The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has selected Southern Illinois University Edwardsville among five universities across the nation as a research partner to participate in collecting information about how students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are prepared through master's programs.
SIUE will join Loyola University in Chicago, Purdue University, Texas A&M University and Wright State University in collecting vital data about students seeking master's degrees in STEM disciplines. The awardees will collect data on completion and attrition in STEM master's degree programs; administer surveys to students, graduates and those who do not complete degrees, and conduct student focus groups. Additionally, awardees will survey graduate program directors.
Data collected will allow stakeholders to better understand reasons for enrollment, factors that contribute to student success and promising practices to improve completion. Insight gained from these activities can help ensure that U.S. graduate schools are preparing the necessary talent at the master's level in STEM fields to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Research Partners in the CGS project on Completion and Attrition in STEM Master's Programs will receive $30,000 to participate. CGS, an organization of more than 500 institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, engages in graduate education, research and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. Among U.S. institutions, CGS members award 93 percent of doctoral degrees and 76 percent of master's degrees. The organization's mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which is accomplished through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research and the development and dissemination of best practices.
"A master's degree in a STEM field often offers a clear pathway to professional employment and career success," said Debra Stewart, CGS president. "In this economy, more than ever, we need to better understand the factors affecting completion and attrition at the master's level.
"This will be the first study of its kind in the United States and we are delighted to work with these innovative graduate schools on this unique project. The results of this study will be information essential to graduate deans as they foster student achievement in graduate education."
Additional institutions will be invited to join in the research effort as unfunded Project Partners. The study's findings will be released in a monograph in 2013. A decision will be made on whether an in-depth follow-up project on master's completion and attrition is necessary. It is envisioned that a follow-up project would engage a much larger number of CGS member institutions to provide completion and attrition data, conduct surveys of entering students, graduates, and non-completers, and implement interventions that are designed to improve outcomes in master's programs.
For the second consecutive year, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been named by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to its list of colleges and universities demonstrating a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement—this is the first time the University has been named to the distinction category.
The Corporation oversees the annual President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. departments of Education, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
SIUE students have many opportunities to work on service projects and in the area of volunteerism throughout the year through the University's Kimmel Leadership Development Center.
Engagement activities such as service projects and volunteerism help students achieve personal, professional and leadership development objectives. These experiences, which take place on and off campus, are an important part of an SIUE student's education and foster academic and professional development.
The Kimmel Center, under the purview of the SIUE Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, offers co-curricular experiences that promote personal growth, develop self-confidence and leadership abilities, and prepare students for life-long learning.
"This national recognition is an honor, reflecting our commitment to creating a vibrant campus life, which includes civic engagement, service learning, community involvement and global citizenship," said SIUE Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Narbeth Emmanuel. "While it is a further testament to our pledge to achieve excellence, more importantly, it recognizes the invaluable contributions of our students to serve their communities.
"It is a powerful promise to prospective students that SIUE fosters a climate where students become engaged and capable student leaders."
The Kimmel Center staff assists students with planning and coordinating programs that promote the educational, cultural and social enrichment of the University community. These events and programs include Welcome Week, Homecoming, Family Weekend, Black Heritage Month, International Night, Spring fest and Activities Fairs, among many others.
Members of SIUE Volunteer Services took part in numerous projects last fiscal year, with the majority of activities taking place Saturdays. Through Volunteer Services, students provide many area agencies with volunteer help. One agency, the Call for Help, Inc. Sexual Assault unit, uses students as medical rape advocates who provide assistance to victims every day of the week, every day of the year, at area hospitals.
Some of the students through Volunteer Services routinely spend time working through the Catholic Urban Programs Holy Angels Shelter and the Continuum of Life Care Center's Paulyn House offering food, clothing and amenities to the area's homeless.
The CNCS honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," said Chief Executive Officer of CNCS Patrick A. Corvington. "Congratulations to these schools and their students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service."
A total of 641 higher education institutions out of 851 that applied received recognition through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) on the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. SIUE
CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Barack Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit the Web site: nationalservice.gov.
Laura Koch, an office support specialist in the SIUE Office of Student Opportunities for Academic Results (SOAR), is recipient of the SIUE Degree Completion Award 2011, which is offered each year to assist University civil service and professional staff employees complete their first baccalaureate degree.
Each year, an award winner receives two semesters off with pay to complete the degree. During the time off, the recipient must attend classes full time and complete the degree. Applicants are required to meet three qualifications: must be SIUE civil service or professional staff employees; must have worked for SIUE for three or more years; and must be within 32 hours of completing their first baccalaureate degree at SIUE at the time the leave commences.
A committee of five faculty members is selected to review applications and determine the award recipient. Each faculty member represents a different school or college as they consider candidates' three criteria: essay, grade point average, and letter of reference. At right, the photo shows Koch receiving an award plaque from Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher.
Congratulations: Renee Seganfredo, an office support specialist in the School of Pharmacy, is the June recipient of the University's Employee Recognition Award. In the photo, Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher presents Seganfredo with the award plaque. She was nominated by her supervisor, Terri Poirier (at left), associate dean of the School and professor of pharmacy practice. In addition to the plaque she received, Seganfredo was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant or other Dining Services location, and recognition on the flat screen monitors throughout campus. (SIUE Photo by Denise Macdonald)
A new website developed by a team at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has people searching for icy worlds in the outer solar system.
The team, known as the IceHunters, has challenged members of the general public to use the site, www.icehunters.org, to search for Kuiper Belt Objects, which are icy objects that orbit beyond Neptune.
"It is hoped that among the myriad of new objects found by IceHunters there will be an object—or maybe even objects—with just the right orbit to carry it on to a rendezvous with NASA's New Horizons spacecraft," said Pamela Gay, assistant research professor at SIUE through the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach, also known as the STEM Center.
She added scientists have calculated where in the sky an object moving toward a potential meeting with the New Horizons spacecraft should currently be located, and some of the largest telescopes in the world are being used to image that region. She added, "Now, those images are provided to the public for searching through IceHunters."
New Horizons launched in 2006 on a journey that would carry it past Jupiter in 2007 and on to Pluto in 2015. After flying through the Pluto system, the mission will have just enough fuel left to change course toward one or more additional Kuiper Belt Objects.
"The catch is, these future destinations have yet to be discovered," Gay said. "This is where the IceHunters website comes in. The SIUE IceHunters website is packed with millions of images that could contain the object New Horizons should visit. The public is asked to help examine these images for that sought after target. Along the way they will discover large numbers of variable stars, asteroids, and other KBOs."
The Kuiper Belt is a region of space that stretches from within the orbit of Neptune, out to nearly twice Neptune's orbit. It contains a population of icy objects that vary in size from a kilometer across to roughly moon-sized objects like Pluto, Makemake and Haumea, Gay said. She added, while long theorized to exist and to be the source of many comets, the first KBO other than Pluto was only discovered in 1992.
"Today, the Kuiper Belt remains one of the least well-mapped regions of the solar system, but the IceHunters project will do its part to map one small slice through this region," she said.
Gay and Cory Lehan, SIUE computer science graduate student in the School of Engineering, developed the site. "Projects like this make the public part of modern space exploration," Gay said. "The New Horizons mission was launched knowing we'd have to discover the object it would visit after Pluto. Now is the time to make that discovery and thanks to IceHunters, anyone can be that discoverer."
Gay said the millions of images seen in IceHunters do not look like most familiar beautiful astronomical images because they are difference images: the result of subtracting two images in hopes of removing all the stars, galaxies and other non-moving objects being observed.
Remaining objects should be the things that move, she added, such as asteroids and objects that vary in brightness. The IceHunters website was designed to allow people from around the world to easily search through the images for the unknown objects hiding in the residuals of stars.
"Using just about any modern web browser, users can circle potential KBOs and mark with a star the locations of asteroids," Lehan said. "The website is filled with examples to help get people started. Anyone should be able to take part—no flash required."
IceHunters is a product of the SIUE STEM Center, which is dedicated to educating children and adults about STEM initiatives. The work is part of SIUE's ongoing collaboration with the Zooniverse collection of citizen science projects. More than 400,000 Zooniverse volunteers are already making important contributions to such diverse topics as the classification of galaxies in Hubble images, reconstruction of historical records of Earth's weather and analysis of close-up pictures of the Moon's surface. The public is invited to become a part of this and all other Zooniverse projects at Zooniverse.org. The Zooniverse is administered by the Citizen Science Alliance.
Ken Ludwig's hilarious play, Lend Me a Tenor, will open Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the theater at SIUE's Dunham Hall Theater next to parking Lot E. The production continues at 7:30 pm Thursday, June 23, through Saturday, June 25, and also at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. It's a comedy for the entire family. The show is part of SIUE's long-running Summer ShowBiz, a summer theater series that features musicals and light-hearted comedies produced by the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance, which is part of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences.
The plot of Lend Me a Tenor revolves around world famous Tito Morelli, also known as II Stupendo, who is scheduled to perform at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company. II Stupendo unfortunately arrives late and, due to a series of circumstances, is given a double dose of tranquilizers. In a desperate attempt to save the company's reputation, the general manager convinces his assistant to dress as Morelli and perform Otello. As they say—comedy ensues.
Originally staged at the American Stage Festival in New Hampshire, the play moved to London's West End in 1986. Three years later it appeared on Broadway and received seven Tony Award nominations (Philip Bosco won for Best Actor in a Play) and four Drama Desk Awards.
Tickets for the SIUE production are $15 for adults (18 and older); all others, $12, including students with valid school IDs, and are available through the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774, located in Room 1042B, Dunham Hall. More information is available on the website: www.siue.edu/summerarts.
Summer ShowBiz also has grown to include Xfest, a four day festival of experimental theater groups from around the country, and the Cougar Theater Company, the newly formed theater for young audiences dedicated to the youth of the region that presents classic folklore, literature, poetry and stories.
The photo at right shows members of the Lend Me a Tenor cast: Marissa Panzeri, Anna Skidis, Alex Kowalchik, Kate Weise and Michaela Sullivan. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)
Local legislators, school administrators and university officials will gather at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 16 in the Morris University Center's University Restaurant on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus to honor 10 teachers who received scholarships from The Boeing Company to attend a five-day space academy.
The event, commonly referred to as Space Camp, will take place in July at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., and provides an opportunity for teachers to learn innovative ways to enhance their students' educational experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM.) The 4th-8th grade teachers were chosen based on a competitive application process as part of a collaborative project between Boeing, the SIUE School of Education and the SIUE Center for STEM Research, Education and Outreach.
"These scholarship winners are among the leaders in STEM education in our region, and we are grateful to Boeing for providing this outstanding opportunity," said Sharon Locke, director of SIUE's STEM Center. "On their return, they will use their Space Camp experience to ignite a passion for STEM in their students, schools and communities."
The teachers chosen are:
• Branson Lawrence, 6th grade teacher from Edward A. Fulton Junior High School in O'Fallon.
• Laura Schmidt, 5th grade teacher, and Andrea Matzenbacher, 6th grade teacher, both from Columbia Middle School in Columbia.
• Susanna Benson and Jackie Mitchell, 4th grade teachers, both from Webster Elementary in Collinsville.
• Mike Avara, 7th grade teacher, and Amanda Braun, 8th grade teacher, both from Pontiac Junior High School in Fairview Heights.
• Toby Baugher, 6th grade teacher, and Chris Baugher, 8th grade teacher, both from Litchfield Middle School in Litchfield.
• Tracey Skinner, 5th grade teacher from Hartford Elementary School in Hartford.
"We appreciate our continued partnership with SIUE and their involvement in selecting these deserving teachers to attend space camp, says Kay Guse, Boeing Engineering, Operations and Technology Director and executive focal for SIUE. "These teachers will incorporate what they learned during their space camp experience into the classrooms which, in turn, inspires students to pursue a career in math and science, ultimately improving our nation's competitiveness."
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association is proud to announce that the recipient of the 2011 Great Teacher Award is Bradley Noble.
Noble is an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the SIUE School of Engineering. Throughout his 15-year tenure with the University, Noble has received several awards for his innovative and charismatic teaching style. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from SIUE in Electrical Engineering and his doctorate in Science from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000.
The Great Teacher Award was established in 1970 by the SIUE Alumni Association. Each year, an SIUE faculty member is recognized for continuous excellence in teaching. Each recipient receives a $1,000 award, a commemorative plaque and recognition by having their name engraved on the Great Teacher Award plaque displayed at Birger Hall.
The award is presented during the August commencement ceremony and the recipient is recognized at a special luncheon hosted by the Alumni Association
The SIUE Alumni Association received numerous nominations from students and colleagues on Noble's behalf. Professor Michael Shaw stated, "I have been impressed with his ability to turn serious situations into positive learning experiences for our students. This type of teaching builds character and integrity in our students and in some ways is more important than the delivery of course content."
He has been actively involved in the SIUE Undergraduate Research Academy, providing collaboration and support to students' research. His nominators said Noble helps students build character and integrity through teaching with passion and respect, and integrates positive learning opportunities in and out of the classroom environment.
"I can say that I could have completed my degree without him but I cannot say that I would have obtained such a degree of knowledge and problem solving skills towards engineering without him", said recent graduate Jordon Albers.
Additionally, Noble's nominators said he blends experiences from his life into current projects and teaching in his curriculum, and has taken a personal interest in the education of his students. It was referenced that he continuously encourages students and faculty to strive for the best, as well as encourages students to continue their higher education.
As senior engineering student Brian Kasmarzik stated: "I consider Dr. Noble to be a great friend, a great teacher and a role model."
For more information, contact Katie Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 650-2762. Press ready photo of Dr. Noble is available upon request.
The next SIUE Alumni Networking Breakfast will take place from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 13 at the Scott Credit Union in Edwardsville.
Hosted by SIUE Alumni Affairs, the networking breakfast will feature a distinguished alumnus, Frank Padak. Complimentary pastries, fruit and coffee will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards for potential business connections.
Padak is a 1984 graduate of the SIUE School of Business. He began his employment with Scott Credit Union in 1994 as vice president of Mortgage Lending to develop its mortgage lending operations. In 1997, he was promoted to vice president of the Credit Union, at which time he took responsibility for branch operations, member services, human resources, marketing and lending.
Since 2002, he served as senior vice president and was named president, CEO and Treasurer in 2005. Padak serves on the boards of several local and national organizations. Prior to joining Scott Credit Union, he spent more than 9 years at Highland Savings and Loan in Highland, where he served as vice president in charge of loan operations, regulatory compliance and marketing.
The following Alumni Event Ambassadors will be on hand to greet attendees and facilitate networking conversations:
• Sara Colvin, 1998 BS, 2005 MA
• Jim Harper, 2008 BFA
• Alan Kehrer, 1992 BS
• Tom McRae, 1982 BS
• Dr. Rhonda Green, 1992 BA, 1992 DMD
To register for this free event, please visit www.siue.edu/alumni. For further information, please contact Katie Bennett at email@example.com or 618-650-2762.
Summer outdoor pool memberships still are available through the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Office of Campus Recreation—both individual and family. The Cougar Lake Pool just recently opened and the cool waters are just what's needed during these hot days.
Membership applications are available and must be completed at the SIUE Student Fitness Center, adjacent to the Vadalabene Center just off Circle Drive. Applicants—who wish to qualify for alumni, faculty or staff discounts—must bring proof of SIUE affiliation and/or SIUE Alumni Association cards.
Season membership ranges from $130 for an adult pass for the general public to $91 for alumni who are not members of the Alumni Association and $71 for Alumni Association Members. General public individual daily tickets are $7, while Alumni Association members pay $6; SIUE alumni without an alumni association membership pay $7.
For other membership fees for children and for rates for swimming lessons, visit the SIUE Campus Recreation website: siue.edu/crec/aquatics/clp.shtml. The site also contains information about parking rates in Parking Lot 10—$20 for the season for pool members; daily visitors, $2.