organisms that live in anaerobic conditions, i.e., in the absence of oxygen. The journal has high relevance to dentistry, since most dental infections occur in either anaerobic or low oxygen environments.

Anaerobe publishes articles, notes and case reports in these categories: Anaerobes in the Microbiome, Clostridium difficile, Clinical Microbiology, Pathogenesis and Toxins, and Molecular Biology and Genetics. Gillespie will serve as associate editor for Molecular Biology and Genetics.

A member of the editorial board since its founding in 1996, Gillespie is proud to be named associate editor.

“The journal articles reporting original, peer-reviewed research gradually, and sometimes dramatically, impact a field of study,” said Gillespie. “Therefore, it is an honor to be considered worthy of this task which requires both expertise in the discipline and sound judgment in determining what new knowledge will be disseminated. It is also an opportunity to continue to learn and remain current in my field.”

Gillespie earned a bachelor of science in microbiology from Texas Tech University, and a master’s in microbiology and doctorate in microbial physiology from the University of New Mexico. She completed post-doctoral training in dental research at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and The State University of New York at Buffalo. Gillespie has also served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Endodontics, Journal of Dental Education and other microbiology journals.

She became a faculty member with the SIU School of Dental Medicine in 1997.

SIUE Continues Black Heritage Month Celebration with Africa Night

20 February 2014, 5:30 pm

Africa Night 2-25-13SIUE will host Africa Night from 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. The event is sponsored by the African Student Association. It is part of SIUE’s month-long celebration of Black Heritage Month themed, “Breaking Barriers: At the Crossroads of Freedom.”

The event will provide attendees with an exciting African cultural experience. The evening will include a dinner of Africa-inspired dishes followed by dance and entertainment.

Tickets to Africa Night are $10 for students and $15 for SIUE faculty, staff and general public, and are available at the Morris University Center Information Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 618-650-5555.

Africa Week Continues Today at SIUE with AIDS Awareness Workshop

20 February 2014, 11:55 am

African Students Association traditional costumes with faculty 02-17-14

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville African Students Association (ASA) is continuing its observance of African Week at the University.

“Prior to now, we used to have an ASA night but we thought of having a week that will contribute to students’ academic and career development, while also bringing some of Africa’s culture and tradition to SIUE,” said Adesile Okeowo, ASA president.

The group started the week Monday with a day of ASA members, faculty and staff dressed in traditional attire.

A Career Development/Skills Enlightenment seminar was held Wednesday.

Today, the ASA, in partnership with the Black Student Union, will host an AIDS Awareness workshop from 6-8 p.m. in the Morris University Center’s Mississippi Room.

“We want to help increase people’s awareness of HIV and AIDS,” said Nunu Idemudia, an SIUE junior majoring in psychology. “We will talk about the ways you can contract HIV and AIDS and how not to discriminate against those with the disease.” For more information about the workshop, contact Idemudia at

On Friday, the group will feature the inter-collegiate debate, “Battle of Wits” at 5 p.m. in the Morris University Center Goshen Lounge. Participating schools include: SIUE, SIUC, Webster University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Knox College in Galesburg, Western Illinois University, Principia College and Northern Illinois University.

Later Friday at 8 p.m., all schools will participate in a one-day, indoor soccer tournament.

African Week will conclude with Africa Night 2014 at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom.

Attendees will enjoy dishes from across the African continent. The program will include a cultural show featuring music, dance, drama and entertainment.

Tickets are available at the Morris University Center Information Center. The cost is $10 for SIUE students, $15 for SIUE faculty and staff and $15 for the general public.

For more information, contact Okeowo at (512) 576-2382 or

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

Photo Information: SIUE African Student Association

SIUE’s Perkins Receives Hammonds Memorial Scholarship

20 February 2014, 9:24 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Candace Perkins received the Dr. Cleveland Hammonds Jr. Memorial Scholarship at the 54th Anniversary Alumni Celebration & Awards Showcase of the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club of St. Louis. The ceremony was held Saturday, Feb. 15 at the St. Louis Airport Hilton.

A St. Louis native, Perkins is a junior in the School of Education’s Teacher Education program. She received a $1,000 award in Hammonds’ memory.

Hammonds was a former SIUE instructor and past superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools. He also served the Mathews-Dickey Board as education chair prior to his death in 2010.

Perkins is the third SIUE student to receive the annual scholarship, established in 2012 for undergraduates in the Teacher Education program. Selection was based on need, desire, academic achievement and community service.

The Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club was founded in 1960 to provide structured recreational services to youths in North St. Louis. Today the club serves more than 40,000 young men and women, ages 5-18, throughout the Metropolitan St. Louis region.

For more information about the SIUE Department of Educational Leadership, contact Dr. Laurel Puchner, chair, at 618-650-3286 or

The SIUE School of Education prepares students in a wide range of fields including community health education, exercise science, instructional technology, psychology, speech-language pathology and audiology, administration and teaching. Faculty members engage in leading-edge research, which enhances teaching and enriches the educational experience. The School supports the community through on-campus clinics, outreach to children and families, and a focused commitment to enhancing individual lives across the region.

FOTAD Season Continues March 22 with Cinderella, or the Story of Bigfoot

19 February 2014, 2:01 pm

A Season for the Child (SfC), the family-oriented live theater season—presented by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friends of Theater and Dance (FOTAD) —will end its 24th season with Cinderella, Or The Story Of Bigfoot at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 22.

Cinderella, or the Story of Bigfoot will be staged in SIUE’s Katherine Dunham Hall by Curtains Up Theatre Company, based in Edwardsville and Collinsville. In addition, students from Southwestern Illinois College will interpret the play for people who are deaf or hearing impaired.

This humorous retelling of the traditional story of Cinderella is a wonderful tale of how true beauty comes from within and that it’s not just OK to be yourself, but that it’s the only way to be.

Full of unexpected twists, the story presents great characters including Ella Le Grand, an orphan living in her father’s house, which is run by her cruel and selfish stepmother. When Ella and her stepfamily are invited to the King’s ball, she is assisted by Dweezil Twistup, fairy and God-dude extraordinaire, and his sidekick, Junior. When Ella finally meets Prince Alfonse XIII in his leather jacket and white T-shirt, she finds that he’s “the coolest cat in the kingdom.”

A Season for the Child, which premiered in 1990, features adaptations of children’s stories using interactive techniques that not only delight children and parents, but also provide a learning experience.

Proceeds from this production will benefit FOTAD’s merit award program. FOTAD annually presents nearly $5,000 in merit scholarships to talented, current theater and dance majors at SIUE. The organization also funds scholarships for qualified new freshmen entering the theater and dance program.

Individual tickets for the March 22 performance of Cinderella, or the Story of Bigfoot, are $5 per person and are available through the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774.

FOTAD also has an endowment to help fund the merit scholarship program. Those interested in donating to the endowment may contact Greg Conroy, (618) 692-0874.

Turkey’s Challenges and Canada are This Week’s Lifelong Learning Topics

18 February 2014, 3:31 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Office of Educational Outreach will present “Turkey’s Challenges” and “Oh Canada: Hockey, Beer and Health Care…eh,” tomorrow as part of its ongoing Lifelong Learning series.

SIUE School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim will talk about his native country, Turkey, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. Wednesday in the Morris University Center Hickory-Hackberry room. The discussion will examine a nation at a crossroads. Sevim will provide an overview of the country’s rich history, with some focus on clashes between secular and religious groups, as well as recent protests in Taksim Square.

“Oh Canada: Hockey, Beer and Health Care…eh,” led by Lindsay Ross-Stewart, will delve into the politics and culture of our neighbor to the North. Ross-Stewart is an assistant professor of kinesiology and health education through the SIUE School of Education.

The presentation will take place from 1:15-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, also in the MUC Hickory-Hackberry room. She will focus on debunking stereotypes and discuss issues such as gun control, politics and social programs related to the differences between the Canadian and U.S. systems.

The cost to attend each of the sessions is $2 for Lifelong Learning members and $5 for non-members. Those visiting campus to attend the events can pay to park in Lot B, which is most accessible to the event location. The fee for parking is $1 per hour.

Lifelong Learning members, who are able to attend sessions at a reduced fee, also are eligible to receive a parking code that will enable them to park on site for the entire day of programs at a total cost of $2. Those individuals who already have an SIUE parking tag are not eligible to take advantage of the code. Campus maps are available for review at www.siue/edu/maps.

To register for non-credit classes or find out how to become a Lifelong Learning member, contact the Office of Educational Outreach at 618-650-3210.

Spring International Speaker Series Begins with Syrian Civil War Talk

18 February 2014, 3:22 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s popular International Speak Series continues from 10-10:50 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 with “The Syrian Civil War: Stake and Consequences.”

Dr. Adam Garfinkle, scholar and author, will speak in SIUE’s Morris University Center Redbud-Oak Room. Garfinkle is from the Hans Arnold Center with the American Academy in Berlin.

“Adam Garfinkle’s presentation will call attention to the broader implications of the Syrian Conflict and their importance for U.S. standing in the Middle East,” said Dr. Ron Schaefer, distinguished professor and director of the SIUE Center for International Programs. “Hearing from Garfinkle about the complex tensions and forces behind the Syrian Civil War provides a unique opportunity for our students to take a few moments out of their schedule of classes to focus on what is happening in the world.

“Thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced. What is happening today in Syria could very well spill over into other countries in the Middle East.”

Garfinkle served as chief writer of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (the Hart-Rudman Commission) of the National Security Study Group, and as an aide to U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, a democrat from Washington. A widely published scholar, Garfinkle has received awards and grants from the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Fellowship Program, the American Academy in Berlin, the German Marshall Fund, the United States Institute of Peace and the Moshe Dayan Center for the Study of Middle Eastern and African Affairs (Tel Aviv University).

He is the author of the books, Jewcentricity: How the Jews Get Praised, Blamed and Used to Explain Nearly Everything and His Telltale Hearts: The Origin and Impact of the Vietnam Antiwar Movement, which was named a “notable book of the year” in 1995 by the New York Times Book Review.

Among Garfinkle’s publications are occasional pieces on fiction or humor. Adam Garfinkle earned his Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania in l979.

Members of the University and Edwardsville communities are invited to attend the event. Students, faculty and staff are asked to contact the Center for International Programs if entire classes would like to attend so that appropriate seating arrangements can be made. International Programs can be contacted at 618-650-3278 or 618-650-3785, or by emailing or

SIUE School of Nursing NCLEX Pass Rates Exceed State and National Averages

18 February 2014, 2:55 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing graduates first time pass rate average on the annual National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exceeded state and national averages.

SIUE’s 2013 posted pass rate was 89 percent, compared to the national pass rate of 83 percent and the Illinois pass rate of 85 percent.

In April 2013, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) implemented a revised test plan and change in passing standard for the NCLEX-RN. Due to the higher standards, the NCSBN projected a 3-5 percent decrease in the passing rate for those taking the NCLEX-RN for the first time.

As a result, many nursing programs have seen a decrease in their NCLEX-RN passage rates. The national first-time pass rate average decline to 83 percent between April and June 2013 reflects a 9.74 percent decrease from the previous quarter. To ensure public protection, NCSBN member board jurisdictions require a candidate for licensure to pass an exam that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse.

Dr. Anne Perry, interim dean of the SIUE School of Nursing, identified a number of variables that may have contributed to the NCLEX-RN rate success, but believes that the School’s collective commitment to student success and excellence were the biggest factors.

“The SIUE School of Nursing is a community of scholars who are committed to excellence in practice and education,” Perry said. “Maintaining a high passage rate in light of the revised test plan and increased standards is extremely encouraging. Our graduates were well prepared due to our student-centered learning environment and through the incorporation of best practices by our dedicated faculty.”

Champion for the Autistic will Speak Feb. 27 at SIUE

18 February 2014, 12:00 pm

Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin, inspiration, advocate and hero for the autistic, will give her presentation: “Different Kinds of Minds” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27. Grandin will appear in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom as part of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues 2013-2014 season.

Grandin has gained worldwide recognition for her autism advocacy, research and publications. Having been diagnosed as autistic at age three, Grandin has overcome great challenges and is known as “the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.”

For tickets and information, visit the SIUE Dunham Hall Arts & Issues Box Office, the SIUE Morris University Center Information Booth, or call (618) 650-5774.

In “Different Kinds of Minds,” she will discuss the unique ways the autistic mind works and how this distinct type of thinking is essential and beneficial to society.

“Autism is a very big continuum and goes from very severe, with the child being nonverbal, all the way to brilliant scientists and engineers,” said Grandin in a presentation on “It’s a continuum of traits. When does a nerd turn into Asperger Syndrome, which is mild autism. (Albert) Einstein and (Wolfgang Amadeus) Mozart would probably be diagnosed in autistic spectrum today.

“I want to talk about different ways of thinking. Get away from the verbal language. I think in pictures. I don’t think in language. The thing about the autistic mind is that it tends to details. The normal brain ignores the details. If you’re building a bridge, details are pretty important.

“One of my big concerns with a lot of policy things today is that things are getting too abstract. I’m concerned that schools are taking out the hands-on classes”

Grandin is the author of several books including the following three: Thinking in Pictures, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum and The Way I See it: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s. Learn more about Grandin at her official website.

Grandin’s appearance is sponsored by the Madison County Regional Office of Education. Arts & Issues is also partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Arts & Issues series brings artistic excellence to the SIUE campus through an eclectic blend of speakers and performers. For more than 29 years, SIUE’s Arts & Issues series has showcased some of the world’s finest artists. Each season, thought-provoking speakers inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. Thanks to the underwriting of SIUE, corporations, foundations and individual donors, tickets are often discounted as much as 75 percent.

Arts & Issues is tied to the academic mission of the University and offers unique opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and the community, to engage with performers and speakers through master classes and special sessions.

Photo Information: Dr. Temple Grandin


SIUE Wins Sodexo Campus Kitchens Project Grant

18 February 2014, 11:07 am

Aftcampus kitchens projecter 10 days of voting during which nearly 40,000 individual votes were cast, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was awarded a grant to bring a Campus Kitchen to campus. SIUE was among five universities to receive a $5,000 startup grant during the first ever Launch Grant Video Competition hosted by the Campus Kitchens Project. The grant, sponsored by the Sodexo Foundation, will allow SIUE students, faculty and staff to provide food to poverty stricken areas in local communities.

Seven universities qualified for the competition in which students submitted video bids for a grant to begin a Campus Kitchen. The SIUE student organization, Alliance of Students Against Poverty (ASAP), partnered with the Kimmel Student Involvement Center to produce the submission video. A public vote was held Jan. 23-29, and grants were awarded to the top five universities. Grants were also awarded to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, St. Peter’s University, Georgia Tech and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The startup grant makes SIUE one of only 39 universities that have been selected to host Campus Kitchens nationwide. In the video submission, ASAP Chapter President Ray Jhala explained that SIUE students are willing and eager to help. “There’s an outcry from this community that wants to provide relief to those in need, but many of those people who want to help actually lack the proper outlet to do so,” he said.

Campus Kitchens is a national community service organization that empowers students to take a stand against hunger by reducing food waste and utilizing unused food to provide meals for low-income families. Student volunteers will organize menus, prepare and transport food, and provide educational outreach services to families living in poverty.

“The SIUE community has been 100 percent committed to the Campus Kitchens’ mission,” said Sarah Laux, assistant director for civic engagement in the SIUE Kimmel Student Involvement Center. “Bringing Campus Kitchens to SIUE provides leadership and personal development opportunities to students. They will have ownership over this project and be able to see the effects of their hard work from start to finish.”

In the future, Laux hopes to establish a fund through which community members and local grocery stores can partner with the SIUE Campus Kitchen and sustain the initiative for years to come.

Weather Balloon Launch Highlights Grand Opening of SIUE Engineering Building Addition

18 February 2014, 8:17 am

weather-ballonRibbon Cutting Video

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a grand opening this afternoon for its new Engineering Building Annex. The new structure is part of a $14.2 million expansion and renovation for the School of Engineering.

SIU President Glenn Poshard joined SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim to cut the ribbon.

“This state-of-the-art addition will allow us to continue to educate our engineering students at the highest level, while enhancing the globalization of our campus by continuing to attract students from all over the world,” Poshard said. “Along with all of our new projects on campus, the engineering addition is part of our commitment to sustainability. This addition was designed to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.”

Freshman engineering students launched a weather balloon to highlight the festivities. The student team designed and assembled the balloon’s payload-to-gather position, video and camera data. The mission is to send the balloon roughly 100,000 feet into the air with two cameras attached to film Earth from a different perspective. They will collect roughly four hours of video and 45,000 pictures.

Freshman mechanical engineering student Alex Anderson provided his thoughts on the addition. “What this building means to us is that we are attending a school that is as dynamic as we are,” said Anderson, who was part of the balloon launch team. “As we expand and grow into the innovators of tomorrow, we are not constrained by the resources of our campus. The School of Engineering not only gives us new space to grow in the future, but also the opportunities of today.”

“As we continue to offer our engineering students the best possible education, this event marks yet another meaningful step forward for the School of Engineering and for SIUE,” Furst-Bowe said. “This building allows our students much-needed space, up-to-date technology and a state-of-the-art learning environment. To the rest of our community, this addition adds another treasure to our already breathtaking campus.”

engineering-ribbon-cuttingThe ribbon cutting signified the completion of the expansion phase of the project. It includes a nearly 32,000-square-foot annex that is connected to the existing award-winning Engineering Building through an enclosed bridge. The annex provides additional classrooms and computer laboratories, as well as necessary office space.

The Engineering Building, which was built in 2000, had reached its capacity, necessitating the new four-story, leading-edge addition. The new structure includes open spaces to show ductwork and other engineering-related design elements of the building to students who are studying those same elements. This will further enhance their educational experience.

During his presentation, Sevim described the four-year process to bring the addition to reality to the ever-growing School of Engineering. “Our School’s reputation has spread so fast that we experienced a total growth of 40 percent from 2008 to 2013,” he said. “When the project began, I was advised to not ask for more space for another 10 years, but it may be time to talk about our big plans for the next 25 years!”

SIU Board of Trustees Selects Randy Dunn as President

17 February 2014, 4:03 pm

Thomas_newprezThe Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today selected Dr. Randy J. Dunn as the eighth president of the SIU system.

Dunn is presently president of Youngstown (Ohio) State University where he assumed those duties in July 2013. He was selected after a five-month national search.

“Congratulations to Dr. Dunn on his appointment,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “Thank you to Glenn Poshard for all of the contributions that he has made to SIUE’s success during his tenure as system president.

“Under Dr. Poshard’s leadership, SIUE has enjoyed overall growth and an ever-increasing academic profile. Personally, I am thankful for his guidance and counsel during my nearly two years as chancellor.

“Looking forward, SIUE awaits the new opportunities that occur with new leadership. We understand the many challenges that face higher education and SIUE, in particular, as we strategically plan for the next 5-to-10 years.

We are confident that Dr. Dunn’s experience, dedication and innovative spirit will continue to push SIUE to greater heights.”

Dunn spent nine years at the Carbondale campus. He became an associate professor of education in 1995 and was selected chair of the Department of Education in 2000.

In 2004, Dunn became superintendent of education for the Illinois State Board of Education. He served as Murray State University’s president from May 2006 to July 2013.

Dunn earned a bachelor’s in teacher education and a master’s in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State University. He achieved a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Illinois.

Dunn will succeed Glenn Poshard who has served as SIU president since 2006.

Photo: SIU Board of Trustees Chairman Randal Thomas advises the media of the selection of Randy Dunn as the eighth SIU president.

SIUE Campus Hosted Prospective Students and Their Families

14 February 2014, 3:13 pm

Meridian Scholars Day group shot 02-14-14More than 1,700 high school students and family members visited the SIUE campus during Presidents Day weekend to participate in four programs.

Friday, 194 Meridian Scholar finalists and 301 of their guests attended the annual Meridian Scholarship Interview Day in the Morris University Center. This year’s program doubled in size to accommodate twice as many scholars. The 194 finalists have a mean 30.6 ACT and an average GPA of 3.9. For more information, visit Meridian Scholar Day.

The SIUE School of Nursing hosted its annual spring open house program Saturday morning for 211 students and their 356 guests. For more information, visit Open House.

The SIUE STEM Center also hosted approximately 250 middle- and high-school students Saturday for their annual Science Olympiad in the Vadalabene Center, the Engineering Building, Science Lab Building West and Peck Hall. This year’s program included students from 16 schools.

They participated in a team-based competition encompassing all areas of science. Biology, chemistry, earth science and physics are emphasized with engineering and technology applications through a range of testing modes which include everything from paper/pencil tests, lab practical-type events, and design and building devices that require calibration devices to accomplish a goal.

On Monday, the SIUE Office of Admissions hosted a special visit day to accommodate more than 145 students and 273 guests who made appointments for Presidents Day. For more information, visit

Photo:  Prospective Meridian Scholars visited SIUE Friday, Feb. 14.



Several SIUE Students are Surveyed on their “Beatle” Knowledge

14 February 2014, 3:03 pm

View video here.

Fifty years ago, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, and “The Beatles” turned America upside down.

When it comes to “Beatle” knowledge, some Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students showed they knew a lot, while others, not so much.

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


SIUE Pink Zone Effort Raises $7,500

14 February 2014, 10:48 am

2014PinkZoneSurvivorsWhile it was great for Cougar women’s basketball fans to see a win against UT Martin at the second annual Pink Zone game Saturday, Feb. 8th, the real excitement was that $7,518 was raised for the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen.

“SIUE’s Pink Zone initiative is a wonderful way to support the fight against breast cancer,” said Helen Chesnut, Susan G. Komen St. Louis executive director and breast cancer survivor. “The awareness generated and the dollars raised through the Pink Zone activities will make a real difference in our community. The funds will help provide breast health and breast cancer services for those who are most in need. Komen St. Louis truly appreciates all who helped make Pink Zone such a success.”

SIUE kicked off the breast cancer awareness week with a Feb. 5 reception held at the Doubletree by Hilton in Collinsville where more than 60 guests heard SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher speak about the importance of finding a cure.

“We work with young female student-athletes day-in and day-out, so it is a natural cause to embrace,” said Buscher. “Our goal is that someday we will find a cure so the student-athletes, who I am blessed to work with, will never have to fight the same battles.”

On the Pink Zone game day, Buscher challenged fans to donate $25 for each three-pointer made by the Cougars. With 21 fans matching her pledge, SIUE totaled $1,575 for the challenge.

Sixteen breast cancer survivors were honored with a standing ovation at halftime.

Ten runners took their place on a courtside treadmill to help raise funds and awareness. Special thanks go to SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt, Assistant Vice Chancellor Office of Institutional Compliance Paul Pitts, Department of Kinesiology and Heath Education Chair Curt Lox, Academic Advisor Kelly Traynor, Director of Admissions Todd Burrell, Research Assistant Courtney Kenner, Wendy Hedberg, Angela Tomic and Darlene Harmon for running during the game.

Photo: SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe (2nd from right) with breast cancer survivors at halftime of second annual Pink Zone game.

SIU BOT Approves SIUE Improvements Valued at Nearly $5 Million

14 February 2014, 9:16 am

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees yesterday at its regularly scheduled meeting on the Edwardsville campus approved budgets worth nearly $5 million to complete three separate projects on the Edwardsville campus:

  • Expansion of the student fitness center (SFC) weight room and renovation of the Vadalabene Center (VC) south entrance at an estimated cost of $2.6 million
  • Campus road improvements at an estimated cost of $1.3 million
  • Replacement of the Simmons Law Firm Baseball Complex outfield with synthetic turf at an estimated cost of $1,005,500

The SFC project will include an approximately 5,000 square foot expansion of the weight room. This will require rebuilding the VC’s south entrance where it connects with the SFC.

The project will be funded from SFC non-instructional facilities reserve account funds ($1.2 million) and the sale of revenue bonds to be repaid from SFC fee revenues ($1.4 million). A qualifications based selection (QBS) process was used to select AAIC Architects of Collinsville as the architect consultant for the project’s design.

Campus road improvements will include resurfacing Hairpin Dr., a portion of North University Dr. and access to the University’s cross country running course. During the resurfacing, the intersection of North University and North Circle Drives will be improved to reduce traffic congestion and pedestrian conflicts.

The roads project will also involve overlaying Whiteside Rd., East University Dr., Supporting Services Rd., Cougar Lake Dr. and Cougar Village Rd. to extend pavement life. Road markings, traffic signs and accessible curb ramps will also be replaced. Pavement deterioration, because of the effects of normal wear, required attention.

A QBS process was utilized to select Hurst-Rosche Architects of Hillsboro as the engineering consultant for the roads project design. The project will be funded from University Plant funds.

The Simmons Complex’s natural turf outfield will be replaced with a synthetic turf. The new turf will allow for year-round tournament play and training. The project will also replace the perimeter fence and improve drainage.

Oates & Associates of Collinsville was selected through a QBS process to be the engineering consultant for the project design. It will be funded through University Plant Funds.

SIUE Fee Changes Proposed to SIU Board of Trustees

13 February 2014, 12:17 pm

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today considered fee-related changes for the Edwardsville campus. The changes considered during the board’s meeting on the Edwardsville campus included the student fees for Housing occupancy rates, Information Technology, Textbook Rental and Intercollegiate Athletics.

Other fee changes were proposed for the Student Welfare and Activity Fee (SWAF), Student Fitness Center, Facilities and the Morris University Center fee and meal plans. The recommendations will be considered for approval during the April 10 meeting on the Carbondale campus.

Under the proposals, annual rental rates for a shared room at Woodland, Prairie and Bluff residence halls would be $5,590 compared with the current charge of $5,430. A deluxe single room would cost $11,180 annually compared with $10,860 now.

Annual housing rates at Evergreen Hall would be $5,940 for a shared apartment in fall 2014 compared to $5,770 now. A private apartment in fall 2014 would be $7,930 compared to $7,700 now. A private suite rate in fall 2014 would $6,730 as opposed to $6,530 now.

Upperclassmen residing in Cougar Village Apartments would pay $4,250 per year in fall 2014 for a shared room compared with $4,130 paid currently per year. A single room would cost $6,310 annually compared with $6,130 now. A deluxe single room has decreased to $7,310 per year compared with $8,260 now.

Families in Cougar Village, now paying $1,020 per month for a two-bedroom, unfurnished apartment, would pay $1,050 in the fall 2014. The same family paying $1,195 per month now for a furnished two-bedroom apartment would pay $1,230 per month in fall 2014. Families in a three-bedroom unfurnished apartment now paying $1,145 per month would pay $1,180 per month in fall 2014. A three-bedroom furnished apartment is now $1,340 per month and would be $1,380 in fall 2014.

Proposed occupancy fee rate increases would offset inflationary cost increases projected at 2-3 percent, fund debt service, maintain adequate fund balances in housing operations and provide for administrative costs.

The Resident Housing Association also proposed a 3 percent increase per semester in the meal plan charges for residents living in housing on the mandatory meal plan. The rates were developed for the academic year effective fall 2014 to offset inflationary cost increases in labor and food.

The Information Technology fee would change from $7.05 per credit hour to $7.25, a 2.8 percent increase resulting in a full-time undergraduate student paying $217.50 annually (two academic semesters of 15 hours each) compared with $211.50 that is currently paid. This fee helps defray the costs of supporting computing resources and networking infrastructure on campus.

Textbook rental fees would increase by $21 for the academic year effective fall 2014. The textbook rental fee is assessed at the same rates year-round. The annual rate for 30 hours would increase from $369 to $390. The 5.7 percent increase would offset other inflationary operating cost increases in salaries and the cost of books, provide necessary levels of service and maintain an appropriate fund balance.

A full-time undergraduate student (30 credit hours) would pay an Intercollegiate Athletics annual fee of $352.80 beginning in the fall, a change from the current rate of $341.30. The proposed 3.4 percent increase of $11.50 would support the annual operating expenses associated with an NCAA Division I program and would move the program toward established fund balance targets.

Annually (for a full-time student enrolled in 15 hours or more during fall and spring)

                                                      FY14                       FY15                        Change

• SWAF                                       $229.90                  $233.20                        + 1.4 %

• Student Fitness Center         $168.40                  $173.40                        + 3.0 %

• Facilities                                   $570.00                 $585.00                        + 2.6 %

• University Center                    $323.10                 $333.00                        + 3.1 %

SIU Board of Trustees Considers SIUE AY 14-15 Tuition Increase

13 February 2014, 12:05 pm

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today considered a five percent tuition increase for the 2014-15 Academic Year that would result in a $366 increase over last year for newly entering, in-state undergraduates on the Edwardsville campus. The board met in the Morris University Center on the Edwardsville campus.

With these increases, the annual tuition rate would be $7,662 for new, in-state full-time undergraduate students (15 hours per semester) entering fall 2014. Undergraduate students currently in a guaranteed tuition plan will see no increase in their annual tuition rate.

With new policy instituted at November’s board meeting, in-state tuition will also be available to entering freshman and transfer students, and master’s level graduate students from the regional states of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

A $135.60 annual increase (2 percent) was also proposed for SIUE in-state graduate students for the coming fall. In-state, full-time students (12 hours per semester) in the SIUE Graduate School would pay $6,837.60 in tuition.

In addition, the University also proposed other tuition changes that would result in annual two percent increases for students enrolled in the professional schools of Dental Medicine and Pharmacy. In-state students in the School of Dental Medicine would pay an annual tuition of $29,120, while in-state students in the School of Pharmacy would pay an annual tuition of $23,220.

The recommendations will be considered for approval during the April 10 meeting on the Carbondale campus.

SIUE School of Nursing Announces Accelerated Online RN to BS Program

13 February 2014, 9:26 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing began offering an accelerated registered nursing (RN) to bachelor of science (BS) program in January 2014. This 100 percent online program will replace the previous hybrid RN to BS program.

Students will be able to complete this accelerated program in as short as one year (three semesters) or at a slower progression over two years.

“Our accelerated RN to BS program was designed specifically for the registered nurse interested in completing a high quality, contemporary bachelor’s completion program,” said Dr. Roberta Harrison, assistant dean for undergraduate programs. “The accelerated format and support system provided through a new online immersion on Blackboard helps students who are new to distance learning and technology-based education.”

Classes for this fully accredited option are structured in an eight-week course. It will require students to take a total of six core nursing courses once all general education course requirements are met. This program is designed for students who already have an associate degree or diploma from another nursing program. In order to accommodate the needs of working RNs and to allow for a maximum level of convenience, this program will be offered in a flexible online format.

Applications for the accelerated RN to BS program are being accepted now and can be found at

The SIUE School of Nursing’s fully accredited programs are committed to creating excellence in nursing leadership through innovative teaching, evidence-based practice, quality research, patient advocacy and community service. Enrolling nearly 1,000 students in its baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders in pursuit of shaping the nursing profession and impacting the health care environment. Through expanded programs located on the SIU Carbondale campus and SIU School of Medicine campus, the SIUE School of Nursing is helping to solve the region’s shortage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enhance the quality of nursing practice within hospitals and medical centers.

Metro East Start-Up Challenge Deadline Extended

12 February 2014, 1:23 pm

PrintEntrepreneurs and new business start-ups are invited to compete in the Metro East Start-Up Challenge, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s first regional business plan competition.

The Start-Up Challenge is sponsored by University Park at SIUE and the Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Challenge seeks to identify, reward and support entrepreneurs across the SBDC’s nine-county service area.

“With strong overall interest and a large number of partially completed entries, we’ve pushed the entry deadline back one week to Friday, Feb. 21,” said Patrick McKeehan, director of the SBDC in Edwardsville and East St. Louis.

The St. Louis Regional Chamber and PNC Bank are supporting the competition as award sponsors. SIUE’s School of Business, the SBDC’s host organization, is assisting with facilitating the competition.

The first-place winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize. The second-place winner will receive $5,000. Both awards also include an array of in-kind professional services. In addition, the Challenge winner may be eligible for low-cost office accommodations in University Park.

McKeehan believes the Challenge will generate a number of regional benefits. Those include increasing the interest in and excitement for business start-ups along with identifying “high-impact” start-ups for possible location in the Metro East.

The Metro East Start-Up Challenge competition invites entrepreneurs and start-up businesses with business ideas from the following three industries: information technology, manufacturing and health care.

In order for an existing small business enterprise to be eligible, it must have been established after Jan. 1, 2011. Existing business enterprises must also be headquartered in the nine-county St. Louis Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. For pre-venture entrepreneurs, proposed new business operations will need to be located within the same nine counties.

The Start-Up Challenge will complement SIUE’s “Other 40” business plan competition, which is annually hosted by the School of Business and open solely to students. The title speaks to the fact that although 60 percent of new businesses do not succeed, the other 40 percent do.

The Metro East Start-Up Challenge includes three rounds, beginning with a questionnaire and executive summary submittal that is open to all applications that meet the eligibility guidelines.

In round two, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full business plan.

The third round is the “final pitch,” open only to successful second-round participants.

Apply at Semi-finalists will be announced Friday, Feb. 28, with winners announced Monday, April 28.

Gateway Teen Science Cafés Presents: Super Lasers!

12 February 2014, 1:23 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dr. Jack Glassman will present “Super Lasers: How Lasers Work and What They’re Used For,” during three upcoming Teen Science Cafés.

The events are hosted in part by the SIUE Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach. Glassman, associate professor of physics, will explain how lasers work through hands-on activities. He also will take attendees through an exploration of real-life applications of his research.

“This is an opportunity for area teens to come together and learn about an exciting area of science,” said Sean Herberts, STEM Center educational outreach coordinator. “Teens will learn how lasers are used on a daily basis. From computers and disk readers, to military use and general exploration, this light-based technology has become essential to society.”

Glassman will speak at the following times, dates and locations to the specified audiences:

  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Science St. Louis Center for Emerging Technologies, 4041 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis

Audience: Junior Academy of Science members and 6th-12th grade students

  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Cahokia High School, 800 Range Lane, Cahokia

Audience: 9th-12th grade students

Audience:  8th-12th grade students

Those planning to attend the Academy of Science – St. Louis event are required to register online. Individuals who would like to attend the event at Cahokia High School are encouraged to contact or To attend the Taylor Center event, contact Although registration is required, all events are free.

With financial support from the National Science Foundation, area teens have access to nationally prominent scientists, engineers and inventors as part of the Teen Science Cafés Network. The SIUE STEM Center is working with its collaborating partners—the Academy of Science – St. Louis and the St. Louis Science Center’s Taylor Center—to make the local events possible. Events held last year at numerous area locations throughout Greater St. Louis drew hundreds of attendees.

A free, fun way for teens to explore the latest science and technology ideas, the program is aimed at starting conversations with prominent leaders in their fields, while providing a non-intimidating, relaxed environment. Other topics will be explored in coming months.

To learn more about the initiative, visit the Gateway Teen Science Café website, or call the SIUE STEM Center at (618) 650-3065.

Dirks-Linhorst to Present Going Lecture

12 February 2014, 12:00 pm

Dr. P. Ann Dirks-Linhorst, associate professor in SIUE’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, will present the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Going Lecture at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 in Peck Hall, room 2304.

She will be joined by two panelists to present “Mentally Ill Offenders and the Criminal Justice System: What Do We Know, and How Do We Help?”

Dirks-Linhorst received the 2013 William and Margaret Going Endowed Professorship Award, which recognizes CAS faculty who have outstanding teaching, scholarly accomplishments and/or creative activity. As part of the award, recipients give a lecture.

Dr. William Going was the first dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs at SIUE and later taught literature at the University. In 2000, he established the professorship and lecture in honor of his wife Margaret and himself. It is the only endowed professorship at the University.

Dirks-Linhorst’s talk will feature two other presenters: Nancy Cooper, the chief probation officer for Madison County, Ill, and Andy Feller, a crisis intervention team officer with the Edwardsville Police Department.

In addition to a Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Dirks-Linhorst also has a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to joining SIUE in 2003, she worked as an assistant attorney general for the state of Missouri and as an assistant general counsel for the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

She was drawn to the field of mental health when her uncle was diagnosed with a mental disorder during her time in law school. She decided to return to college for another degree while she was an assistant attorney general who counseled the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

“It was a gradual transition,” she said. “While working there, I found myself designing curriculum for educational sessions with the mental health professionals, and eventually that turned into the decision to pursue my Ph.D. in criminology and seek an academic position.”

Dirks-Linhorst has received multiple grants and published articles in the “International Journal of Forensic Mental Health” and the “Journal of Criminal Justice Education,” and has several manuscripts in progress. Her research focuses on the intersection of the criminal justice and mental health systems. This emphasis has allowed her to create the CJ 464 (Mental Health in Criminal Justice) course at SIUE, which is one of the few college courses in the nation that closely examines this issue.

“SIUE lets me use both of my passions—the criminal justice system and the mental health system—and reflect those to our students,” she said. “I love this course, and am so pleased that my department supported its development. This type of course is quickly gaining in popularity around the country, in response to the large number of mentally ill individuals who are often ‘customers’ of the criminal system.”

Dirks-Linhorst also is the coordinator for SIUE’s pre-law minor and Pre Law Association, which provides her the opportunity to interact with many students.

“I love talking with first-generation college students, as I was a first-generation student as well,” she said. “Talking with them about opportunities, and letting them know that they can pursue graduate school in a variety of degree setting, is what I like to do.”

Dirks-Linhorst is the seventh recipient of the Going Endowed Professorship at SIUE.

Korean Engineering School Faculty Visit SIUE

12 February 2014, 10:30 am


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a delegation from Tongmyong University Wednesday, Feb. 5 as the two institutions prepare to implement their dual diploma program.

Two TU faculty members led the group. Dr. Daewoo Choi, professor of electrical engineering and director of the TU Engineering Education Innovation Center, and Dr. Kookhyun Kim, chair and professor of naval architecture engineering, were joined by four students.

The Korean contingent took the SIUE campus tour and observed an SIUE mechanical engineering class, and an electrical and computer engineering senior design class. They also visited with Associate Deans Chris Gordon and Cem Karacal.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe signed a memorandum of understanding on June 11, 2013 with Tongmyong University. The South Korea dual diploma program is the second that SIUE has established. The agreement involves Tongmyong University officials selecting a group of students who will begin the program at their university as freshmen and sophomores. The students transfer to SIUE to complete their junior and senior years.

Upon graduation, the South Korean students will receive their respective diplomas from both Tongmyong University and SIUE. Students can major in mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering and industrial engineering. The first of an anticipated 4-5 South Korean students are expected in fall 2014.

“This is a huge step for the internationalization of our campus,” said Hasan Sevim, dean of the SIUE School of Engineering. “These students will bring their unique culture, new perspectives and high level of academic potential. This is rewarding for both SIUE and our partners.”

In addition to sharing students, the dual degree program agreement also offers opportunities for faculty exchange, summer programs and cooperative research.

SIUE is also exploring relationships with universities in China for potential international cooperation: Shenyang Aerospace University, Shenyang Ligong University, Shenyang University of Chemical Technology and Shenyang Jianzhu University.

SIUE currently has a dual diploma program with Istanbul Technical University. The joint-diploma program in industrial engineering is the first of its kind in the United States and Turkey. Students from Turkey earn a bachelor’s in industrial engineering, and diplomas from each University.

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and a cooperative doctoral program, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.


SIUE’s Akhavan Bloorchian Receives IWEA Presentation Award

11 February 2014, 9:11 am

akhavan_bloorchianThe Illinois Water Environment Association (IWEA) has presented Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Azadeh Akhavan Bloorchian with the 2013 Best Technical Presentation Award.

Akhavan Bloorchian presented “Survey of Green Infrastructures for Sewers Overflow Reduction in Metropolitan St. Louis” during the 2013 WaterCon in Springfield. While working toward a doctorate in environmental engineering, she is a research assistant within the SIUE School of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering.

Akhavan Bloorchian will be honored at the annual IWEA Awards Banquet Monday, March 17, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum-Library in Springfield.

“I was always interested in water resources,” Akhavan Bloorchian said. “While working on research with my advisors, Dr. (Jianpeng) Zhou and Dr. (Susan) Morgan, I got more interested in green infrastructure and stormwater management.

“Green infrastructures are important as part of a sustainable approach to stormwater management. Installing them helps with decreasing the amount of runoff flow to combined sewer systems, resulting in less overflow.”

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) funded Akhavan Bloorchian’s project.

“Azadeh’s work provided valuable information about the status of green infrastructure application in the metropolitan St. Louis area,” said Zhou, associate professor and chair of the SIUE Department of Civil Engineering. “Findings from her project benefitted a few other green infrastructure research projects that SIUE civil engineering faculty members work on.

“Her work fits the current effort to reduce combined sewer overflow in St. Louis for the protection of the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi rivers.”

A native of Tehran, Iran, Akhavan Bloorchian earned a bachelor’s in natural resource engineering at the Isfahan University of Technology in Iran. She achieved a master’s in environmental pollution at the Tehran Science and Research Campus of Azad University. She earned another master’s in civil engineering from SIUE in 2013.

New SIUE Upward Bound Director Wants to Raise Numbers and Awareness

10 February 2014, 4:54 pm

Watch video

Darryl C. Cherry has only been at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center (ESLC) for a month, and he is already strategizing on how to propel the TRIO Upward Bound programs to the “next level.”

“I want to take advantage of those who came before me, like Elven Davis and Barbara Sams, who helped to develop the programs and get them to the place they are today,” said Cherry, director for the SIUE Upward Bound BEM and EC programs. “But I have the responsibility and am looking forward to advancing, growing and promoting the programs.”

The TRIO Upward Bound programs at the ESLC are “federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.” The TRIO Programs target low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to advance them from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

TRIO consists of eight grant programs, including Upward Bound, which is a program for high school students. Upward Bound provides tutorial and academic support, leadership development, college tours, admissions counseling and help with finding financial aid and scholarships. The goal of the program is to increase the target group’s rate of completing both secondary and postsecondary education.

Upward Bound programs at the ESLC recruit students from the following high schools: Brooklyn, East St. Louis Charter, Madison (BEM), East St. Louis and Cahokia (EC). TRIO programs have existed at the ESLC for more than 40 years, and Davis was a pioneering architect. Sams served as program director of the Upward Bound EC program for more than 14 years.

After school, students come to the ESLC and receive such services as instruction in math, English, science, computers and foreign language.

“Upward Bound stresses the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to our students,” said Cherry, an East St. Louis native. “We want them to realize that these careers are available to them. Then two Saturdays of each month, the same participants receive cultural, social and career programming.”

Cherry said the foundation of TRIO is critical, but he would like to help make the students more resilient so they can best pursue their individual goals. He has a bachelor’s in communications from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a master’s in management from Webster University in St. Louis.

“I don’t want to be a ‘dream killer,’ but we have the responsibility to set them up for the best chance of success,” Cherry said. “I believe in the purpose-driven life. We need to make sure we are aligning our students with what best suits their dreams and abilities and are directing them to the right schools that match.

The TRIO Upward Bound programs have successes that are many and value that is acute, the new director said. However, there is still much room for growth and development.

“We serve a very small number of students that actually meet our criteria,” said Cherry. He is seeking sponsors and volunteers to expand and extend program services. For more information, contact (618) 482-6969.

“We want to advocate for more resources to serve more students. The community will benefit and become more viable when more students become educated.”

SIUE East St. Louis Center: With a focus on empowering people and strengthening communities, the SIUE East St. Louis Center is dedicated to improving the lives of families and individuals—from pre-school through adult—in the Metro East region. The Center offers programs that gives the community renewed hope and an opportunity to reach educational, career and life goals. It does so by providing comprehensive programs, services and training in the areas of education, health, social services and the arts.


SIUE School of Nursing Hosts Explore Academic Excellence Day Open House

10 February 2014, 3:22 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing will host an Explore Academic Excellence Day on Saturday, Feb. 15. The open house will run from 8 a.m.-noon in the Morris University Center. It is open to anyone interested in pursuing a nursing career.

Information sessions offer an excellent opportunity for discussions regarding an SIUE nursing degree or program of interest. The sessions cover an overview of admission requirements, curriculum information for each program and how to finance a nursing education.

Participants can tour the Simulated Learning Center, interact with current students and faculty, and tour SIUE.

SIUE School of Nursing undergraduate programs leading to a bachelor’s include Traditional (BS), Accelerated Bachelor of Science (ABS) and Accelerated RN to BS option.

Graduate programs leading to a master’s include Health Care and Nursing Administration, Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner. SIUE also offers a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

For an Explore Academic Excellence Day schedule of events and to register, visit

SIUE Hosts Grand Opening of Engineering Building Addition

10 February 2014, 2:39 pm

Engineering Building Annex 01-13-13Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will host a grand opening for its School of Engineering Building addition Tuesday, Feb. 18. SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Interim Provost Ann Boyle and School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim will cut the ribbon at 1 p.m.

The event signifies the completion of the expansion phase of the $14.2 million expansion and renovation to the SIUE Engineering Building. The project includes a nearly 32,000-square-foot annex that is connected to the existing award-winning Engineering Building through an enclosed bridge. The annex provides additional classrooms and computer laboratories, as well as much-needed office space.

The Engineering Building had reached its capacity, necessitating the new four-story, leading-edge addition. The new structure includes open spaces to show ductwork and other engineering-related design elements of the building to students who are studying those same elements. This will further enhance their educational experience.

The festive day will culminate with the School’s eighth annual awards banquet in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom. A 6 p.m. reception will be followed by dinner and the awards presentation.

Photo:  Interior of the SIUE School of Engineering Building addition.

SIUE Women’s Soccer Earns NSCAA Team Academic Honor

9 February 2014, 2:44 pm

SIUE Women's soccer v Eastern Kentucky 10_4_13 BillFor the fifth consecutive season, the SIUE women’s soccer program has earned a Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

The Cougars posted a cumulative 3.34 grade point average during the fall 2013 semester.

“We are proud to be recognized once again this year by the NSCAA,” SIUE Head Coach Derek Burton said. “Our student-athletes put in a ton of time and are dedicated to achieving in the classroom in addition to the work they do all year as athletes.”

Burton praised SIUE’s academic staff for its contribution.

“Our student-athletes are guided and supported by our tremendous staff in Student-Athlete Academic Services,” he added. “We’re fortunate and thankful to have such tremendous academic support. This is definitely a point of pride for our program.”

SIUE’s Young Among Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30

7 February 2014, 3:30 pm

SIUE v SEMO women's basketball 2_13_12 BillSIUE alum Adam Young has been named to the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America People’s Choice Top 30 Sportscasters Under 30. Young is the play-by-player announcer for Cougars women’s basketball and assists Joe Pott with the Cougars’ men’s basketball broadcasts.

Read about Young in the Belleville News-Democrat.

Photo: Adam Young (right) works with Joe Pott on an SIUE basketball broadcast.

SIUE University Housing Recognizes Residents on Dean’s List

6 February 2014, 12:40 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s University Housing held a reception Monday honoring 729 residents who earned spots on the fall semester dean’s list. The event is held annually to recognize students’ outstanding academic achievement.

Nearly 150 dean’s list members and their families attended the reception, which included a mix of campus administrators, faculty members and housing staff members on hand to show their support for the academic achievements of the students. The ceremony included remarks from Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and Associate Provost Sue Thomas.

A total of 23 percent of the on-campus housing population made the dean’s list in the fall 2013 semester. The requirement to achieve mention on the dean’s list is a 3.5 GPA or higher. A total of 271 of the student-residents earned a 4.0 GPA. A total of 190 of the 271 have maintained the cumulative 4.0 GPA while at SIUE.

“I am extremely proud of the men and women who demonstrate academic success,” said Vicky Dean, assistant director of residential education at SIUE. “Many of these students are honored at this event several years in a row. We are thrilled to honor those residents who have made a commitment to their academics and excelling in the classroom.”

For more information on the dean’s list or other academic initiatives in University Housing, contact Dean at 618-650-5296 or

Fighting Another Kind of Opponent

6 February 2014, 8:20 am

finninbrandtOvercoming adversity is one of the many strengths for SIUE women’s basketball players Valerie Finnin and Miranda Brandt.

While talking about their lives, Finnin, a senior at SIUE, and Brandt, a freshman, shared that both of their mothers battled breast cancer. While both moms are doing well today, it was a difficult experience for both.

According to the Susan G. Komen web site, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Additionally, breast cancer currently is the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 40 to 50 in the U.S.

Second year SIUE women’s basketball Head Coach Paula Buscher has made breast cancer awareness a priority for her program. This year, SIUE women’s basketball has dedicated Feb. 2-8 to help raise awareness and funds for the St. Louis affiliate of Susan G. Komen. More than $8,600 was raised at last year’s event.

A full schedule of events includes six different ways to give, including a coach’s challenge. Buscher is looking for anyone to match her pledge of $25 per three-pointer made against UT Martin Feb. 8 at the Vadalabene Center. There also will be runners and walkers competing for pledges, a bucket raffle, T-shirts, and a link on the web site to donate directly to the cause.

Events like this are special for Brandt and Finnin. Having mothers who have been diagnosed, treated, and defeated breast cancer brings forward powerful emotions that accompany the memories of the battles that affected their families a short time ago.

“It’s beneficial in so many ways,” said Brandt. “Not only are you raising money to go to Susan G. Komen, but I think it helps the healing process to see everyone come together and to see that it is going to be OK.”

Brandt said she has been to many cancer awareness events.

“These events can get very emotional, but I think they are very important,” Brandt added.

Finnin had a high school teammate whose mom also fought cancer. She said it’s a difficult time for all involved, but knowing support is near from those who continue to fight the disease or have won the fight is comforting.

According to Susan G. Komen, a case of breast cancer is diagnosed in a woman every two minutes.

Brandt’s mother, Connie, actually was diagnosed and fought off cancer twice. The first time was when Miranda was a young child.

“The first time I was pretty young so I didn’t really understand what was going on,” said Brandt. “The only thing I remember is her telling the family and everyone crying. I don’t remember her being sick or getting radiation.”

Connie Brandt, of Chamois, Mo., followed proper procedure about two years ago and found another lump. She went back to the doctor’s office and had a biopsy to determine what the lump was. An aggressive form of cancer was found and steps immediately were taken to fight off the cancer.

During that time, Connie would miss many of Miranda’s college visits as well as much of her club basketball schedule. Miranda said she was much more knowledgeable about the situation the second time and was poised to be positive.

“My mom was at everything she could be at, but now she comes to every home game,” said Brandt. “It really is amazing what she has done.”

As the oldest of three children for her mom, Leslie, Valerie Finnin hid much of her feelings from her siblings to make sure she was providing a solid, positive front.

“I’ve never met someone more positive than my mom,” Finnin said. “I think I only saw her cry only once throughout the whole time of cancer, which is amazing to me because I think I would have been a wreck. She stayed strong for our whole family. All of us were trying to stay positive for her and always give her positive vibes.”

The Mokena, Ill., native found out about her mother’s cancer on the first day of her freshman year at Marian Catholic High School.

“She took me outside and said she had to talk to me. She told me she was diagnosed. I was 14 at the time. I honestly didn’t know anyone else who had cancer and hadn’t experienced anyone that close to me. It was kind of a shock. I didn’t know how to react because I was young. I didn’t know how to be there for her,” Finnin said.

Her mother recovered by her sophomore year. That year was challenging.

Finnin’s suggestion for anyone whose parent is going through breast cancer is a simple one.

“Stay positive,” she said. “If you have a family member that is going through it, always stay positive and give them the energy they need.”

She attended last year’s Pink Zone game, knowing that one year later she would be a player for SIUE. Brandt said the upcoming Pink Zone game Feb. 8 will certainly bring back emotions.

“It’s not necessarily tears of sadness,” she said. “It’s tears of joy. It’s a celebration, and they (cancer survivors) fought through it.”

Knowing that she could have lost her mom at a very early age, Brandt, who is the youngest of three siblings, is thankful. But she honors her mother for being the role model she needed to be for her family.

“My mom was so positive,” Brandt said. “You always have to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. During this go-around, my mom was the light at the end of the tunnel. Usually you need others to pick you up, but she helped pick us up.”

Finnin said every Pink Zone game she has attended in her four seasons at SIUE have brought back memories.

“It always reminds me of it,” she said. “I think now it’s more of a happy feeling because my mom is a cancer survivor. I’m so lucky to have my mom with me here.”

SIUE Alum Palmer is Training Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s Jobs

5 February 2014, 2:23 pm
Pictured are Ann Lillard, left, and, Michael Palmer. Both are SIUE graduates. The couple is married and own Code Red Education of St. Louis.

Pictured are Ann Lillard, left, and, Michael Palmer. Both are SIUE graduates. The couple is married and own Code Red Education of St. Louis.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alum Michael Palmer credits his liberal arts education for his capacity to think outside the box, leading him to launch his business, Code Red Education.

Code Red, which was started in May 2012 and received a coveted $50,000 Arch Grant last fall, provides area youth and individuals with access to education in the area of computer science—specifically coding. The self-described “eduprenuer” said his company helps people find good-paying jobs in lieu of or before they earn that college degree.

Palmer also credits “mother necessity” for prompting him to start his coding business. While he was a student, he began coding from his room at SIUE’s Prairie Hall so he could afford to live in a single room without a roommate.

During his tenure at SIUE, Palmer earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in history. He also obtained teaching certifications in English and history.

His SIUE mentors included Drs. Jason Stacy and Eric Ruckh, associate professors of historical studies through the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr David DeWeese, emeritus associate professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Palmer currently teaches history in North County in St. Louis. He uses technology in his classroom to help his students get a competitive edge in the workforce they will be entering in the next few years.

“What better way to learn technology than to see how it works and develops,” Palmer said. “It provides students with a better grasp of the fine arts. It also gives students a better understanding of technology and liberal arts.”

Palmer and his wife, Ann Lillard, taught alternative education in Cahokia for several years. That experience planted the seed for Code Red Education, he said. The couple met at SIUE. Lillard earned her bachelor’s in English and teaching certification from the University in 2008.

“These are students who were multiple years behind in credits or coming back from long-term suspension, pregnancy or homebound,” Palmer said. “What we were told constantly to tell our students is you have to get to college. They wanted a nice paying job that would take them out of the current situation they were in.”

Palmer cited the fact that nearly 50,000 U.S. computer science jobs remain vacant each year, because there are not enough individuals trained to fill them. He decided to use his liberal arts education and apply it toward preparing today’s students to fill those jobs. The number of vacant jobs in that area is expected to reach nearly 760,000 by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The reality is, Palmer said, good paying jobs out of college are not as plentiful as they once were. He noted many good-paying jobs are available in the area of coding, but go unfilled due to lack of trained professionals in that area.

“It’s really easy to learn programming,” Palmer said. “Anyone can do it. It doesn’t require a college degree.

“My thought was to help these kids get pay good-paying jobs right out of high school. Then maybe they could continue on to college if they choose. It would definitely cut the shortages in the number of tech people out there to fill IT positions that require coding knowledge, just in St. Louis alone.”

Palmer noted that there is an anticipated 12-percent increased need per year in the area of IT jobs. Only 3 percent of that gap is filled by current college graduates, leaving a 9 percent gap.

The educator/business owner likened computer programmers as today’s version of the auto assembly line workers of generations past. With a specific skill such as the ability to conduct computer programming functions and simply telling a computer what to do, individuals can enter good-paying positions when they enter the workforce.

Currently, Code Red works closely with St. Louis-based company Extra Help to provide job placement services for its students. Palmer’s office is located in the T-Rex incubator complex in the Railway Exchange building downtown.

SIUE Mourns the Loss of CAS Student Zachary LeCuyer, 1990-2014

5 February 2014, 11:49 am

Zachary “Zach” LeCuyer, 23, of Edwardsville, died Saturday, Feb. 1. He was a junior in the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences.

A visitation will take place from 3-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Herr Funeral Home, 501 West Main Street in Collinsville.

An obituary is available through the Belleville News-Democrat online. Online condolences may be made through Herr Funeral Home.

SIUE Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

4 February 2014, 3:16 pm

Luncheon Video

Major Ken Wilson spoke Tuesday at the MLK Birthday luncheon in the Morris University Center.

Major Ken Wilson spoke Tuesday at the MLK Birthday luncheon in the Morris University Center.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville welcomed speaker ROTC Major Ken Wilson to “Breaking Barriers: Building Blocks of the Dream,” the University’s 31st celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Wilson delivered warm remarks Tuesday about his late mentor, a Tuskegee Airman, who helped guide him through his military career.

Also as part of the event held in the Morris University Center, special awards were given honoring two local high school students and an SIUE student.

Originally, airmen from the Hugh J. White Chapter in St. Louis were supposed to speak during the ceremony. Inclement weather kept the heroes from campus.

Wilson, an associate professor of military science at SIUE, recounted the great influence his mentor, Lt. Col. Bill Thompson of Chicago, had on his career and his life.

“I remember he said to me, ‘I’m going to be your mentor and I’m going to make sure you succeed,’” Wilson told the crowd of more than 240 people who attended the luncheon. He added, Thompson had said, “We set the path; you need to follow it.”

“He motivated me,” Wilson said of Thompson. “He told me not to let anyone stand in my way.”

Wilson recalled being the only African American lieutenant in his unit. Thompson had told him, “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. If you don’t know how to socialize and interact, you’re going to fail.”

Because of Thompson’s direction and guidance, he said he was able to embrace diversity in the military and achieve even greater successes. He said his experiences, and the mentor he had in Thompson, have made him dedicated to the success of others.

“There were very hard times,” Wilson said. “But I made it. I made it.”

He talked to the crowd about a shoe box of memorabilia that Thompson left him, and how much that meant to him.

“He inspired me so much,” Wilson said. “I want to do the same thing he did for me for others.”

A high school writing and visual arts competition are held annually in connection with the event. The students selected as winners were honored during the event. An SIUE student also received the MLK Scholarship Award. The student was chosen based on recommendations, as well as a personal interview and essay expressing their commitment to the values and beliefs of King, and their future goals.

Each year, the luncheon event is held to celebrate Dr. King and his legacy of non-violent social change.

“This year’s awardees are so deserving of these honors,” Laux said. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize and showcase their talent.”

Da’Vyne Moncure, a senior from Belleville West High School, was honored with the visual arts award. Samantha Parish, a sophomore at Alton High School, was the recipient of the high school essay contest.

Emily Koester, a sophomore from Tolono, received the MLK Scholarship Award. The award comes with a plaque and a one-semester tuition waiver. Koester, who has a 4.0 grade point average, is majoring in foreign language and literature with a focus in French, and is pursuing teacher certification.

During the festivities, there were performances by the SIUE Black Theater Workshop Touring Ensemble, the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School students and the SIUE Gospel Choir.

The event was part of SIUE’s “We are One; We are the E” campaign, which is a campus wide effort to promote diversity and inclusion.

SIUE STEM Center Hosting Regional Science Olympiad Event

4 February 2014, 11:15 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Regional Science Olympiad’s team-based activities will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, across the SIUE campus.

More than 20 area middle- and high-school youth will take part in events that will foster science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning.

“Science-focused activities will encompass the areas of engineering, chemistry, biology, earth science, physics and much more,” said Sean Herberts, Outreach Coordinator with the SIUE Center for STEM Research, Education and Outreach. The STEM Center is sponsoring the event.

Events will take place across campus throughout the day in the Engineering Building, Science Lab Building West and Peck Hall.

“Kids will be working on projects in the hallways and in classrooms,” Herberts said. “They will compete against each other by testing boomilevers, wheeled vehicles, helicopters and simple machines.”

SIUE student groups, such as Tau Beta Epsilon, NSTA Student Chapter, and the Chemistry Club, will help youth participants in preparation for Science Olympiad events. Each year during the SIUE competition, winning teams from area schools are selected for a chance to compete at the state and national levels.

A complete schedule of events is available online. For more information about the SIUE Regional Science Olympiad event, contact Herberts at 618-650-3065 or email

Author Hill Harper is Coming to SIUE to Help Break Barriers

3 February 2014, 2:55 pm

Hill Harper

Actor and author Hill Harper will deliver a self-empowerment message Feb. 19 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Harper, who portrays “Dr. Sheldon Hawkes” in the hit CBS drama series CSI: NY, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Harper, who also stars in the television series Covert Affairs, will promote his most recent book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones.

The film and television actor briefly spoke about his book in a video interview with North Central College.

“In all my books, I talk about being an active architect of your life. We can build and create whatever life we want . . . But very few of us actually approach our lives from the standpoint of how an architect builds a structure.

“We don’t start from a blueprint. We don’t sketch out our life. Most architects don’t want to build a building that falls down quickly. What kind of impact do you want to have while you’re here? What kind of legacy do you want to leave?”

Harper, an Ivy League graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, has written several books. Some of his other titles include: Breaking Barriers: Being an Active Architect of Your Own Life, Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny, Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny, The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in its Place.

Some of Hill’s books are available for purchase at the MUC Bookstore. The author will host a book signing after his SIUE speaking engagement.

Hill’s visit to the SIUE campus is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB).

“Last year I had the privilege of attending one of Mr. Harper’s speaking engagements,” said Jeremy Asiedu, CAB chair. “I left feeling motivated and challenged to live my life to the highest possible expression for myself. I wanted students here to have the same experience.”

Hill’s appearance is also sponsored by the Iota Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and the SIUE Black Student Union.

For more information, contact Asiedu at

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

Photo Information: Hill Harper


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