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March 2014

SIUE Students Hear from Foreign Policy Advisors During Global Awareness Week

31 March 2014, 6:37 pm

SIUE students heard what it takes to become a globetrotting Foreign Service Officer working for the U.S. Department of State Thursday, March 27 as part of the campus’ annual Global Awareness Week.

Four foreign policy advisors and three other foreign affairs experts representing U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, and Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, all headquartered at Scott Air Force Base spoke to students about various subjects including international law and political affairs.

Sarah Garner wrote about the sessions for Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System. Read it here.

SIUE School of Engineering Captures 2nd Statewide Research Award

31 March 2014, 5:57 pm

FriesRyan_smA student-faculty civil engineering research team within Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Engineering has won the Illinois Center for Transportation and the Illinois Dept. of Transportation’s 2014 High Impact Project Award.

The recognition, which comes as the School of Engineering’s second in three years, is based on the team’s submission of its signature report, “Investigation of Contributing Factors Regarding Wrong-Way Driving on Freeways.”

Ryan Fries, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program director in the department of civil engineering, said the 224-page report reflects the collective efforts of the eight-member research team. Fries accepted the award Wednesday, March 26 on behalf of faculty and graduate engineering student contributors.

“In Illinois, there were 217 wrong-way crashes on freeways from 2004-2009, resulting in 44 killed and 248 injured,” Fries said. “This research project sought to determine the contributing factors to wrong-way crashes on freeways and to develop promising, cost-conscious countermeasures to reduce these driving errors and their related crashes.”

The SIUE research team reviewed existing literature to summarize the world’s best practices on design, safety and operational issues specific to wrong-way interstate driving and then collected and studied six years of relevant crash data.

Fries praised IDOT project chairwoman Priscilla Tobias, chief of the agency’s Bureau of Safety Engineering, for championing the 2014 award-winning project and obtaining $7 million in funding to act on the research. The funding paid for wrong-way sign improvements and pavement markings at over 400 interchanges statewide.

Tobias said the synergy evident in SIUE’s 2014 and 2012 award-winning engineering research projects reflects the integrity of the research and its practical applications.

“Our experience with these research projects and the workshops resulting from them emphasizes the value of collaborating with other agencies,” Tobias said. “By working together, we access everyone’s best ideas, and that directly translates into reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on the road.

Huaguo Zhou, Ph.D., who led the 2014 award-winning research project as principal investigator, served as a SIUE assistant professor during its development. Now an associate professor at Auburn University, Zhou is continuing phase two of the effort.

ZhouHuaguo_smZhou is also credited for his work on SIUE’s 2012 High Impact Project that earned an award from ICT and IDOT. Entitled “Development of a Highway Incident Management Operational & Training Guide,” the curriculum has been cited by the National Transportation Research Board and has been instrumental in training hundreds of first responders statewide.

“This project was my first external research project when I worked with SIUE,” said Zhou. “I put 120 percent effort into it and was able to publish the first statewide training program in Illinois. I am excited for the opportunity of working on SIUE research projects which have already made a ‘high impact’ on current practices.”

Jiguang Zhao, Ph.D., who worked on the 2014 project research team as a School of Engineering graduate student, now works in traffic safety engineering research. Zhao’s doctoral work focused on data-driven methods for reducing wrong-way freeway crashes.

“This is perhaps the only dissertation on this topic worldwide,” Zhao said. “I chose this topic, because although a significant number of people die in the U.S. every year due to wrong-way crashes, little was known about the contributing factors and only minimal countermeasures nationwide had been developed.

“Since very limited research has been done on wrong-way freeway crashes, it’s difficult to compare the numbers for Illinois with those in other states. As a technical leader in research work on highway safety engineering, IDOT has been nationally recognized for its efforts in the field of traffic safety research.”

Dave King, ICT fiscal/administrative manager at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said IDOT recommended the successful project for recognition.

“To recognize this (2014) project, ICT tried to acknowledge the significant contributions of all that contributed to the success of this project, including principal investigator Huaguo Zhou and his co-PIs at SIUE, his research assistants and the Technical Review Panel members, especially co-chairs Priscilla Tobias and Rich Coakley,” King said.

School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim, Ph.D., said SIUE is proud of its faculty and graduate students for producing superior research that is often applicable as well.

“The impact of these projects can be profoundly useful, not only now, but also for a long time to come,” said Sevim. “These (High Impact Award) researchers are bringing solutions to situations in which human lives are in jeopardy. The value of the work they’ve produced is crucial.”

Members of the 2014 award-winning civil engineering research team at SIUE are: Zhou, Zhao, Fries, Mostafa Reisi Gahrooei, Lin Wang, Brent Vaughn, Karzan Bahaaldin and Balasubrahmanyam Ayyalasomayajula.

Photos: (Upper Right) Ryan Fries, Ph.D., SIUE associate professor and graduate program director in the Department of Civil Engineering. (Lower Right) Huaguo Zhou, Ph.D., former SIUE assistant professor.

Homework Hotline Featured on KSDK-TV

31 March 2014, 4:05 pm

SIUE’s “Homework Hotline” was featured during KSDK-TV’s morning show on Monday, March 31.  The local NBC afffiliate’s Dana Dean reported the story.

Students in grades 6-8 can call and receive free help with their math homework during evening hours.

The program was launched Feb. 10 and was developed in collaboration with the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers Foundation. Phone lines are open Sunday through Thursday evenings from 7-10 p.m. by calling 618-650-3072.

Former SIUE Professor Wins Book Prize

29 March 2014, 2:51 pm

Former SIUE faculty member Adrian Matejka received an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his last poetry collection “The Big Smoke.” He taught creative writing at SIUE from 2007-12.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Jane Henderson wrote of Matejka’s achievement in a story posted March 27.

SIUE Wins Third Straight ACG Cup Competition in St. Louis

28 March 2014, 3:51 pm

ACG-WinnerSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business graduate students have won the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Interuniversity Cup for the third-consecutive year. The competition was held Wednesday, March 26 at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac.

The ACG Cup is a case study competition organized to provide business students with mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity experience, as well as valuable real-world insights.

The case study opportunity allows those within the competition the chance to interact and work with professionals from within the ACG community. The competition involves a series of intra-school and regional competitions, with regional winners awarded the ACG Cup title and cash awards.

The SIUE team was composed of School of Business graduate students Mark Webster, Ryan Price, Tyler Miller and Rajesh Pudota. The students won the week-long competition against Washington University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“This competition is an excellent setting for our students to apply the analytical and communication skills they acquire in school,” said Shrikant Jategaonkar, SIUE assistant professor of economics and finance. “Additionally, making a successful presentation in front of corporate executives is a great confidence booster and networking experience.”

Webster, a master’s student in economics and finance from O’Fallon, Ill., said the win is a reflection of the quality education the SIUE students.

“This accomplishment shows the depth and weight of the SIUE School of Business,” said Webster. “This win solidifies my belief that one does not need to pay a fortune to receive a great education.”

The SIUE team took first place, a $3,000 cash prize and ACG memberships. The teams from the Washington University in St. Louis Olin School of Business and the University of Missouri-St. Louis placed second and third, respectively.

“It is a very humbling feeling to win against such prestigious business programs in our geographic region,” added Webster. “I am so grateful I chose SIUE for my education. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

About Association for Corporate Growth

ACG’s 14,500 members include professionals from private equity firms, corporations and lenders that invest in middle-market companies, as well as from law, accounting, investment banking and other firms that provide advisory services. Founded in 1954, ACG is a global organization with 58 chapters. Learn more at ACG drives middle market growth. Learn how at

Photo: SIUE School of Business wins the ACG Cup for third-consecutive year. (L to R): Rajesh Pudota, Tyler Miller, Mark Webster and Ryan Price.

SIUE Constructors Club Helps Clean Up Washington

27 March 2014, 4:22 pm

ConstructorsClubThe SIUE Constructors Club spent Spring Break (3/9-12) in Washington, Ill., providing volunteer aid as the community continues to recover from last year’s devastating tornado.

Mason Musick, a senior School of Engineering student from Lincoln, wrote a description of the group’s experience:

We helped out in Joplin, Mo., after a tornado devastated that town, and we saw how much the members of the community appreciated our efforts. When a town as close as Washington got hit by the F4 tornado during November 2013, we knew we needed to help. Some of our club members are from that area, and many of us played Washington in sports, so it made our trip a little more meaningful.

We connected with Bethany Community Church, which was coordinating with volunteer groups and dispatching them to assist families in need. The church is also capable of providing a place to stay at night and daily lunches. We only had a few days to spend there and wanted to make the best of it.

Bethany Community Church definitely helped us achieve that. They own a large inventory of resources for the volunteers and community to utilize. The barn where they keep supplies has everything from tools and safety equipment to snacks, coats and boots. They really had the capabilities to provide the teams with anything they needed for their jobs.

During our first day of volunteering, we participated in two separate projects. First, we helped move a large pile of debris from the side of a busy road onto the curb, so traffic would no longer be at risk of running over anything.

Our second task of the day was to remove some subfloor and floor joists from a house that was completely wiped out.  Another group had started on the subfloor and had about 25 percent of it taken up already. By the end of the day, we were able to completely remove the subfloor, all of the floor joists and clean up the entire property, so rebuilding efforts could commence.

Our second day was not as exciting since it didn’t entail any demolition, but it was still a very productive and rewarding experience. Our group was assigned to a section of the affected part of town to do some final stages of cleaning up. After all of the large pieces of debris are removed things look much better, but there are still tons of tiny pieces of glass, shingles, drywall and various other materials spread out all over the place.

We set out with trash bags, gloves, rakes and shovels to do the final thorough cleaning of yards that were at that stage. We were only allowed to clean from the sidewalk to the road without the owner’s consent. We were able to clean multiples blocks of debris and received extreme appreciation from residents who happened to be home or were passing by.

We were able to go into several elderly residents’ yards and do a complete cleaning, leaving them clear of glass, screws and other potentially harmful debris. Everyone we encountered this day was overjoyed with our presence and willingness to help complete strangers. We thoroughly enjoyed learning the stories of people, who we encountered, as much as they enjoyed hearing about who we are and what we do. It was definitely a day to cherish.

Our third day of volunteering was substantially different from our first two. Being from the Midwest, we are more than aware of the spontaneous weather changes during spring. Our first two days were about 70 degrees outside, but the third morning we woke up in the church’s farm house to realize it had iced in the early morning, snowed about 4” on top of that and then knocked out our power.

We had no heat or electricity in the house and no volunteering job to do since everything was under snow and ice. What we did have though was the will to get out and help in any way we could. We went out to the barn, grabbed a pile of scoop shovels and hand warmers, loaded up our bus and headed out for the neighborhood we were working on the day before. We figured if we didn’t have power, then they didn’t, either.

We wanted them to be safe if they left home seeking warmth and electricity, so we became the SIUE Snow Removal Team. We cleared the sidewalks of the streets we were working on along with the driveways, sidewalks and porches of the individuals who let us on their property the day before. All of the residents were even more grateful when they knew they were still in our thoughts the next day. We even found more residents home this day and offered to clear their properties, as well.

We left on Wednesday feeling good about what we had accomplished physically, but even more so about the impact we had on every individual who we met on this trip. We have done quite a few volunteering projects in the past and being able to help people who need it as much as the residents of Washington has put this one at the top of our list for most beneficial project.

We loved the time we spent there and would encourage any other groups interested in this kind of volunteering to pursue the opportunities.

Photo (L to R): Jake Eilers, junior, Breese; Cody Keller, junior, Belleville; Bryce Schuster, junior, Golden; Sam Klatch, freshman, Troy; Zach Carlson, senior, Quincy; Andrea Horn, senior, East Alton; Kelly Gaines, senior, Glen Carbon; Alexis Schad, sophomore, Shiloh; Matthew Curry, junior, Lincoln; and Chrissy Raffetty, senior, Collinsville. Not Pictured: Mason Musick.



SIUE’s Robert LeAnder Featured in St. Louis American

27 March 2014, 8:21 am

SIUE professor Robert LeAnder was featured in a St. Louis American story. Writers Ron Moore and Shantana Stewart posted the story on Thursday, March 27. LeAnder is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the School of Engineering.

A Lot of Fun and Games were Part of SIUE Global Awareness Week

26 March 2014, 4:56 pm

7th Annual SIUE Cougar World Games 03-26-14
Hundreds of students participated in 7th Annual Cougar World Games and the Great Disability Challenge Tuesday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Students enjoyed a myriad of games and contests as part of the SIUE Global Awareness Week.

Watch video here.

7th Annual SIUE Cougar World Games 03-26-14

The Cougar World Games highlights various cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. It became a part of Global Awareness Week for the purpose of promoting diversity, understanding and acceptance among groups.

Photo Information:

7th Annual SIUE Cougar World Games 03-26-14

Erica Ellis and Jeffrey Lofton-Cooper play floor volleyball as part of the Great Disability Challenge

Qian Zhao enjoys a round of ping pong.

Vamsi Krishna Pavuluri concentrates on a cricket shot.


Creativity on Display at 4th Annual Children’s Art Exhibit at SIUE

26 March 2014, 4:42 pm

Art Exhibit2

Illuminated paintings, glass mosaics and clay birds are a few hand-made items at a children’s exhibit at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The art work is part of the SIUE Early Childhood Center’s Fourth Annual Children’s Art Exhibit in connection with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Week of the Young Child. The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

The young artists are displaying their work through Friday in the Morris University Center Gallery. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Art Exhibit7

“It is important for children to express themselves through their art,” said Trish Scheibal, teacher for Cypress Room at the Early Childhood Center (ECC).

“At the Early Childhood Center, art is one of the primary mediums used to represent children’s understanding, thinking and learning,” said Rebecca Dabbs MacLean, director at the Early Childhood Center.

On Wednesday, all five classes at the ECC, came to tour their art work on display. The young artists were excited to locate their renderings that graced the walls and space of the MUC Gallery.

Some of the other creations include: paintings with magnets, weaving with colored paper, balloon art on paper, water color on paper towels, clay snakes and a bird display. The bird display contains birds, nests and eggs made of clay.

Art Exhibit8

Mixed in with the artwork were also wall posters that advocated for children’s rights. Some of them read:

• “Priority: End Child Poverty”

• “Priority: Ensure Every Child Can Read at Grade Level by 4th Grade and Guarantee Quality Education Through High School Graduation”

• “Priority: Ensure Every Child and Pregnant Woman Access to Affordable, Seamless, Comprehensive Health and Mental Health Coverage”

The exhibit will close at noon Friday.

Art Exhibit6

Photo Information:

Owen and Mary Kate look in awe at bird’s nest display.

Carter observes some pine cone art.

Taya points to a pumpkin drawing.

Elliot is thrilled by the snake display.


Metro East SBDC Salutes Code 3 Spices As Business Success Story

26 March 2014, 3:45 pm

Code 3 SpicesTransforming passion into profit that gives back to “those who serve” is one of the best ways to describe Code 3 Spices.

The two-man spice rub business, which launched in Maryville in late 2012, is the brainchild of Chris Bohnemeier – a barbecue enthusiast, grill master and former IT professional- and his long-time friend and fellow BBQ aficionado Mike Radosevich, a veteran police officer.

Teaming with a local manufacturer to replicate their award winning blends, the co-founders marketed their way onto the shelves of more than 120 grocery stores, butcher shops and specialty outlets. Their homegrown, proprietary spice mixes – 5-0 Rub, Backdraft Rub, Sea Dog Rub, Grunt Rub and Rescue Rub – are sent mail order across the country and sold in retail locations throughout a seven-state area.

“From the very beginning, it was about giving back,” said Bohnemeier. “My whole family comes from law enforcement, and Mike has served in that capacity for 12 years. We’ve been friends for a long time and had won several BBQ competitions. Over time, the idea (of a spice rub business) built itself.”

Starting a business that develops and sells great-tasting products is one thing, giving away profits is quite another for a small start-up.  With the tagline, “Spicing It Up For Those Who Serve,” the company is passionate about charities that support injured and fallen first responders and military personnel.

Radesovich-Mike_Bohnemeier-ChrisFrom Day One, Chris and Mike agreed to donate a portion of every colorfully capped bottle sold to a deserving organization, including The Backstoppers Inc. (headquartered in St. Louis), Safe Call and Operation Homefront.

These donations are vital to The Backstoppers and their goal to deliver a $5,000 check to the family of a police officer, firefighter, paramedic or EMT within hours of his or her death. Backstoppers will also work with surviving families and might assume financial obligations, provide needed health/dental insurance and handle many other challenges faced by the first responder’s loved ones.

Safe Call Now is a 24/7 telephone hotline available to public safety employees in crisis. Callers are guaranteed confidentiality and are assisted by trained volunteer staff from the law enforcement and mental health professions.

Operation Homefront provides emergency assistance and morale to deployed U.S. military personal and the families left behind along with intense support and comfort to wounded warriors when they return home.

“We are passionate about supporting these extremely worthy charities that provide tangible support to members of the military and to emergency responders,” Radosevich said. “These charities do a terrific job and are always there whenever they’re needed to support the men and women who serve others.”

This ability to give back to those who serve starts with making desirable products.  Code 3 uses gluten-free, MSG-free ingredients in its blends, along with sea salt and natural (rather than processed) sugar. Bohnemeier says the proof is in the blend at the dinner table and on the meat.

“Our six-ounce bottles are always filled to the brim with product,” Bohnemeier said. “We’re focused on providing a high quality product and giving back. I’ll typically sell about 60 bottles during one grocery store demo. Given the taste of what we create and the charities you’re helping each time you purchase our blends, we hope you’ll be back for more.”

The Code 3 Spice partners credit Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and its Metro East Small Business Development Center for providing a generous amount of marketing research and expertise during their startup.

“When our business took off and began growing faster than we’d imagined, SIUE and the SBDC staff stepped in to help us,” Bohnemeier said. “They provided expert input on understanding our market opportunities and managing our record growth. With their help, we’re on track to reach 400-plus locations this year.”

The entrepreneurs combined this input with an inexpensive, yet effective, marketing approach utilizing social media, according to Radosevich. In the 15 months of operation, Code 3 Spices gained more than 11,000 Facebook fans and 600 Twitter followers along with enthusiastic repeat customers, both domestic and international. In fact, Chris and Mike made their first international sale in 2013, shipping a case of spice blends to a Code 3 fanatic in New Zealand.

“Code 3 Spices is a classic example of how doing something you love and giving back to your community can produce tremendous dividends,” says Patrick McKeehan, the local SBDC director.  “I am always impressed by Mike and Chris. It is a pleasure to be associated with this great Metro East start-up.”

The Metro East Small Business Development Center assists start-up ventures like Code 3 Spices as well as existing businesses located in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph.

The Center provides no-cost business counseling service funded, in part, by the Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and SIUE.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC positively impacts the Metro East by stabilizing and strengthening the region’s economy. These impacts are achieved by providing direct, one-on-one assistance through counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

To learn how the SBDC can help your entrepreneurial efforts or small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or

Photo: Mike Radesovich (Left) and Chris Bohnemeier.

Carville-Gonzales Debate Highlighted in

26 March 2014, 8:11 am

SIUE’s Arts & Issues Series hosts its final event of the season when James Carville and Alberto Gonzales come together for a one-time debate Thursday, April 3. Carville is America’s best-known political consultant, while Gonzales is a former U.S. attorney general. The duo will square off in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. featured the event in an article posted Sunday, March 23 as part of the Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival.

SIUE Global Awareness Week Features a Breadth of Speakers

25 March 2014, 3:43 pm

International Speaker Lucy Wanjiru 03-24-14

Various speaker presentations, panel presentations, performances and events are part of Global Awareness Week 2014 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Kicking off the International Speaker Series on Monday was Lucy Wanjiru of the United Nations Development Program, Bureau of Development Policy Gender Team.

Wanjiru, a programme specialist on gender and environment at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York, talked about “Gender, Environment and Climate Change. She is working on strengthening partnerships with governments and others to ensure environment and climate change strategies address the needs of poor women and men equitably.

She has worked in developing countries in various capacities. She was a socio-economic consultant in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation Reforms in Kenya. Wanjiru has worked for more than 10 years at the grassroots level as a community mobilizer and trainer in Integrated Water Resources Management with

organizations such as the African Medical and Research Foundation and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

A highlight of the activities this week will be today’s 7th Annual Cougar World Games and the Great Disability Challenge from 4-7 p.m. at the SIUE Student Fitness Center.

A special event designed to promote diversity, understanding and acceptance between groups, Cougar World Games focuses on different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. These groups participate in various recreational activities offered across the globe, according to Natalie Rosales, recreation coordinator at the Student Fitness Center at SIUE.

The Great Disability Challenge is also featured within the Cougar World Games. The Great Disability Challenge includes sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, cane travel and a hearing simulation. The Great Disability Challenge is offered by the office of Disability Support Services at SIUE.

“Global Awareness Week presents SIUE students with a unique opportunity to engage various organizations with a strong international component, including the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, the International Trade Administration, Monsanto Corporation, the Peace Corps, as well as our own SIUE faculty who have received Fulbright awards,” said Dr. Ron Schaefer, director of the Center for International Programs at SIUE.

For more information about Global Awareness Week, contact Schaefer at

Photo Information:

Lucy Wanjiru, of the United Nations Development Program


SIU School of Dental Medicine Students Capture Academic Awards

25 March 2014, 11:37 am

First year dental students headshots for montageTwo pre-doctoral students at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine have been awarded honors for academic excellence.

Adam Fritzgerald, a third-year dental student, is the American Association of Public Health Dentistry’s third-place winner in its annual Pre-doctoral Dental Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Health Dentistry. He will receive the award at the 2014 National Oral Health Conference in Fort Worth, Texas in late April.

A native of the rural Central Illinois village of Mt. Zion, Fritzgerald has had a passion for public health dentistry in caring for the oral health needs of underserved populations, particularly pediatric dentistry, for years. He conducted a two-semester graphic information systems (GIS) study while at SIU SDM.

Under the guidance of Dr. Poonam Jain, professor and director of community dentistry at SIU, Fritzgerald used GIS techniques as a means for analyzing trends and creating maps of where children’s dental health needs are the greatest across Southern Illinois. Fritzgerald collected data from exam forms of Southern Illinois children in kindergarten, second and sixth grades. He correlated that information with data from publicly funded pediatric dental care centers and programs, pinpointing “hot spots” of underserved children.

“I have a master’s in ecology from SIUE,” said Fritzgerald. “I actually began performing GIS back then. When I entered dental school, I was able to combine my GIS experience with my commitment to public health when I was selected to take part in the Rural Scholars Program. It specifically prepares you to work with kids in underserved rural areas who don’t have regular access to dental care.”

Fritzgerald has been actively involved with most of the clinics referenced in his award-winning study. He plans to practice in rural Central Illinois once he graduates next year. Before heading to Texas to accept the AAPHD award, he will present his research at the American Dental Association’s conference in Bethesda, Md.

!st year SDM student headshots for montage“Adam is uniquely qualified to use GIS,” said Jain. “He has valuable skills and experience in its use. He is definitely one of the best students I have had.”

Dr. Bruce Rotter, dean of the SIU School of Dental Medicine, said Fritzgerald’s passion for dentistry and for learning is worthy of such recognition.

“Adam has exceeded expectations in terms of his devotion to his research,” Rotter said. “His attendance at the 2014 National Oral Health Conference and other distinguished conferences of this nature, not to mention the time spent in preparation for his research presentations, speaks to his commendable dedication.”

SIU SDM fourth-year student Eric Castle is a recipient of  the Illinois Section of the American College of Dentists’ Outstanding Leadership Award. Castle earned the award for his outstanding scholastic performance and demonstration of leadership skills during dental school.

Castle is also a 2013 recipient of the Irwin Robinson Research Award. Graduating in June, Castle will be starting a three-year orthodontics residency at the University of California – San Francisco.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by Dr. Rotter for this award,” said Castle, who is SIU SDM’s American Student Dental Association chapter president. “Last year, Dr. Rotter and I developed a student newsletter that keeps dental students in the loop about what’s going on with lobbying efforts in Washington, along with other relevant information. My hope is that when I come back to visit years from now, that newsletter will still be going strong.”

Castle’s leadership efforts also include serving as president of the school’s dental student research group, which he also helped start. The group is an opportunity for seasoned students like Castle to assist first and second-year students in conducting research.

“Eric has exhibited leadership in the classroom and outside of class, both at the local and national levels,” said Rotter. “He is a model student and a natural leader. I expect to continue to see great accomplishments from him in the future.”

Photos: (Upper Right) Adam Fritzgerald; (Middle) Eric Castle.

SIUE Honors Construction Leadership Institute Class of 2014

25 March 2014, 10:21 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a graduation ceremony Friday, March 7 for the Construction Leadership Institute (CLI) Class of 2014. Twenty-four freshly minted CLI grads attended the event at the Morris University Center on the SIUE campus.

“The CLI program attracts a variety of high potential individuals, and the group this year was no exception”, said Sandra Hindelang, program co-director and director of Executive Education in the School of Business. “We had participants representing many facets of the building community. Graduates cite the exposure to the different perspectives their classmates bring to discussions as one of the most highly valued benefits of the program.”

The Class of 2014 includes:
Pete Allen, Byrne & Jones Construction                         Dan Kolta, Ameren Missouri

Matt Athy, Martin Steel Fabrication, Inc.                       Emily Korsch, Alberici Constructors

Steve Bauer, Alberici Constructors                                   Kregg Kraus, Solutions AEC

Dan Bax, Ameren Missouri                                                 Jerry Laurent, A&H Mechanical

Brian Bea, S.M. Wilson & Co.                                             Patricia Lee, Pipe Systems Mechanical

Joe Brandt, Ben F. Blanton Construction, Inc.               Tom Lee, Duct Systems, Inc.

Austin Davis, Alberici Constructors                                   Greg Munie, Munie Trenching & Excavating

Mike Davis, Northstar Management Co.                           Ryan Neff, Korte & Luitjohan

Mike Deihl, Holland Construction Services Inc.              Molly Quinones, Alberici Constructors

Adam Gacioch, Alberici Constructors                                Joe Koenig, Contegra Construction Co.

Matt Taylor, L. Keeley Construction                                   Dan Tucker, Pipe Systems Mechanical

Jack Kinamore, S.M. Wilson & Co.                                      Tyler Unterbrink, The Korte Co.

Over the course of its 11-year history, CLI has seen many of its more than 250 graduates advance to prominent positions across the building industry.

“Our mission is to ensure that what we’re teaching aligns with the needs of the industry in a rapidly changing environment,” said Chris Gordon, co-director of the CLI program and chair of the Dept. of Construction within SIUE’s School of Engineering. “That mission is guided by the CLI Advisory Board, a group of leaders in the bi-state building industry. They take an active role in helping us continuously update this unique and innovative leadership development program to develop the regional A/E/C industry future leaders.”

For more information on the Construction Leadership Institute, visit the website at or call 618-650-5440.

City of Edwardsville Looks to Strengthen Relationship with SIUE

24 March 2014, 4:32 pm

The following is an except from a story by Edwardsville Intelligencer reporter Matt Winte that was posted on Saturday, March 22:With an eye towards the future, the Edwardsville City Council approved the creation of a new board, which will have members from both the city of Edwardsville and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The council heard the second reading of an ordinance establishing the city of Edwardsville-Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Community Destination Board.

According to Alderman Jeanette Mallon, this ordinance is intended to strengthen the relationship between the city and the university and to make the university more aware of the opportunities in the city.

Changes have been made to the ordinance since it came to the council and Alderman Tom Butts wanted to know what the changes were.

Mallon explained a revision was added to ensure minutes were taken and a chairperson appointed. Additionally, appointments will be made by the mayor with the consent of the council.

Mayor Hal Patton described the board as a recommending body to an existing committee. The board would not be authorized to spend any money or make final decisions.

The board will be made up of at least 11 members and no less then seven. At least four of the members will be appointed by the SIUE Chancellor from the SIUE community and made up of representatives from the SIUE administration, a representative from the SIUE faculty and two representatives from SIUE student government.

The ordinance was unanimously approved.

SIUE Distinguished Service Award to Dixie Engelman

24 March 2014, 11:47 am

Engleman_Dixie_sm[2]Dixie Engelman, dean emerita of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor emerita of speech pathology and audiology, is being honored with the University’s Distinguished Service Award.

SIUE will present the award to Engelman at the University’s Spring 2014 Commencement on May 10.

Engelman has been a community advocate and volunteer for more than 35 years. She was the first president and remains a charter member of the SIUE Meridian Society. The Society is a group of women who provide leadership through philanthropy and pool their resources to help assist SIUE community-based projects.

The Meridian Society makes annual grants each spring to fund SIUE projects that provide direct services in the community. Since 2003, the Meridian Society has distributed more than $207,000 in awards to more than 100 community projects.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe said Engelman’s loyal, tangible efforts in educating women on philanthropy, her inspiring commitment in supporting community causes and her participation in influencing SIUE and the community through annual Impact Fund Awards speaks volumes.

“Dixie has invested an incredible amount in this community and in the lives of countless students,” Furst-Bowe said. “She was an active leader during her tenure at SIUE and has continued that activism following her retirement.”

Engelman said she is humbled and grateful to receive the University’s Distinguished Service Award.

“While I realize that I am merely one more in a long list of women honorees, it is gratifying that another woman has been added to that list,” she said. “It is indeed humbling to be recognized for service that others regard as ‘distinguished,’ yet I regard as merely fulfilling my interests and capabilities.”

Engelman’s dedicated service to the University was exemplified in her willingness to return from retirement in 2005 and donate an extensive amount of time and work as the volunteer chairwoman of SIUE’s 50th anniversary celebration. She devoted two years of planning and oversight of more than 100 volunteers from the University faculty, staff and students to make the year-long celebration a success.

The Distinguished Service Award recipient’s generosity extends to a number of worthy causes in addition to SIUE, according to Furst-Bowe.

“Dixie is an excellent example of the hard work and professionalism found at SIUE,” said Furst-Bowe. “Her leadership roles and her devotion to service have yielded exciting achievements and made her a highly respected member of the SIUE family.”

In addition to her legacy of service at SIUE, Engelman’s philanthropic support extends to volunteering on committees and governance groups at her local church. She also served as the first female trustee on the Roxana School Board and as its first female board president. During her winters in Florida, Engelman works closely with grade school children at an area school. A volunteer through the national program, Guideposts Knit for Kids, Engelman knits sweaters for children in need around the world.

Her commitment to the education and advancement of women inspired Engelman to organize an evening chapter of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization). The international nonprofit organization celebrates the advancement of women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship, motivating women to achieve their highest aspirations.

Photo:  Dixie Engelman.

Harold Pinter’s Classic Play, The Caretaker, on Stage Beginning Tonight

21 March 2014, 4:30 pm

The Care Taker Metcalf Theater 03-21-14

The SIUE Department of Theater and Dance will present the play, The Caretaker, at the James F. Metcalf Theater, located just west of the SIUE Student Fitness Center.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m., March 21-22, and March 26-29, and 2 p.m., Sunday, March 23, 30.

The Caretaker, Pinter’s 1960 classic, chronicles the peculiar relationships between a tramp and two brothers in a dilapidated London house. Like many of Pinter’s plays, The Caretaker, examines the communication, or the lack thereof, between people. The play’s situations go from “funny to weird to tragic.”

The Care Taker Metcalf Theater 03-21-14

The Caretaker, directed here by James Van Leishout, remains one of Pinter’s most celebrated and most often performed plays.

Ticket costs are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, SIUE retirees, faculty and staff and $10 for

non-SIUE students (with valid identification). Admission is free for SIUE students, compliments of the SIUE Campus Activities Board.

For more information, call the SIUE Fine Arts box office, 618-650-2774.

The Care Taker Metcalf Theater 03-21-14

Photo Information:

Christopher Kernan, who portrays “Davies” talks with Benjamin Nickols, who plays “Aston.” Kernan is an SIUE senior and Nickols is an SIUE sophomore, both in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bryan Arnold (Mick) yells at a startled Chris Kernan (Davies). Arnold is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Pictured from left to right are Ben Nickols and Chris Kernan.


Arts & Issues Last Presentation of the Year: A Political Affair

21 March 2014, 2:13 pm

James Carville and Alberto Gonzales

A former U.S. attorney and one of America’s best-known political consultants will converge on stage at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 3, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for a night of political debate.

Alberto Gonzales, past White House counsel to President George W. Bush, will face-off with James Carville, “The Ragin’ Cajin,” known for helping steer political underdogs to landslide victories. The two will meet in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom.

The first round of the debate will center on immigration, while the second half will address other controversial topics.

Gonzales was appointed as the 80th attorney general of the United States and became the first Hispanic to lead the nation’s largest law enforcement office. The former attorney general played a vital role in the administration’s fight in the war on terror and addressing the changing role of the Department of Justice after 9/11.

Carville is an American political commentator, media personality and prominent figure in the Democratic Party. He gained national attention for his work as the lead strategist of the successful 1992 campaign of then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

“We’re thrilled to have two politicians, as well as historical figures, of their caliber on campus at the same time for a debate,” said Grant Andree, director of Arts & Issues.

“This is a terrific opportunity for students, faculty, staff and the community to hear what they have to say. It should be a very entertaining night.”

The event is sponsored by the SIUE Foundation, the SIUE Graduate School and the Emeriti Faculty Association.

It is presented by Arts & Issues, the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences’ Colloquium and the Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival.

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.

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:

James Carville and Alberto Gonzales


SIUE East St. Louis Center to Host Birthday Festivities for the City

21 March 2014, 10:51 am

SIUE Photo1

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Center will celebrate East St. Louis’s birthday with a journey through local history. The Center will also honor celebrities, culture and art of the past, present and future while reintroducing the Center’s Performing Arts program to the East St. Louis community.

An array of festivities is planned for the commemoration:

• Gospel Night – 7 p.m., Thursday, April 3, will feature performances by the Anointed Hands Mime Ministry of the New Shining Light Church, Venice; SIUE Gospel Choir and the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School Gospel Choir. Past and present SIUE East St. Louis Center Performing Arts students will be highlighted in a special presentation.

• A Tribute to Rhythm and Blues Night – 7 p.m. Friday, April 4 will spotlight Brock Walker and his Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute Band.

• “And the Verdict is. . . . A Campus Reaction to the Trayvon Martin Case” – 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, will be presented by the SIUE Black Theater Workshop.

All events will take place in the Multi-Purpose Room in Building at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd. in East St. Louis.

SIUE Photo2

All performances are free and open to the public. However, due to limited seating, admission tickets are required. To reserve a ticket, contact Ginny Burkhart at 618-482-6904 or

East St. Louis has a long, rich history and one that involves the performing arts. The city has cultivated exceptional talent such as Katherine Dunham, world renowned dancer, choreographer, anthropologist and social activist; Miles Davis, American jazz musician and trumpeter extraordinaire; and Dr. Eugene B. Redmond, SIUE English professor emeritus and East St. Louis poet laureate.

“Therefore, we at the SIUE East St. Louis Center thought it would be fitting to have a birthday celebration here and acknowledge all the good that has come from and remains in East St. Louis,” said Dr. Andrew Theising, director of the SIUE East St. Louis Center and the Institute for Urban Research.

Theising’s in-depth research on the City of East St. Louis has revealed, among other things, that it was first established in 1808 and was known as Illinois City. The city became Illinoistown in 1817, and in 1861 Illinoistown merged with a neighboring community to form East St. Louis.

Dunham came to East St. Louis in the 1960s and made it her second home. To reach out, motivate and educate the youth in the area, Dunham formed the Performing Arts Training Center (PATC) in 1967.

SIUE Photo3

“PATC provided classes to students and community members to develop rich local talent and cultivate a love of the arts,” Theising said. “Classes often culminated in musical and theatrical productions to the delight of the community. Though the program declined in recent years and offered fewer community events, it is bouncing back in 2014.” The April festivities encompass the revitalization of the Performing Arts program at the SIUE East St. Louis Center.

“We ask for support in making this program as successful as possible for students in and around East St. Louis and for the community at large,” Theising said. “Opportunities to partner with us include providing scholarships for underprivileged students to attend performing arts classes, the purchase of necessary equipment and supplies for students, and securing venues for performances.”

For more information, contact Burkhart.

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 give 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.

Photo Information:

SIUE Photo #1:  Former Performing Arts student Venezia Manuel salutes a high kick to the Madame of Black Dance, Katherine Dunham.

SIUE Photo #2:  Performing Arts staff member, E.K. Wilkes, plays guitar in a musical number with former students of the SIUE East St. Louis Center Performing Arts program.

SIUE Photo #3:  Former high school students in the Performing Arts program conclude a dance routine during a previous black history program.



SIU SDM’s Keith Dickey Awarded International Fauchard Fellowship

20 March 2014, 12:09 pm

Dickey 2010Dr. Keith W. Dickey, emeritus associate professor and director of continuing education and alumni services in the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM), was awarded fellowship in the International Pierre Fauchard Academy Feb. 20 during the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter meeting.

Currently, there are 61 dentists in Illinois who have received Fellowship in the Academy. It is by invitation only and bestowed on dentists in recognition of their distinguished work, research, contributions and public service along with providing excellence in programs, education and leadership in oral health care.

“I am extremely honored to have received Fellowship in the Academy and offer my gratitude to those who have served dentistry in the past and maintained the profession’s integrity,” said Dickey.

The Pierre Fauchard Academy is an honorary dental service organization founded in 1936. Troubled by the proprietary nature of many dental publications, the Academy wanted to help the profession gain control of its own literature and assure its independence from commercial interests.

The Academy is named after Pierre Fauchard of France (1678-1761), who is recognized as the “Father of Modern Dentistry” for raising dentistry to a profession. He wrote “Le Chirurgien Dentiste au Traite des Dents,” which was the first true textbook of dentistry.

The mission of Fellows in the Pierre Fauchard Academy is to consistently focus on professionalism, integrity and ethics worldwide by their own conduct as worthy role models and by the advancement of dentistry to the highest level.

The Pierre Fauchard Academy is currently comprised of over 8,000 Fellows divided into 120 sections, 55 in the United States and another 65 in many other parts of the world, including South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Dickey received his undergraduate education at Indiana State University and his dental degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry. He completed his MBA at Southern Illinois University. In addition to his appointments in the SIU SDM, Dickey maintained a private practice of general dentistry in East Alton until 2013.

Having served as president of the Illinois State Dental Society during 2007-2008, Dickey was supreme president of Xi Psi Phi International Dental Fraternity in 1990-92 and president of Madison District Dental Society in 1992. He has served as a delegate and alternate to the ISDS House of Delegates, member of the DENT-IL-PAC President’s Club, and member of ISDS Committees on Governmental Affairs, Dental Education, Dental Auxiliary Education and Duties of Dental Auxiliaries in Illinois.

In addition, Dickey has served as a delegate and alternate to the ADA Annual Sessions House of Delegates, a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs, and a consultant to the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation. Currently serving as president of the ISDS Foundation, Dickey is an ISDS Foundation Benefactor, and he is chair of the ISDSF Executive Committee, and Dental School Liaison to SIU SDM. Dickey is also a Fellow of the American College and International College of Dentists.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Takes Blood Pressure Screening to Edwardsville Businesses

20 March 2014, 7:00 am

SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp L to R Andrea Basso, Leeah Jason 6-19-13The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy will host “Roll Up Your Sleeves, Edwardsville” during the afternoon of April 11.

It is a citywide wellness event, where teams of 2-3 pharmacy students and one faculty pharmacist will visit Edwardsville businesses to perform blood pressure screenings for employees. Twelve teams will cover the city for five hours.

This program is being performed in conjunction with the City of Edwardsville with the support of Mayor Hal Patton.

“Hypertension is an extremely prevalent disease, with nearly 90 percent of all Americans suffering from the disease at some point in their lives,” said. Dr. J. Christopher Lynch, SIUE professor of pharmacy practice. “Because hypertension typically has no symptoms, many working-age adults may have the disease without realizing it.”

Typical health fairs ask participants to come to the providers. This is the reverse where the providers go to the participants.

SIUE teams will quickly and accurately measure the blood pressures of any employees, who wish to participate, and then move on to the next scheduled business location. In this manner, those too busy to attend screening events or their doctor’s office can know their blood pressure reading.

Businesses wishing to participate may contact Jennifer Koehne at the SIUE School of Pharmacy at (618) 650-5164.

Photo:  SIUE’s Dr. Andrea Basso administers blood pressure screening.

SIU School of Dental Medicine Seeks Patients for Gum Disease Study

20 March 2014, 7:00 am

new Faculty Nathalia Garcia  8-15-13Dr. Nathalia Garcia, periodontist from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM), is a principal investigator for the project titled “Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression.” She is seeking 60 volunteers to take part in clinical research.

The multi-center study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A total of 500 clinical subjects will take part in the study across the country.

The purpose of this study is to discover which germs make gum disease worse. The study requires volunteers to visit the SDM clinic for up to 14 visits. To qualify, a volunteer must:

  • Be at least 25 years old
  • Have at least 20 natural teeth, not counting wisdom teeth
  • Have not used tobacco products for at least a year

Patients will be paid for participating in the study. At the study’s conclusion, participants will receive a full dental cleaning.

At the SDM, Garcia will oversee 60 patients and work with colleagues Dr. Douglas Miley, professor of periodontics and implant dentistry and director of the Advanced Program in Periodontics; Dr. Debra Dixon, associate professor and section head of diagnostic sciences; and Dr. M. Jane Gillespie, section head of microbiology and former director of research at the SDM. Three dedicated dental hygienists and a molecular biologist will also participate.

For more information please contact SIU School of Dental Medicine at (314) 747-9448 or (618)-474-7134, or via email at

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, approximately 64.7 million Americans suffer from an advanced form of periodontal disease. Periodontology is the study in dentistry of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of tissues of the teeth and gums. Garcia’s work could lead to new insights and advancements that would affect the long-term health of nearly half of adults in the U.S.

SIUE Honors Simmons with Honorary Doctorate

19 March 2014, 5:56 pm

Simmons Law FirmAlton attorney and philanthropist John Simmons will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Southern University Illinois Edwardsville. The degree will be bestowed upon Simmons at SIUE’s spring commencement exercises May 9 at the Vadalabene Center on campus.

Simmons, who graduated with honors from SIUE in political science, earned his Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas. He is founder and chairman of Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC, a national law firm headquartered in Alton, with additional offices in St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco and El Segundo, Calif.

Since the founding of his firm in 1999, Simmons has given his time, service and finances to benefit SIUE and the surrounding community.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe said Simmons’ honor is well deserved.

“John continues to be highly involved in the University and, as an alum, he is one of our biggest proponents as well as an excellent role model,” Furst-Bowe said. “We are so appreciative of his ongoing support of his alma mater and know that his example has positively affected others’ perceptions of what SIUE has to offer.”

Simmons’ extensive record of giving to the University includes $10.2 million to help build the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU in Springfield (2005), $1 million to renovate the Edwardsville campus’ baseball complex (2004) and significant contributions toward construction of an SIUE golf training facility.

Beyond the University, Simmons’ philanthropy is evident in the nearly $5 million the Simmons Family Foundation has awarded to charities and events throughout the St. Louis region. The firm’s employees, motivated by Simmons’ generosity, started their own Simmons Employee Foundation in 2004, which has donated more than $1 million and countless volunteer hours to charitable organizations throughout Madison County and beyond.

In addition to donations to charities and nonprofits across the bi-state area, the Simmons Law Firm has donated more than $10 million to mesothelioma cancer research through the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and its national sponsorship of Miles for Meso 5K fundraising events.

“As a businessman, to be recognized in this way is the highest of compliments,” Simmons said. “It is certainly one to be shared with my family, my employees and my colleagues, for without their efforts and support, this phenomenal honor would have been unachievable.”

Furst-Bowe said Simmons’ extraordinary giving to SIUE and elsewhere speaks volumes.

“John is an incredible example of the ‘pay it forward’ principle,” Furst-Bowe said. “He has been extremely generous and diverse in his financial support of the University. The recipients of notable and generous philanthropic gifts typically benefit in a variety of ways, monetarily and otherwise. SIUE is incredibly fortunate to have John’s support and encouragement.”

The example set forth by Simmons as an alumnus of SIUE has and will continue to motivate fellow SIUE alums to give to the University, according to its chancellor.

“We are the Cougar family and the success and integrity of one family member reflects on the others, promoting a continuation of that success,” said Furst-Bowe. “SIUE has more than 90,000 graduates and each one can be proud of his or her SIUE heritage.”

Before attending SIUE, Simmons served as a U.S. Army combat engineer for two years. He later went to work with his father building houses. His father inspired Simmons to become a lawyer, and within months he enrolled at the University and later SMU. While in law school, Simmons worked part-time representing nonprofit organizations and churches.

During his tenure on the SIU Board, Simmons helped increase campus diversity, raise salaries and develop effective capital campaigns while in the midst of economic hardship.

“As an SIUE alum and long-time SIU Board member, it means a great deal to me to be recognized by those with whom I’ve partnered with over the years to make SIUE a top institution of higher learning,” said Simmons. “I am so very grateful for this wonderful honor.”

Black Violin’s SIUE Performance Noted in Belleville News Democrat

18 March 2014, 3:05 pm

Black Violin, perform

Black Violin, perform 2

Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester and Wilmer “Wil B” Baptiste performed on Monday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as part of the SIUE Arts & Issues Series.

The two musicians, known as Black Violin, blend classical music, rock, R&B, pop and hip hop to create a unique, exciting sound on their stringed instruments.

More on their SIUE performance can be found in Belleville News Democrat  ( along with information and photos about the workshop they conducted for the SIUE Suzuki program.

Black Violin, perform, Marcus

Photo Information:
Black Violin performs at SIUE.

Wilmer “Wil B” Baptiste sings as he plays.

Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester enjoys playing for the audience.


SIUE Hosts 7th Cougar World Games

18 March 2014, 7:00 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will host the 7th Annual Cougar World Games Tuesday, March 25, from 6th Annual Cougar World Games 3-29-134-7 p.m. in the Student Fitness Center on the SIUE campus. Part of SIUE’s Global Awareness Week, Cougar World Games will challenge, inspire and bring together diverse communities among SIUE students.

The Cougar World Games is a special event designed to promote diversity, understanding and acceptance between groups with different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities through participation in various recreational activities offered across the globe, according to Natalie Rosales, recreation coordinator at the Student Fitness Center at SIUE.

“The basic concept allows students to visit stations set-up as various countries and continents learning about culture, sports, music, ethnic foods and more,” Rosales said.

“This year, we are trying to be more intentional in the learning opportunities and provide an area where students can meet with faculty and staff from various countries and learn first-hand their experiences growing up with sport and/or culture in their native country,” stated Rosales. “Currently we have commitments from individuals from Cyprus, Ghana, Turkey, Japan, Italy, India, Panama, Jamaica and Canada to name a few.”

The event is free and open to all.

For more information, please visit the Campus Recreation website at or call the Student Fitness Center Reception Desk at (618) 650-3248.

Photo: SIUE students Jasmine Harrison (R) and Maurice Carter play Mancala at 2013 Cougar World Games.

SIUE Women’s Club Hoops Advances to NIRSA National Championship

17 March 2014, 5:01 pm

2014 Women's Club Basketball-Regional ChampsThe SIUE women’s club basketball team won the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Regional tournament the weekend of March 7-9. The Cougars earned a fourth-consecutive bid to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Championship tournament.

SIUE scored impressive wins over the University of Nebraska, and the University of Wisconsin before defeating the United States Air Force Academy 39-32 in the semifinals and Kansas State 35-30 in the title game.

Tori Smith, a junior in the School of Business, was named the Tournament MVP. Becky Niebrugge, a senior in the School of Nursing, was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

North Carolina State University will host the national championships April 11-13.  More information on opponents and game times will be determined in the next few weeks.

Additional information can be found at

Photo Information:

The 2013-2014 SIUE Women’s Club Baketball Team

Front row:  Alexis McGaughy, freshman

Middle row from left to right:  Danielle Meadows, Catrina Warren and Isaura Carro (all freshmen) and Tori Smith (junior)

Back row from left to right:  Jasmine Howell, junior; Becky Neibrugge, senior; Danica Balbach, sophomore, Rachael Walker, freshman, and Jantelle McNeil, graduate student


Pride Honors SIU School of Dental Medicine for Beautification Efforts

17 March 2014, 3:21 pm

SDM_Pride_Award_001_smSouthern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine’s (SIU SDM) new and expanded presence in Alton earned an Award of Achievement from Pride, Incorporated, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to community beautification.

The award recognizes the construction of the School’s Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory and adjacent space, an 18,000-square-foot, $9.5 million project of which $4.1 million was funded by a grant from the state’s Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

SDM faculty began using the new addition in January. More than 100 pre-doctoral students are estimated to use the facility during the first and second years of their four-year dental education.

SDM Dean Dr. Bruce Rotter, a 1982 alumnus of the School, accepted the award at Pride’s annual meeting March 6.

“For over 40 years, the School of Dental Medicine and the City of Alton have been partners, working in cooperation to support community improvement and beautification efforts,” Rotter said. “It is truly meaningful to be recognized as a quality partner to the city of Alton.

“The city has provided students, staff and faculty a safe environment in which to work and live since the dental school began operations.”

Karen Wilson, former president of Pride, said the organization was excited to have an opportunity to recognize a school for its beautification efforts.

“There is an acknowledgement that not all we teach is found in a textbook or in a classroom,” said Wilson. “Our actions, our priorities and our respect for the things around us can speak louder than the words on a page or from the mouths of instructors. SIU School of Dental Medicine is such a school. It has continued to improve the landscape of its campus and has been a loyal and generous community partner.”

The School has embraced the history of the area, Wilson said, noting that the Robert Wadlow Statue and the 8-foot, 11.1-inch “Gentle Giant’s” boyhood home are both located on the School’s Alton Campus.

“The School of Dental Medicine has protected the oldest building in the state of Illinois, Loomis Hall, that has been continuously dedicated to education,” Wilson stated. “This hall has housed the Alton Museum of History and Art for decades.

“The School also beautifies, maintains and adds new facets to the grounds, preserving Robert Wadlow’s legacy as a large part of its campus. Pride applauds these efforts, and we appreciate the School’s investment in the students and our community.”

Pride Executive Director Heather Hope said the SIU School of Dental Medicine was selected for the beautification honor, in large part, due to its major reinvestment in the community paired with its ongoing efforts to maintain Alton’s history. That includes the School’s partnership with the museum to preserve the former Shurtleff College, which was built in 1832 on that same site.

“The Dental School has been a long-time source of pride for the city of Alton,” Hope said. “I was raised in Alton, just a few blocks from the Dental School campus.

“Today, my family and I continue to have a place to share that is a unique part of history, thanks to a great extent to the dedicated efforts of the School and its longstanding commitment to local preservation.”

Photo: Pride Incorporated Exec. Dir. Heather Hope (L) with SIU SDM Dean Bruce Rotter and incoming President of the Pride Board of Directors Brenda Eardley (R).

Cougars Attain All-America Honors at NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships

17 March 2014, 2:58 pm

Ward_La'DerrickSIUE junior La’Derrick Ward made history Friday, March 14 by placing sixth in the men’s long jump at NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. He became the first two-time D-I All-American in school history.

The Alorton native took sixth in the long jump with a mark of 25 feet, 5.25 inches. The mark was a school record for Ward, who broke his previous record of 25-3.5. He finished 10 spots higher than he was projected, having entered the event seeded 16th.

He also earned All-America honors at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships last spring.

Wright_JataviaJunior Jatavia Wright competed in the women’s triple jump at NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field National Championships Saturday, March 15, becoming the first SIUE female student-athlete to compete at the meet.

Wright placed 11th in the event with a mark of 41 feet, 7 inches.  The Miami Gardens, Fla., native was just shy of her school record of 41-8 and finished three places higher than her incoming rank of 14th.

Wright earned second team All-America status in her first appearance at the NCAA National Championships.

Photo (Upper Right): La’Derrick Ward (2nd from right in black jacket).

Photo (Middle Right): Jatavia Wright competes in the triple jump.

SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative Donates to Hospice of Southern Illinois

17 March 2014, 1:10 pm

School of Pharmacy SOP 5K check to Hospice of Southern Illinois 03-11-14The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Hospice Volunteer Initiative donated more than $1,500 to Hospice of Southern Illinois on March 11. Last fall, the “Hands for Hospice 5K Race” was held on the SIUE campus to raise money to further enrich Hospice’s volunteer program and to educate the community on their health care services.

“The Hospice Volunteer Initiative’s 5K Race and community event had a goal of informing SIUE students and the surrounding community about Hospice of Southern Illinois,” said Lauren Kormelink, a third-year pharmacy student and organizer of the SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative. “We were able to get younger individuals involved with Hospice to carry out their important mission, and were able to raise money to improve the care afforded to patients and their families.”

In November 2012, the SIUE School of Pharmacy Class of 2015 and faculty leaders partnered with Hospice of Southern Illinois to host one of the largest Hospice volunteer training events on record. Since that date, the SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative and Hospice of Southern Illinois have partnered on numerous volunteer events and plan to continue their combined efforts.

“Hospice of Southern Illinois is extremely grateful to the SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative for their generous donation,” said Jami Mattison, human resources director of Hospice of Southern Illinois. “Because we are a not-for-profit organization that does not deny care to anyone regardless of their ability to pay, donations that we receive help us to continue our mission of enhancing the quality of life for those touched by a terminal illness.”

The SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative has not only helped Hospice of Southern Illinois make significant progress in regards to volunteerism, they have made a lasting impact.

“Our partnership with the SIUE Hospice Volunteer Initiative is an educational and awareness opportunity for everyone involved,” said Shelly Black, volunteer services coordinator for Hospice of Southern Illinois. “It’s important to have younger adults involved so that they can carry on the message of Hospice. They are able to help promote the services that we provide throughout the community, and we all enjoy the energy of the students.”

Photo (L-R):  SIUE School of Pharmacy students Lauren Kormelink, James Langley and Nathan Lindley; Shelly Black and Jami Mattison of Hospice of Southern Illinois; and Dr. Chris Herndon, SIUE associate professor of pharmacy.

SIUE’s Manuel Addresses Balancing Historic Preservation with Economic Development

17 March 2014, 12:16 pm

2009 New faculty headshotsCreating and employing a strategy to balance historical preservation with economic development is the topic of a panel discussion that includes Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Jeff Manuel. He is an assistant professor from the Department of Historical Studies with the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Marketing Our Heritage? Cultural Conservation and Economic Development” will take place Saturday, March 22 from 2-4 p.m. at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville.

Whether communities should use their cultural heritage to create jobs and revenue is one topic that Manuel and other panel experts will cover. Examples of effective practices for generating economic opportunity from local culture, while also protecting it and keeping it healthy, will also be discussed.

Audiences will be invited to take a survey as a starting point for discussion, using their cell phones to answer multiple-choice questions in a real-time gathering of research.

Economic development and history are very different things, said Manuel, and they don’t necessarily move in the same direction.

“Trying to develop or redevelop an area’s economy while simultaneously maintaining its historical significance is difficult,” he said. “There are a lot of cases where projects tried to serve both masters – history and economic development – and ended up leaving everyone unsatisfied.

“But there are also some good examples out there where a balance has been found. During this discussion, I look forward to sharing those examples and why they worked.”

The first step in achieving a balance, said Manuel, is for both camps to begin the process with realistic expectations.

“History and preservation-minded projects can be valuable tools for economic development, but they will never be a panacea for developing local or regional economies,” he said. “In the competition for scarce development resources, promoters of history projects can get carried away and start making projections that will lead to heartache down the road.

“Secondly, history and preservation efforts seem to work best when there is widespread buy-in and support from the community.”

Thirdly, according to Manuel, history and preservation projects need to be rooted in accurate and authentic histories.

“You can’t simply drop in a generic or inauthentic history without creating a phony ‘tourist trap’ atmosphere,” Manuel said.

Public-private partnerships and entrepreneurial approaches are essential, today more than ever, to create the necessary revenue streams to fund and sustain a project in light of major cutbacks at the federal, state and local levels, according to Manuel.

“It’s important that those of us working in this field make the case for why these programs are so important and deserve public funding,” he said.

According to Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) Program Officer Matt Meacham, the event is being coordinated by the IHC, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

“This program will serve two purposes,” said Meacham. “One is to discuss issues that may arise when resources important to the identity of a place, such as historic sites or musical traditions, are used for economic gain through practices like heritage tourism or marketing of traditional arts and crafts.

“The other is to share practical advice about ways in which cultural resources can contribute to local economies while retaining their integrity and character.”

The event is free and open to the public, with advance registration requested. To reserve a seat, email the IHC at

For more information, contact Meacham at (312) 422-5589 or Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is located at 30 Ramey Street in Collinsville.

Photo: SIUE’s Jeff Manuel, assistant professor from the Department of Historical Studies.

SIUE Summer Session Registration Has Begun – Dive In!

17 March 2014, 8:00 am

With more than 700 classes to choose from and more online classes than ever before, now is the best time to “dive in” and enroll in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Summer Session. It’s a smart move that could mean a chance to attend classes with an even lower student-teacher ratio than usually offered (17:1) at SIUE.

According to Dr. Charles Berger, professor of English language and literature and coordinator of the summer session, attending class in the summer provides students with a number of flexible options.

“SIUE offers a great variety of courses at all levels during the summer: introductory general education courses, required upper-division classes for the major, graduate seminars,” said Berger. “We also provide a growing number of online offerings for students who can’t make it to campus.

“Most of our courses run for five weeks, and we offer two five-week sessions during the summer. SIUE has one of the most academically vibrant summer programs in the country, providing students with a great opportunity to continue learning and making progress toward graduation.”

Berger also pointed out other benefits to enrolling in summer session:

  • Fees are less
  • Housing is significantly less expensive
  • Summer is an excellent time to take classes typically difficult to enroll in for fall or spring
  • It’s a beautiful time to be on the SIUE campus, with foliage in full bloom, lush green landscaping; a perfect setting for biking, walking or swimming at the pool
  • Students can break from studies and enjoy Summer Showbiz on the mainstage at SIUE’s Dunham Hall, or any of the area attractions such as the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Zoo and a variety of museums
  • There are numerous student job opportunities on campus during the summer session

Registration for SIUE’s Summer Session is underway! For more information, visit:, call (618) 650-2080 or email:

Those interested may also visit SIUE’s Service Center on the first floor of Rendleman Hall for more information.

SIUE Hosts India Night Friday

17 March 2014, 7:00 am

India Night rice on the floor art promotion 03-10-14

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will host India Night 2014 on Friday, March 21, from 5-8 p.m. in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. This event, sponsored by the SIUE Indian Student Association, will immerse guests in Indian culture through traditional cuisine and entertainment.

India-inspired dishes will be served to guests. Everything from a main dish to dessert will be provided. Throughout the evening, SIUE students and their friends will treat guests to performances of cultural music and dance.

An event highlight is Indian rice art known as Rangoli. It is usually found in Indian households during Diwali (Festival of Lights) or other auspicious occasions. It is a decorative art that brings good luck. The Rangoli Art in the MUC is an SIUE tradition during India week.

For more information on Rangoli, visit:

Students will also display their culture through traditional clothing.

Tickets can be purchased at the Morris University Center Welcome Desk or by calling 618-650-5555. Tickets are $13 for SIUE students, $16 for SIUE faculty, staff and the general public, and $20 for V.I.P. Purchasing a ticket automatically enters guests in a drawing for an iPad Mini.

India Night was previously scheduled for March 2, but postponed due to inclement weather. Tickets previously purchased will be honored for the rescheduled event.

SIUE Mourns Loss of Masangu Shabangi

14 March 2014, 2:14 pm

Dr. Masangu Shabangi, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at SIUE, died Thursday, March 13, at the age of 48.

Shabangi was born on October 28, 1965, in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
He taught at SIUE for 14 years.

The first visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, March 21, at the First Baptist Church of Maryville, 7110 State Route 162 in Maryville. The second visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, March 22, at the First Baptist Church of Maryville.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. following the second visitation at the church. Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon.

A complete obituary is available at Herr Funeral Homes & Sunset Hill Funeral Homes and Cremations Services. Additional information can also be obtained at obitsforlife.

CosmoQuest Shows Everyday People Can Map the Moon

13 March 2014, 3:03 pm


A team of scientists working with the CosmoQuest virtual research facility ( has demonstrated that it is possible for everyday people to map the Moon with the same quality as a group of experienced professionals.

These crowd-sourced results are being published in the journal Icarus and highlight the ability of citizen scientists to advance planetary research. CosmoQuest is a second-generation citizen science site run out of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville STEM Center by Assistant Research Professor Dr. Pamela L. Gay.

While “crowdsourcing science” may sound as if they are handing out lab sets and white coats, CosmoQuest has actually done something much more impactful. They handed over the moon.

CosmoQuest’s MoonMappers research portal invites the public to learn about the lunar surface and aid professional researchers in mapping craters and other features on the Moon.

MoonMappers is led by researchers Stuart Robbins of the University of Colorado and Irene Antonenko of the Planetary Institute of Toronto. CosmoQuest community members are the first citizen scientists to demonstrate volunteers can accurately identify planetary surface features.

With over 500 million craters on the moon alone, and new data coming in from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter daily, there is much science to be furthered.

“As early as the 1800s, top researchers, such as Harvard’s Edward Pickering, realized the field of astronomy could advance faster by engaging amateur astronomers in collecting data for professional researchers,” Gay said. “Utilizing the global community of amateur researchers that CosmoQuest has drawn together, research can happen more quickly, more accurately, and more often than ever before.

As shrinking funding reduces the number of professional positions, the need for help is greater than ever before. “CosmoQuest allows passionate volunteers and professional scientists to effectively explore our solar system together and accomplish science that might otherwise never be done,” Gay said.

In a statistical comparison between the results of eight professional crater counters, and MoonMappers’ cadre of amateur counters from around the world, it was shown that the combined results are consistent across both groups even across varied types of craters. This study also showed that the variation in counts between different professionals could be as much as 35 percent, while there was a 1-to-1 relationship between the combined professional counts and the citizen scientist counts.

“The results from the study were very reassuring to us,” said Robbins, the study’s lead author. “Without this first step of verifying the accuracy of volunteer crater counters, there would be no point in continuing the project.

“Our study results mean we can now use the power of crowd-sourcing to gather more data than we ever thought possible before.”

This means willing volunteers can meaningfully contribute to science any time they feel like sitting down and marking a few features. Waiting for the bus? Sitting in the doctor’s office?  Or, “Even do it at night while watching television,” is Robbins’ advice to help further humankind’s knowledge of these objects’ history.

While mapping the Moon is a goal unto itself, there is actually a lot of science tied in with mapping all these divots on the lunar surface.

“Throughout our solar system’s existence, a steady stream of objects – asteroids and comets mostly – have rained down on the Earth and our Moon,” Gay stated. “While it may seem these objects are out to kill life on Earth (and they certainly killed the dinosaurs!), they also offer us a chance to understand our history.

“When we see an area of the Moon that is smoother, we know something has erased the craters, but when we see a very cratered region, we know we are seeing an old surface that holds a record of past collisions.”

CosmoQuest is directed by Gay, and is designed to provide the public with an online experience that a professional might have at a research center.

“Put simply, the sky is large, and astronomers need all the help the public can offer!” Gay said.

In addition to hosting MoonMappers and two other citizen science projects, CosmoQuest also offers online classes, provides multiple weekly seminars using Google’s Hangout-on-Air technology, has materials for teachers, and is home to the Virtual Star Party series. This second-generation citizen science site goes from asking people to click through images to asking them to learn what it takes to become an active collaborator.

For a related paper, see:

Photo: Assistant Research Professor Dr. Pamela L. Gay.

Metro East SBDC to Host Google’s Get Your Business Online Webcast

13 March 2014, 1:48 pm

Join us March 24-29 for Get Your Business Online Week, when the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Google partner to get the businesses in the Metro East region online and growing (

Today, 97 percent of Internet users look online for local products and services, yet 55 percent of American businesses do not have a website.1 Getting online is the quickest and easiest thing a small business or new start-up can do to grow.

During the next three years, businesses that make good use of their web presence are expected to grow 40 percent faster than those who don’t.2

Throughout the week, Google will be hosting free virtual workshops covering topics ranging from how to build a website to measuring results online. One of the main highlights of this year’s GYBO Week is an exclusive discussion with one of America’s leading small business experts, Melinda Emerson, affectionately known as the SmallBizLady.

The week’s activities will not only showcase the value of the Internet as a valuable business tool, but also provide an opportunity for Metro East entrepreneurs, business owners and small business service providers to connect and share insights.

The Metro East SBDC will host the Thursday, March 27 webcast on how to “expand your online presence” at B. Barnard Birger Hall on SIUE’s campus.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the 90-minute program starts at noon. A light box lunch will be served to those who pre-register and attend.  Seating is limited, so those interested in attending are encouraged to register early for this free event by visiting:

Google’s Get Your Business Online Week aims to create momentum around getting businesses online and empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners to utilize the power of the web to help their businesses flourish.

For more information on the 2014 GYBO Week and the Thursday, March 27 webcast at SIUE, call (618) 650-2929.

SIUE’s Retzlaff to Receive Sustainability Leadership Award

13 March 2014, 1:04 pm


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dr. Bill Retzlaff will accept the Sustainability Leadership Award from the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability at its 11th annual Leadership Awards Dinner.

The event is set for the Saturday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the LeClaire Room on the N. O Nelson Campus of Lewis and Clark Community College in Edwardsville.

Retzlaff is a professor of biological sciences and also associate dean of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences. He is being honored for his numerous scientific studies involving SIUE students to find the best environmentally friendly green roof designs for this area. Since Retzlaff, his students and collaborators started the SIUE green roof research program in 2004, new green roof systems have been installed on five campus buildings.

“Without the help of the many undergraduate and graduate research students in my research lab, I would not have been able to contribute to the evaluation, development and placement of green roof systems,” Retzlaff said.

One of Retzlaff’s current projects is assisting with a collaborative research team seeking financial support for a Veggie Rooftop Garden project by garnering donations via online crowdfunding. The project team has posted the on to initially raise $8,100 from the community to support the students working on the project. The project will establish a vegetable garden on the Morris University Center’s patio rooftop, and the resulting produce will be contributed to the new Campus Kitchen Project and the SIUE cafeteria.

The Center’s Spiritual Leadership Award will go to Rev. Annie P. Clark for her many years of dedication and collaboration on behalf of interfaith understanding in this region. Rev. Clark directed the Radiance Center for Spiritual Living until her retirement, after which she founded Inner-Splendor, an interactive ministry, serving people of all faiths.

For reservations call Juli Jacobson (618) 650-3246 or email Tickets are $50 and partially tax deductible.

The Center for Spirituality and Sustainability is a multi-faith home for spirituality and sustainability efforts housed in the Buckminster Fuller dome on the SIUE campus.

Photo:  Dr. Bill Retzlaff, professor of biological sciences and also associate dean of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences.

SIUE Celebrates St. Louis’ 250 Birthday with Outdoor Cake Sculptures

12 March 2014, 1:54 pm

250 year cake St. Louis Edwardsville cake founder's square 03-10-14

On the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville sits a four-foot tall, two-tier fiber glass birthday cake. The cake is one of 250 throughout the bi-state region, commemorating the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis.

SIUE was chosen to be one of 250 places of distinction in the 15-county region and is part of the “Cakeway to the West” campaign. The cake, located at the entry way of Founder’s Plaza, will be displayed through Dec. 31. It was decorated by Autumn Huff, Heather Kniffel and Carol Dappert of the Graphic Design Office within University Marketing and Communications. An alphabetized list of the sites can be found here.

The 250 sites were chosen based on such criteria as landmark sites, heritage and culture, the great outdoors, local favorites and innovation.

The Cakeway to the West project uniquely mixes a public art exhibit, with a scavenger hunt and a regional history lesson. The result is an exciting way to discover the area, according to Erin Budde, executive director of stl250.

But the fiber glass sculptures won’t just serve as decoration throughout the year.

“stl250 is teaming with Arch Grant recipient Candy Lab  to translate our 250 cake locations into an interactive app where visitors can learn more about each location,” said Budde. “What’s more, users will be able to ‘check in’ at each location and be awarded points, which will then funnel into a leaderboard. Scoring more points makes participants eligible to win prizes, with prize drawings in June and December.”                                                                                                                                            

SIUE property is also home to another stl250 cake. The non-profit foundation selected the site of the Robert Wadlow statue on the campus of the SIU School of Dental Medicine, 2800 College Ave. in Alton. The statue is also located across the street from the Alton Museum of Art.

Wadlow (1918-1940) is recorded by the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest person in history. Wadlow was 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall.

                    SDM cake3

For more information about stl250 or to vote for a favorite St. Louis spot, visit their Facebook page.

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.

School of Dental Medicine: School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.

Photo Information:

stl250 chose the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to display one of its 250 birthday cakes.

The site of another stl250 birthday cake is the SIU School of Dental Medicine in Alton.

SIUE Engineering Doctoral Student Ohu Awarded Fellowship

12 March 2014, 10:31 am


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering doctoral student Ikechukwu P.N. Ohu was one of 107 students awarded a Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Program Fellow for the 2013-2014 academic year.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education awards the fellowships to increase the number of underrepresented faculty and staff in Illinois institutions of higher education. The DFI board members determined the selection process.

Ohu is an electrical, electronics and industrial engineer who works as an analyst with the largest fertilizer plant in sub-Saharan Africa. He has a bachelor’s in electrical and electronics engineering and a master’s in industrial engineering. Currently, Ohu is a joint Southern Illinois University Carbondale/SIUE Ph.D. candidate, with a focus on the complexity analysis of surgical motions, robotics, computer integrated manufacturing and workplace ergonomics.

“Ike Ohu is an established and outstanding researcher in industrial and manufacturing engineering (IME),” said Dr. Sohyung Cho, associate professor of industrial engineering at SIUE. “Due to the nature of his collaborative work, Ike’s publication based on his dissertation research appears in both engineering and medicine journals.”

The Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program (DFI) was established by the Illinois General Assembly and signed as Public Act 093-0862 (Appendix B) on August 4, 2004. DFI serves as a program of financial assistance to implement the policy of encouraging minority students to enroll and complete academic programs at the post baccalaureate level.

Photo:  Ikechukwu P.N. Ohu.

SIUE Audience Can Expect the Unexpected from Black Violin Concert

11 March 2014, 11:20 am

Black Violin2

Kev Marcus and Wil B will explode on stage playing a fresh fusion of classical music, rock, R&B, pop and hip hop from their stringed instruments on Monday, March 17 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Black Violin, the American duo from Florida, will give a high energy performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. Marcus plays the violin and B plays the viola. Both attended Dillard High School of Performing Arts and are classically trained musicians.

The men were inspired by the famous jazz violinist, Stuff Smith, and decided to name their group after his last recorded solo album, Black Violin.

Black Violin has enjoyed a variety of notoriety such as winning the Showtime at the Apollo 2005 Legend title, accompanying Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Award and by performing on the same bill with some of the industry’s biggest artists.

The twosome has also played at the U.S. Open, three Super Bowls and at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Ball.

The beginning for the duo was an interesting one, Marcus recalls on the group’s website, Marcus’ mother made him take up an instrument when he was in the fifth grade.

“I went to class and got assigned a violin,” he said. “I wanted to play something cool and wasn’t happy about it. But it ended up working out.”

B began playing the viola in the eighth grade. The two met each other in a high school orchestra class.

“Our teacher James Miles molded us. He told us that if we worked on it, we would make something special,” Marcus said. “We were playing Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and listening to Biggie Smalls, Mary J. Blige and the Fugees. It was an interesting melting pot. We had no idea what was going to come of it.”

Along the way, the two strived for mastery and “kept pushing the envelope.”

“We’re excited about bringing in Black Violin,” said Grant Andree, director of Arts & Issues. “We think this is a group the students will really enjoy. It should be a very entertaining, fun show.”

While the show will certainly be fun, Marcus said Black Violin’s purpose for performing is more important than that.

“The point is to get people to think outside of the box. It isn’t about the violins,” Marcus said. “The violin has been around for hundreds of years, yet we are doing different things with it. So no matter what you are studying to be, make sure you’re taking it to the next level. So you can be your own ‘Virtuoso.’ ”

The concert is sponsored by The Bank of Edwardsville and is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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.

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:  Black Violin duo: Kev Marcus and Wil B


SIUE Becomes Institute of International Education Partner

11 March 2014, 10:51 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has pledged to double the number of students studying abroad over the next five years as a lead partner in the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, announced earlier this month.

Committing to specific, measurable actions to achieve this ambitious goal, SIUE joins a host of other well-renowned higher education institutions – 150 in all – including Purdue University, Rutgers University and the College of William & Mary. Higher education associations, study abroad provider organizations, several foreign institutions or government agencies and the U.S. Dept. of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs are also program partners.

The result of this concerted effort, according to Narbeth Emmanuel, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, is that thousands more American students nationwide will graduate with the international experience necessary for success in a globalized world.

“In our effort to foster and support the opportunities for SIUE students to have global experiences, we are committed to developing and establishing multiple ways for students to engage in meaningful international opportunities,” Emmanuel said. “To that extent, we believe that all our students should have the opportunity to travel abroad and discover the world around them.”

IIE has committed $2 million toward the initiative, according to IIE President Allan Goodman. The New York-based organization has also established a study abroad fund to provide scholarships to college and high school students and grants to partnering institutions.

The IIE’s overall goal is to see 600,000 students per year studying abroad by the close of 2019. A total of 295,000 American college students studied abroad in 2011-12 for-credit and non-credit programs, according to IIE and the federal government. This represents approximately 10 percent of the 2.6 million students who graduated that year with associates or baccalaureate degrees.

“In today’s increasingly global workplace, that number is far too low,” said Goodman. “Generation Study Abroad seeks to address this shortfall by bringing employers, governments, associations and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities to hundreds of thousands of college students who are not currently studying abroad.

“International experience is now one of the most important components of a 21st Century resume. Our goal is to change the paradigm so that study abroad is considered an essential part of a college education.”

The organization continues to seek commitments from the following: 500 institutions pledging to significantly expand their study abroad programs; 10 institutions who require a study abroad experience in order to graduate; 10,000 alumni and students who join the initiative and promote study abroad; and 1,000 high school teachers who pledge to make their students aware of study abroad opportunities. IIE is also seeking donors and sponsors willing to contribute support for the study abroad scholarships.

Uniquely meaningful, yet affordable international travel experiences are what SIUE pledges to continue developing for its student body, according to Emmanuel.

“We will seek the most affordable, the most efficient and the most engaging travel experiences for our students,” Emmanuel said. “We believe that our partnership with the International Institute for Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative will enable us to fulfill our study abroad goals.”

Leading up to IIE’s centennial celebration in 2019, Generation Study Abroad will engage educators at all levels and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive meaningful, innovative action to increase the number of U.S. students who have the opportunity to gain international experience. Internships, service learning and non-credit educational experiences are also key components of the initiative in addition to academic programs.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works,” Goodman said. “Employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

SIUE SBDC Featured in The Telegraph

11 March 2014, 9:29 am

Patrick McKeehan Director of Small Business Development Center 2-27-13

SIUE’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is making an impact locally. Alton Telegraph writer Brett Luster featured the Center in an article posted March 11.  Director Patrick McKeehan manages the Center which  is housed within the SIUE School of Business.

Photo: SIUE SBDC  Director Patrick McKeehan.

SIUE Marketing & Communications Earns Six Educational Advertising Awards

11 March 2014, 9:15 am

e (2)The Higher Education Marketing Report awarded six Educational Advertising Awards to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in late February. Selections were made from a pool of approximately 2,000 entries spanning more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from the United States and several foreign countries.

SIUE awards include:

  • SIUE “Me” campaign ads, Gold Award, Newspaper Series
  • Mission Vision Values Brochure, Silver Award, Brochure Category
  • SIUE Research & Creative Activities Magazine, Merit Award, Publication Category
  • Annual Report Chancellor’s Report, Merit Award, Annual Report Category
  • SIUE Study Abroad Website, Merit Award, Website Category
  • SIUE Undergraduate Recruitment Package, Merit Award, Total Recruitment Category

“The awards are a tribute to the hard work and effort from our entire creative team,” said Doug McIlhagga, SIUE exective director for marketing and communications. “We have a talented group that consistently seeks creative excellence, and it’s always satisfying to see those efforts recognized by our peers.”

The Educational Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. The Awards were judged by a national panel of marketers, advertising creative directors, and marketing and advertising professionals working in higher education, as well as the editorial board of Higher Education Marketing Report. The awards will be distributed in April.


Eddie the Cougar Wins OVC Mascot Challenge

10 March 2014, 11:33 am

Eddie the Cougar mascot @ Edward Jones 529 Day 5-29-13SIUE’s Eddie the Cougar is now an Ohio Valley Conference champion.

Fans, students, faculty and alumni of #SIUENation helped Eddie the Cougar gather 3,440  of the 11,000 votes cast in the 2014 OVC Mascot Challenge. The results were announced during the OVC Men’s and Women’s Tournament at Municipal Auditorium.

“We congratulate SIUE’s Eddie the Cougar and his fans across the country,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. “The OVC Mascot Challenge has proven to be a fierce competition with Eddie the Cougar garnering almost 31 percent of the total votes this year.”

Eddie the Cougar earns “bragging rights” for the year, and SIUE will be awarded $1,000 for its general scholarship fund.

Delta Dental of Tennessee sponsored the contest which featured all 12 OVC Mascots: Austin Peay’s Governor, Belmont’s Bruiser the Bruin, Eastern Illinois’ Billy the Panther, Eastern Kentucky’s Colonel, Jacksonville State’s Cocky, Morehead State’s Beaker, Murray State’s Dunker, Southeast Missouri’s Rowdy, Tennessee State’s Aristocat, Tennessee Tech’s Awesome Eagle and UT Martin’s Captain.

“Delta Dental of Tennessee understands the power and pride of mascots,” said Phil Wenk, D.D.S., president and CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee. “Our mascot, Marshall Molar, teaches kids the importance of good oral health.

“We are proud to support OVC schools and believe the OVC Mascot Challenge is a fun way to promote healthy competition between the 12 schools.”

Delta Dental of Tennessee, with its affiliates in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina and Ohio is among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2012, the collective enterprise paid out nearly $3 billion for dental treatment for nearly 11 million enrollees.

Metro East SBDC Salutes Happy Up As Business Success Story

6 March 2014, 10:13 am

Hard-working co-owners Shawnta’ Ray and Rick Harmon are living examples of entrepreneurs who can toughen up when life throws them a steep challenge. They also know how to “Happy Up,” which is why – eight years ago – they incorporated their toy store business under that moniker.

The duo’s successful business, which currently includes storefronts in Glen Carbon, Ill. and Clayton, Mo., are solidly operational due to their own tenacity, extremely loyal customers and the support of the Small Business Development Center.

Ray, who worked for 10 years as a sales clerk and later as manager for the company’s previous owner, bought what was then known as Once Upon a Toy (Edwardsville) and LagoonaMagoo Toys (in O’Fallon, Ill. and St. Louis). The Small Business Administration (SBA) provided Happy Up with a guaranteed loan on their business.

In 2008 the recession hit, adversely affecting the nation’s small business community and especially independent toy retailers. After three years of anemic sales – combined with months of careful consideration – the pair made the difficult decision to close two locations and consolidate operations.

“The recession hit us hard,” said Ray. “We regrouped in Edwardsville and opened our Clayton storefront in June 2012.”

All of these critical business decisions were not the only thing Ray had on her mind. “I was nine months pregnant at the time,” she added.

The birth of their healthy new baby was a burst of sunshine for the couple, right before having to face their biggest storm. Upon returning from an annual toy vendors’ expo in New York City, Ray and Harmon were notified by their local bank that it was calling their loan on the Edwardsville store building – despite the fact that the owners had kept pace with their loan commitment.

“We were blindsided,” she said. “We shared this news with the community, never imagining what would happen next.”

What happened next was that Ray’s smartphone began ringing with scores of long-time customers and fellow business owners in Illinois and Missouri who wanted to help keep the toy store’s doors from closing. Hundreds of families came into the toy store and pleaded for it to remain open, according to Ray.

“It was incredible,” Ray remembered. “My phone began exploding with calls from generous people who appreciated not only our stores but also our community outreach.” The owners regularly host no-cost game nights at schools and retirement homes across the greater St. Louis region.

“In three days, about 1,000 people had collectively raised $80,000 through an online crowdfunding site,” Ray added. “Although we were initially reluctant to accept it, we ultimately decided it was okay and very necessary to continue keeping our business and our stores operating.

“The show of support, combined with the loyalty of our employees, was overwhelming to us. Concerned business leaders, long-time customers and kids with piggy banks full of coins reached out. It was truly amazing.”

The community’s generosity gave this small, independent retailer a glimmer of hope but did not get them completely out of the storm. Suppliers had become aware of their situation and many of them demanded upfront cash payments. The building’s owner sent notice of a rent increase. This is when the Small Business Development Center stepped in with an offer of help.

Metro East SBDC Director Patrick McKeehan helped analyze the business’ financial situation and strategize how to use the community’s contribution. He connected Ray and Harmon with an experienced real estate professional to review the lease for a new retail space in Glen Carbon. SBDC staff explored low-cost marketing options and alternative financing to improve Happy Up’s cash position. Ray and Harmon were introduced to Justine PETERSEN – the region’s SBA-designated microlender – and secured a small loan to help finance holiday inventory.

“We’re grateful to Patrick for sharing their expertise with us,” Ray said. “The SBDC and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provided us with marketing expertise and options for accessing additional operating capital.”

In June 2013, what had been known as Once Upon a Toy moved to a brand-new space in Edwardsville Crossing, changing the name of its storefront there (and in Clayton) to Happy Up.

The bright, sun-filled 4,000-square-foot space is attractively stocked with a wide selection of wooden toys, games for kids and adults, classic jigsaw puzzles, science experiment kits such as Build a Catapult, a Geyser Tube that launches soda with a single roll of Mentos and much more.

“We’re positioned as a go-to store for creative, quality birthday gifts for as little as $10, and that includes free giftwrap,” said Ray. “The Rody Horse (a hippity hop ride-on horse made of brightly colored, super-strong vinyl) is our best seller.”

Patrons will no doubt be attracted to the Glen Carbon location’s 14-foot rubber chicken replica, suspended in mid-air over a neon-green sofa in the store’s play area. Both are cherished holdovers from the Once Upon A Toy days and now constant reminders of the joy in being “Happy Up.”

The Metro East SBDC assists start-up ventures and existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a service to the community supported by the SBA.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

To learn how the SBDC can help your small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or

SIU School of Dental Medicine to Receive $1.2 million Through NIH-funded National Study

5 March 2014, 6:11 pm

new Faculty Nathalia Garcia  8-15-13

Dr. Nathalia Garcia, periodontist from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM), is a principal investigator for the project titled “Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression.” It is a multi-center study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will award more than $1.2 million to SIU SDM for its contribution to the overall research.

The SDM’s portion is part of a $20.7 million consortium project. The award’s prime recipient is the Forsyth Institute located in Cambridge, Mass. and associated with Harvard University’s School of Medicine. The study spans five different dental research centers. Along with the SDM and the Forsythe Institute, institutions include the University of Michigan, New York University and State University of New York. A total of 500 clinical subjects will take part in the study.

At the SDM, Garcia will be overseeing 60 patients and working with colleagues, including Dr. Douglas Miley, professor of periodontics and implant dentistry and director of the Advanced Program in Periodontics; Dr. Debra Dixon, associate professor and section head of diagnostic sciences; and Dr. M. Jane Gillespie, section head of microbiology and former director of research at the SDM. Three dedicated dental hygienists and a molecular biologist will also participate.

The project will attempt to find shared biomarkers, or indicative characteristics, of the progression of periodontal disease in test subjects, exploring the disease from microbiological, genetic and immunological perspectives. As the study continues, these biomarkers, as well as microbial species found in the subjects, will be compared with measurements of the effects of dental therapy on these recorded characteristics.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, approximately 64.7 million Americans suffer from an advanced form of periodontal disease. Periodontology is the study in dentistry of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of tissues of the teeth and gums. Garcia’s work could lead to new insights and advancements that would affect the long-term health of nearly half of adults in the U.S.

Photo:  Dr. Nathalia Garcia, periodontist from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

Alestle Earns Eight ICPA Awards

5 March 2014, 5:11 pm

The Alestle staff recently won eight awards during the Illinois College Press Association’s (ICPA) annual college media conference. The event was in Chicago Feb. 21-22.

The Alestle won second place for general excellence, a category in which the staff had not placed since 2009.

“It was exciting to see The Alestle recognized in all the categories in which they were honored, but especially in the in-depth reporting and general excellence categories,” Alestle Program Director Tammy Merrett-Murry said. “It’s a testament to the seriousness in which the staff approaches its work.”

Lifestyles Editor Karen Martin and Online Editor Ben Ostermeier shared second place for in-depth reporting for their series on campus wildlife, published last summer.

Copy Editor John Layton won a second-place award for headline writing.

Former Sports Editor Roger Starkey earned second place for sports news story for his reporting on former wrestling head coach David Ray’s resignation.

Former Editor-in-Chief Michelle Beard received a second-place award for an editorial cartoon she designed on the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees members’ ongoing disagreements last year.

The Alestle’s recent lifestyles series, “Metro East Eats,” was a third-place finisher in the entertainment supplement category.

Layton and former photographer Andrew Rathnow both received honorable mentions for news story and sports photo, respectively.

The entries in the competition were judged for excellence by members of the Illinois Press Association, as well as other working journalists in Missouri and across the country.

The Alestle competes nationally against many other newspapers from across the country. Statewide, The Alestle competes regularly against such student newspapers and schools as the Bradley Scout at Bradley University, Chicago Weekly at the University of Chicago, the Columbia Chronicle at Columbia College, DePaulia at DePaul University, Chicago Flame at the University of Illinois-Chicago, The Journal at University of Illinois-Springfield, the Loyola Phoenix at Loyola University and The Independent at Northeastern Illinois University.

For more information about The Alestle, contact Tammy Merrett-Murry at or (618)-650-3597.

SIUE Introduces Mathematics Homework Hotline for Area Middle School Students

5 March 2014, 4:39 pm

Cindy McAndrews homework hotline 03-19-14Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has collaborated with the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers Foundation (ISPEF) to launch the “SIUE Homework Hotline.”

The hotline is available for students in grades 6-8. They can call and receive free help with their math homework Sunday through Thursday evenings from 7-10 p.m.  Tutors can be reached at (618) 650-3072.

SIUE Homework Hotline tutors are from programs across campus, including mathematics, engineering, business and education. Many of the math and education majors working the hotline will be certified to teach middle school math upon graduation. As part of the preparation, tutors took part in training prior to the opening of the phone lines.

“Since this is a pilot program, we decided to begin with only our middle-level students and focus on mathematics,” said Cindy McAndrews, co-coordinator and an instructor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction within the SIUE School of Education. “As the program grows, we hope to expand our geographic area, as well as include fifth grade and high school students in our targeted population.”

McAndrews and program co-coordinator Liza Cummings, an assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction, have been in the planning stages since fall.

Cummings_Liza“The goal is to create a program that is an educational asset to our local schools, students and parents by providing after hours math assistance,” Cummings said.

Nathan Schwartz, professional engineer and ISPEF chairman, noted the ongoing demand for qualified workers in science, technology, engineering and match (STEM) fields.

“These fields are critical to our ability to compete and innovate,” Schwartz said. “Wages are higher, unemployment is lower and STEM sectors will continue to grow faster than non-STEM sectors for years to come.  Homework Hotline is a tool to continue ISPEF’s goal to help math and science students get the support they need to prepare for these jobs.”

Personnel from both SIUE and the ISPEF have been in consultation with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, an Indiana university that currently has a successful math and science homework hotline. The new math hotline is modeled after that program.

“It is our hope that the SIUE Homework Hotline will be another tool students can use to develop mathematical understanding, and build the skills needed to be successful in their current math course and beyond,” said McAndrews. 

The program is planned to run through May 1, with the possibility of extending hours through May 8. For more information, contact McAndrews at (618) 650-3431 or, or Cummings (618) 650-3459

Photo: Upper right, Cindy McAndrews; middle, Liza Cummings.

SIUE STEM Center Open House Draws Interest

4 March 2014, 5:30 pm


The SIUE Center for STEM Research, Education and Outreach celebrated its new temporary home in the Vadalabene Center Tuesday, March 4 with an open house. The Center recently moved from its previous home in the School of Engineering’s original building, which is undergoing renovations.

A wide variety of visitors included students, faculty, staff, visitors from the community and simply the curious stopped in throughout the afternoon.

Visitors saw hands-on demonstrations, received tours of the Resource Center and heard about the STEM Center’s outreach, professional development and research.

STEM resource center open house 03-04-14 Nicole GugliucciTwo of the intriguing displays were the Spectrum Tube Carousel, which allows scientists to determine gases inside stars and in the atmosphere, and the Star Lab Inflatable Planetarium, which is a traveling teaching tool for astronomy.

Visit the STEM Center at

Photo: (Upper Right) Sue Wiediger, Trisha Simmons and Dave Gray look at the Spectrum Tube Carousel.

(Lower Right) Research Assistant Nicole Gugliucci inside the Star Lab Inflatable Planetarium.

SIUE’s Sustainable Achievements Highlighted at National Conference

4 March 2014, 11:28 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s sustainability officer and sustainability fellow both gave a presentation on Monday at the 9th Annual Smart and Sustainable Campus Conference in Baltimore. The conference will end tomorrow.

“We have achieved a lot in the area of sustainability for any campus, let alone one of our size,” said Kevin Adkins, University sustainability officer.

Adkins and Dr. Connie Frey Spurlock, SIUE sustainability fellow, were presenters with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Associate Director of Sustainability. The topic of their presentation was “Engaging Faculty in Sustainability.”

SIUE and U of I were selected as presenters at the Smart and Sustainable Campus Conference, because both campuses have established faculty fellowships that advance sustainability, Adkins said. However, the two schools’ fellowships are different in design.

Adkins will discuss how SIUE went from a part-time graduate assistant sustainability coordinator to a full-time officer. Frey Spurlock, associate professor in sociology and criminal justice studies, will present how the University arrived at an innovative three-year faculty sustainability fellowship.

“Completing SIUE’s first STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) assessment provided a means of identifying needs and developing strategies or transforming curriculum and pedagogy,” said Adkins. “SIUE recognized that a faculty member would be an ideal liaison to work with the Provost’s office and provide a much needed connection to Student Affairs.

“The fellow works across academic disciplines to increase awareness of sustainability among the faculty, foster the inclusion of sustainability into the curriculum and encourage scholarly activity in fields related to sustainability.”

The faculty fellow, therefore, becomes an agent for change and works directly with other faculty members, said Frey Spurlock.

Also presenting at the conference were SIUE students Wolf-Mark Veverka and Jessica Urbonas, both are juniors majoring in biology/ecology, evolution and environment. The students discussed their poster presentation,  “Coalitions and Alliances to Increase Student Sustainability Involvement and Awareness.” Veverka is also president of the SIUE student groups, Student Organization for Sustainability (SOS) and Natural Connections. Urbonas is vice president of SOS and Natural Connections.

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.


Gib Singleton, 1935-2014; SIUE Hall of Fame

4 March 2014, 8:16 am

Singleton_Gib_mugSIUE Alumni Association Hall of Fame member Gib Singleton passed away on Friday, Feb. 28 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The renowned sculptor earned a bachelor’s in art and design from SIUE in 1967. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Writer Bruce Krasnow profiled Singleton in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

For more information on Singleton, visit or

SIUE Hosts Annual Botball Tournament to Showcase Creative Young Minds

3 March 2014, 6:29 pm

Botball competition School of Engineering Jerry Weinberg 4-20-13Middle and high school students will engage their minds and their robots when Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosts its annual Botball tournament on Sat., Apr. 12.

This is the 17th Botball season and the 12th year that SIUE will host the region’s tournament. Twenty-one teams will be coming to the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom for the competition.

The event, coordinated through the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, pits teams against one another in two-minute rounds. A team’s student-created robot must demonstrate its ability to perform a number of tasks worth varying points. The regional competition is open to the public and typically draws approximately 200 spectators with its growing number of teams from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas.

“Jerry Weinberg (associate provost for research, dean of the Graduate School and professor of computer science) originally started the regional tournament,” said Gary Mayer, assistant professor of computer science in SIUE’s School of Engineering. “The goal is to use hand-on robotics programs in order to communicate the excitement, knowledge and practical understanding of technology, engineering and math.”

A team often includes both middle school and high school youths. Those who participate in the regional Botball tourney are actively working on robotics year-round, according to Mayer.

“Ultimately another goal with this competition is to make students comfortable with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” Mayer said. “We try to bring this opportunity to students of all ages and backgrounds. Often the robotics kits are used as part of classroom instruction or for after-school activities during the off-season.”

Learning how to write computer programs that power the robot is but one skill that the Botball competition instills in youths.

“They’re learning the C programming language, one of the most widely used software languages in the world,” Mayer said. Honing their communications and teamwork talents is another key advantage of participating as a Botball tournament competitor.

Six to eight weeks prior to the April competition, Mayer leads a two-day weekend workshop for mentors and participants to explain and demonstrate every nuance of the event – the preparation required, rules about the building and operating of students’ robots, and more.

In the process of brainstorming creative add-ons for their robot – along with how they can most efficiently design it to meet and defeat its ultimate challenger – students are learning without even realizing it, because they’re having so much fun, Mayer said.

“Their robots are autonomous, so there’s no remote control,” he said. “Once the light source activates the robots and the round begins, students are not permitted to intervene. It’s all up to the bot from that moment on, as it meets each challenge such as finding objects, picking them up and stacking them.”

In the first portion of the daylong event at SIUE, teams enter a seeding round uncontested. The points earned during that round determine placement in the double-elimination bracket. A team’s overall score is earned by accumulating points equally from the seeding rounds, the tournament and also documentation provided to the judges, such as design of the robot and the team’s specific approach to problem-solving. An alliance match allows teams that lost early in the day to compete against each other, so they remain a part of the day’s action.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, under the guidance of Emily Stanley, GSSI’s STEM program manager, are entering three teams this year. Stanley said it’s commendable that a host of dedicated mentors – some parents, some not – are committed to coaching each Botball team.

“We’re very proud of our girls and our robotics programs,” said Stanley. “The majority of girls in Botball are in sixth through eighth grade. Our O’Fallon (Ill.) team was our very first team to compete regionally, and it was also the first all-Girl Scout team in the nation.”

Helping girls realize that the science profession is open to them is one long-range reason for encouraging them to participate in the Botball competition and in the Girl Scouts’ robotics programs overall, according to Stanley.

“Not every girl is going to pursue a science career and that’s fine,” Stanley said, “but we want to make sure she sees and learn that several of her goals as a Girl Scout – making the world a better place in which to live and helping others – can be achieved in this field.”

When tweens and young teens are intermixed on a team with high school students, the combination is often effective and enlightening for all of the competitors, Stanley said.

“Often a middle school girl’s approach to robotics problem-solving is unique to that of a high school male’s,” she said. “Together there’s great synergy of minds. Middle school students often communicate their ideas boldly. It makes for a great team dynamic.”

Last year’s robotics premise was Bot Guy’s (the competition’s mascot) trip to Mars. This year, Mayer said, Bot Guy is acclimating to being back on Earth. Required scenarios and tasks required of the students’ robots this year include assisting Bot Guy working out on a weight bench, picking up hangers and more.

“We really appreciate the time, expertise and support of our mentors and their emphasis on making sure the kids are the ones doing the work on their bots,” he said. “Because on competition day, the adults are in the seats watching, and it’s all up to the students.”

More than 8,000 middle and high school students around the world participate in KISS Botball competitions.

Photo:  SIUE’s Jerry Weinberg, associate provost for research and dean of the Graduate School, looks over the shoulder of 2013 Botball competitor Katherine Buchanan.

Semifinalists Chosen in SIUE Metro East Start-Up Challenge

3 March 2014, 6:21 pm

PrintFifteen Southwestern Illinois-based entrepreneurs and their innovative business concepts have been selected to move into the second round of the Metro East’s first regional business plan competition.

Organized and launched by University Park at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the SIUE Metro East Start-Up Challenge seeks to identify, foster and reward entrepreneurship and innovation in three key sectors: information technology, manufacturing and health sciences/services.

More than 100 entrepreneurs expressed interest in the regional competition, according to Patrick McKeehan, director of the Metro East SBDC and Challenge coordinator. Almost one-third of these individuals completed the entry process and half were invited to participate in the next round.

“We’re extremely pleased with the level of interest in our region’s first business plan contest,” McKeehan said. “There has been a robust outpouring of enthusiasm about the Challenge from applicants, community leaders and our small business development partners.

“Although only fifteen remain eligible for the $10,000 cash prize, we encourage everyone that considered or entered the Challenge to access the SBDC’s wide menu of resources and expertise.”

Round two of the Challenge will require semifinalists to create a condensed business plan, develop financial projections, and clearly define reasons why their business concept will be successful.  The Metro East SBDC will offer guidance and support to semifinalists in the form of workshops throughout March.

Competitors have until Monday, March 31 to submit their business plans and financial statements. Judges will select 3-5 finalists, who will pitch their business concept on Monday, April 28 to a special panel of judges. The winners will be announced immediately following the pitch presentations.

First place is worth $10,000, and second place is $5,000. Winners may also be given the opportunity to use start-up office space in University Park at SIUE.

Jim Pennekamp, executive director of University Park at SIUE and Start-Up Challenge organizer, points to how the competition aligns with key goals for the Park. He noted it advances the academic mission of the University by strengthening relationships with private enterprise, while expanding learning opportunities for both students and faculty.

“The SIUE Metro East Start-Up Challenge creates the opportunity to engage with the region in cultivating an important economic development strategy,” said Pennekamp.

Additional competition sponsors are the St. Louis Regional Chamber, PNC Bank and SIUE’s School of Business.  The Metro East SBDC at SIUE is functioning as the Challenge administrator.

The 2014 Metro East Start-Up Challenge semifinalists include,

  • A Little Help (Collinsville)
  • Arch Enemy Interactive  (Wood River)
  • Broadway Billboards (Maryville)
  • ciinvent  (Bridgeton, Mo.)
  • Code 3 Spices (Maryville)
  • (Edwardsville)
  • Ju Ju Brewing (Edwardsville)
  • Mainspring Technologies (Granite City)
  • Nationwide Veterinary Group, LLC dba Vet Check-in (Highland)
  • Old Dutch Classic Bats (Belleville)
  • Pet Cooler Carrier, LLC (Troy)
  • Stith, LLC (Edwardsville)
  • Stumpy’s Spirits Co. (Columbia)
  • RL-5 LABS dba BonafID Catch  (Alton)
  • Working Class Benefits LLC (Granite City)

The Metro East SBDC, with offices in Edwardsville and East St. Louis, is a service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the SIUE Edwardsville School of Business. For more information about the Metro East SBDC, contact (618) 650-2929 or

University Park at SIUE is a 330-acre technology park located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). The Park offers business and industry an ideal suburban location on a thriving university campus. Tenants are close to valuable human resources, including a capable base of student interns, a highly skilled pool of potential employees and faculty researchers.  For more information, contact (618) 659-9300 or visit

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