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SIUE News - ArchivesNOV2013

November 2013

SIUE Student Athletes Treat Homeless Woman to Dinner—Video Story Featured on Fox 2 News

27 November 2013, 2:17 pm

An act of kindness by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student athletes was highlighted in a video story Tuesday, Nov. 26 by Fox 2 News. The students offered to feed a homeless woman at Wang Gang Asian Eats in Edwardsville. They saw the woman rummaging for food in a trashcan outside the restaurant and invited her inside to join them for dinner.

The restaurant covered the cost of the entire meal, and provided the woman with a bag filled with food and juice.

WSIE-FM to Conduct On-Air Fund Drive Dec. 13-15

27 November 2013, 11:47 am

WSIE-FM (88.7)—The Jazz Station, broadcasting at 50,000 watts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will be conducting an on-air fund drive from 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, with scheduled breaks in between.

During the weekend, special guests will visit or call the station studio to chat with on-air personalities Dick Ulett, WSIE news coordinator Peter Bradley, as well as WSIE General Manager Gregory J. Conroy.

Some of the scheduled guests include MaxJazz Records executive Rich McDonnell; Bach to the Future Band members Mike and Rob Silverman; jazz photographer Roscoe Crenshaw, and SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, to name a few.

Saturday Night at The Chase Park-Plaza, a weekly show of music from legendary singers of the 1960s and 1970s, and part of the fund-raising weekend, will begin at 7 p.m. that Saturday with hosts Evan Johnson, Kelly Hoffman and John Uzell. Many of the selections are from vinyl albums in the WSIE vault.

The station will offer WSIE premium items for giveaways at various levels of funding including a beverage tumbler and a stylish desk clock as well as CDs from the MaxJazz recording label in St. Louis as well as a Miles Davis CD and a Herbie Hancock CD, both from the Legacy label, with cuts not often heard before.

Conroy said proceeds will benefit the station’s equipment and operating funds. “We conduct these radio-thon weekends twice a year” he said, “usually in the spring and fall.” He said some of the needs of the station include a new transmitter, audio system component upgrades and music library enhancements.

“I realize our listeners tend to prefer we don’t talk about financial need, especially in this economic climate,” Conroy said, “but a good portion of our budget comes from our loyal listeners, so this becomes necessary.

“We will try to make this weekend uniquely entertaining, continuing to play great jazz and interesting interviews between the fund-raising portions of the weekend.”

In addition to the best in modern American Jazz for the St. Louis region from the 1950s to the present, WSIE-FM—The Jazz Station—broadcasts with news, public affairs and SIUE Cougar Sports.


SIUE Opens Call for Excellence in Undergraduate Education Proposals

27 November 2013, 11:38 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is seeking proposals for the FY2015 Excellence in Undergraduate Education (EUE) program. The deadline for proposals from faculty and staff members, and students is Feb. 3, 2014.

“The purpose of the EUE program is to fund innovative projects that will have broad and sustaining impact in undergraduate education,” said Wayne Nelson, EUE program coordinator.

This year’s round of awards will particularly focus on:

• Research for programs that help promote the understanding of retention issues or the development of programs that support retention, persistence and completion

• Programs that develop and share innovative pedagogies, and are applicable in a wide-range of disciplines

• Programs that develop experiential learning strategies and activities—excluding field trips—for courses, disciplines and broad areas of study

• Study abroad opportunities that provide SIUE students important learning experiences and also yield long-term relationships, allowing SIUE’s recruitment of international students

Those contemplating a faculty led international study program and planning to submit an EUE proposal are encouraged to contact Dr. Ron Schaefer, distinguished research professor and director of the SIUE Center for International Programs. He can be reached at 618-650-3728, or

“If you have never led an international study program, but would like to discuss some possibilities, you are especially welcome to contact me,” Schaefer said.

The EUE program at SIUE was established in 1986 as a way to provide funding for innovative projects in undergraduate education. The current funding level is about $150,000 per year, and the opportunities are made possible by the Faculty Development Council of the Faculty Senate, the Office of the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

According to the program’s website, the program “continues to serve as a catalyst for the continued improvement of undergraduate curricula and programs at SIUE.” Some past project titles have included “Anatomy and Neurology of the Brain,” “Nursing Student Success with Test-Taking Skills,” “A Digital Learning Companion for Human Biology Labs,” “Developing Content for the iPad,” “Creating a Hybrid Information Literacy Competency for Undergraduate Students” and “Development of a Blended Course in Human Biology.”

Proposals must include a project that clearly relates to the education of undergraduate students. Other guidelines are listed on the EUE website. Program description and proposal preparation assistance also is available on the EUE website.

General information sessions for those interested in preparing EUE proposals are being held at noon, Wednesday, Dec. 4 and at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. Both sessions will take place in the Morris University Center Willow Room. For more information, contact Nelson at 618-650-2729, or

SIUE Alum Derrow Driving Innovation

27 November 2013, 11:33 am
Kara Derrow, left, and Brian Derrow, right, have introduced DeulEX, a kit for stationary exercise equipment that allows users to virtually explore the world.

Kara Derrow, left, and Brian Derrow, right, have introduced DeulEX, a kit for stationary exercise equipment that allows users to virtually explore the world.

Since its beginning, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been fostering the growth of its students’ creativity, innovation and knowledge. Brian Derrow, a second-generation SIUE alum, and Kara Derrow, a current SIUE student, are showcasing a prime example of the “Power of the e.”

Brian, a 2011 graduate of the School of Engineering, is launching a Kickstarter project for a new product that transforms exercise to exploration. DeulEX is a kit for stationary exercise equipment which allows the user to virtually explore the world.

DeulEX seamlessly integrates with most exercise equipment. It consists of a speed sensor and joystick that attaches to an existing windows tablet or computer with a USB cable. Imagine riding through the St. Louis Arch, along The Great Wall of China or under the Eifel Tower during your next workout.

With stunning satellite imagery and surrounding 3D buildings, the faster you move in real life, the faster you go in Google Earth. You have full direction control at your fingertips, so you can explore anywhere you want with no restrictions.

DeulEX brings new life to your exercise equipment by taking your mind away from how long you have been exercising and gives you a place to go. A typical two-mile struggle now becomes an eight-mile journey.

While a senior at SIUE, Brian and two friends began the development of the DeulEX product. SIUE’s Senior Design Program is one of the University’s many fine programs that put students on the right path to succeed in the workplace. SIUE was recognized for seven-consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report in its publication, “America’s Best Colleges 2012,” for having an outstanding senior capstone experience.

Students display their acquired working knowledge by developing a project in a similar manor to the project development cycle found in their intended industry. The DuelEX prototype was set up in the student fitness center where everyone was able to virtually explore the world while providing valuable feedback.

The design also was featured at SIUE’s 2011 Senior Showcase. Visitors were able to hop on a stationary bicycle and explore the streets of multiple cities from St. Louis to Hong Kong.

“It was the fantastic support from the SIUE community that helped propel the prototype from a concept in 2011 to the finished product that we have today,” Derrow said. “While at SIUE, I was able to collaborate with professors and deans from multiple colleges including the College of Engineering and School of Business.

“The SIUE environment encourages multidisciplinary learning enrichment and collaboration. Coupled with its strong networks, this is a truly unique and powerful combination that makes SIUE a gem.”

One of SIUE’s newer clubs, started in 2010, is the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. CEO sponsors “The Other 40” pitch competition where students can pitch their business ideas for a chance at initial seed money. The DeulEX concept was pitched at the competition and won second place.

“The Other 40” competition’s success allowed for investing additional money into the design and brought it to production worthy status,” Derrow added.

During September, the DeulEX product was launched on in hopes of bringing the invention out of the basement and into the marketplace. The website is full of projects of all sizes that are brought to life through the support of everyday people. People who fund ideas on Kickstarter often find the project interesting and want to be among the first to try it out.

This particular crowd sourcing capital concept is advantageous for inventors, because the project creators keep 100% ownership of their work. Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, more than 4.3 million people have pledged funding for more than 43,000 projects.

DeulEX, which is proudly made in Illinois, will hopefully be added to the list of successful launches. DeulEX provides everyone with a new adventure every day. It is also perfect for individuals required to do physical therapy or for students interested in world geography and architecture while maintaining an active lifestyle.

SIUE and its networks, including the Alumni Association, provide the tools for past and present students to move forward with their ideas such as DeulEX. To learn more about the product launch for this American-made, SIUE born innovation, visit


NCERC Director Honored with Illinois Corn Growers’ Ethanol Award

27 November 2013, 11:27 am
John Caupert, director of the NCERC at SIUE, received the Illinois Corn Growers Association's Ethanol Award at an annual board meeting in Bloomington on Tuesday.

John Caupert, director of the NCERC at SIUE, received the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Award at an annual board meeting in Bloomington on Tuesday.

NCERC Director John Caupert has been called the most enthusiastic person in ethanol, and that passion was recognized Tuesday when the Illinois Corn Growers Association honored him with its Ethanol Award during the group’s annual board meetings in Bloomington.

“I’m honored to accept this award from our friends at Illinois Corn, who have been incredible supporters of the NCERC’s mission since long before the Center existed,” Caupert said. “Thank you to the ICGA for recognizing me with this honor, and for their continued dedication to our mutual goal: furthering advances in the ethanol industry.”

The Illinois Corn Growers Association’s ethanol award celebrates the contributions of those that promote the ethanol industry. ICGA President Paul Taylor said the Center’s 10th anniversary and successes under Caupert’s direction made him an obvious choice for the award.

“Under John’s leadership, the NCERC has become a unique facility that is available for any industry partner to use,” Taylor said. “This year as we celebrate 10 years of NCERC making public and private research more available to the ethanol industry, we also celebrate John’s guidance and leadership to the industry for making it happen.”

Caupert has more than two decades of experience in the agriculture and biofuels industries, and was hired to the NCERC post in 2006. His expertise has made him a sought-after voice, conducting dozens of public speaking engagements each year to a diverse range of audiences. He is frequently called upon to educate and inform members of academia, industry leaders and policymakers about the latest news and needs of the biofuels industry. In 2012, He was recognized as an industry leader in the Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Energy.”

Caupert earned his bachelor of science (1989) and master of science (1995) in Agribusiness Economics and Agriculture Policy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He remains active at his alma mater, now serving in his third term as the president of the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Board of Governors. Caupert, his wife Jodee, and their daughter Jaynanne reside in the growing community of Waterloo, where he was elected to the school board in April 2013.

“At heart, I’m still a farm boy from Southern Illinois who firmly believes that agriculture—and ethanol—represent some of the greatest things about America,” he said. “Ethanol is a homegrown fuel that creates jobs, economic stimulus and reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. It’s pretty easy to advocate for an industry that generates such as tremendous benefits for consumers and for our country.”

Visiting Chinese Scholars Give Final Presentation Dec. 6

26 November 2013, 1:48 pm
SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe shakes the hands of Chinese visiting scholars from Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China during a reception this fall at the Asian Lantern in the Gardens at SIUE.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe shakes the hands of Chinese visiting scholars from Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China during a reception this fall at the Asian Lantern in the Gardens at SIUE.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will host the final presentation of the visiting Chinese scholars from Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6 in Founders Hall, room 0308.

The seven scholars have participated in the SIUE School of Education’s International Training program in pedagogy for the last semester. They have observed classes in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Business, Engineering and Education. They have also made presentations on their areas of research interest.

Visiting scholars are:

• Aiping Guan, finance and business

• Zuhua Dai and Honghong Chen, computer science and engineering

• Lan Wang, social work and sociology

• Kun Li, music in the area of piano

• Huajun Xiong, higher education

• Weijun Wang, educational technology

Mary Weishaar, associate dean of the SIUE School of Education, has worked closely with the SIUE School of Education leadership team for the program, which includes Yuliang Liu, professor of Educational Leadership, Huaibo Xin, assistant professor from Kinesiology and Health Education and Gretchen Fricke, director, School of Education Student Services.

Weishaar said these team members have been vital “to ensure the campus guests have a visit filled with a mix of education, culture, historical perspective and good old-fashioned fun.”

Questions concerning the upcoming presentation or about the International Training Program in Pedagogy can be directed to Dr. Mary Weishaar,, associate dean in the SIUE School of Education.


SIUE’s Arras Receives Enterprise Leadership Award

26 November 2013, 11:46 am
Adam Arras, left, is the recipient of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Student Organization Leader of the Semester Award. Arras, a senior CMIS major, was presented with the award by Enterprise Talent Acquisition Manager Steve Talbott.

Adam Arras, right, is the recipient of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Student Organization Leader of the Semester Award. Arras, a senior CMIS major, was presented with the award by Enterprise Talent Acquisition Manager Steve Talbott.

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business named Adam Arras, of Collinsville, as the recipient of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Student Organization Leader of the Semester Award. Arras is a senior computer management and information systems (CMIS) major.

The scholarship is awarded to student leaders who participate in events, show a willingness to take on responsibility, promote innovative ideas and effectively involve others in the organization.

Arras is the secretary of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), and was nominated by the AITP Faculty Adviser Andrea Hester, Ph.D. Hester, an SIUE assistant professor of CMIS. She nominated Arras because of his willingness to go beyond his assigned duties.

“Last year, Adam decided to become more involved in AITP and wanted to do more than just participate as a member,” said Hester. “Adam was anxious to play a larger role this year and has exceeded the expectations for a secretary.”

Arras said he was unaware of the nomination from Hester until he was notified he had won. “I was completely blindsided,” he said. “Dr. Hester puts a lot of work into the organization. It is an honor to be nominated by someone who works as hard as she does.”

Alongside AITP, Arras is involved in organizations within the community, such as the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Regional Business Council of St. Louis.

“Employers are looking for quality leaders, and this award is a way to recognize students who are leaders and provide measured results,” said Enterprise Talent Acquisition Manager Steve Talbott.

Talbott added that while there were many candidates that were highly qualified to receive the award, Arras stood out.

“The variety in Adam’s activities really made him the ideal recipient,” said Talbott. “He was able to step up and take leadership within AITP, and maintain the continuity of success from the previous leaders.”

Arras is thankful for the award, adding, “I appreciate everyone’s support and would like to thank Dr. Hester for giving me this opportunity.”

Currently, Arras is a call center support intern at Centene Corp. in St. Louis. Set to graduate August 2014, he hopes to become a business analyst and work his way to a project manager position.

Arras accepted his award at a Nov. 21 reception in the large conference room of the new Cougar Business Resource Center (CBRC). He received $100 and will be recognized with fellow recipients at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Student Organization Recognition Program to be held in the spring.

Enterprise, a primary supporter of the School of Business, has been sponsoring the Student Organization Leader of the Semester and the Student Organization of the Year Awards since 2006.

SIUE Alum Nominated for Leukemia Lymphoma Society Recognition

25 November 2013, 3:31 pm

Patrick Jessee

Patrick J. Jessee, a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumnus, is featured in two articles for his nomination for the Illinois Chapter of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2014 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign.

Jessee, who graduated from SIUE in 1998 with a bachelor’s in chemistry, is recognized in the University of Illinois Alumni Network ( and the website (volunteer-spotlight-patrick-jessee/) of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Greater Illinois Chapter.

Jessee is a Chicago firefighter and paramedic who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011.



SIUE Announces 2013-14 Noyce Scholars in Science, Math

25 November 2013, 3:20 pm

Five Southern Illinois University Edwardsville undergrads preparing to teach math or science have been named Noyce Scholars for 2013-14.

SIUE’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation – $11,500 per student annually over a five-year period – to recruit and prepare STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching candidates for work at the middle- and high-school level in high-needs schools.

Led by Jessica Krim, Ed.D., assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the program represents a partnership of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the SIUE STEM Center, master teachers, community-based organizations, local community colleges and cooperating school districts.

Noyce Scholars chosen for 2013-14 are: Stephen Foster of Pittsfield; Mara Holloway of Belleville; Amanda Hyett of Dalton City; Jenna Kunde of Mascoutah, and Courtney Thomas of Blue Mound.

“This grant will positively impact these and future Noyce Scholars by providing an enhanced curriculum that will prepare them to work effectively as STEM educators, especially in areas of high need,” said Krim. “Additionally, by involving quality STEM educators from the community and working with local community colleges, it is my hope that we maximize the networking potential for these scholars, and raise SIUE’s visibility in the area of teacher preparation of secondary educators.”

Scholarship applicants undergo a rigorous evaluation process, according to Sharon Locke, Ph.D., director of the Center for STEM Research, Education and Outreach. Scholars are selected based upon criteria such as outstanding intellectual and teaching potential, and the ability to teach in a high-needs setting. Another defining characteristic in a Noyce Scholar, said Locke, is the individual’s ability to serve as a role model for students in targeted districts. Financial need is also a consideration.

“The first cohort of SIUE Noyce Scholars is an impressive group,” Locke said. “They are passionate about teaching STEM and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. We expect that the Noyce Scholars will become leaders in their schools, and have a strong impact on improving the quality of science and math education in Southern Illinois. I am excited that they will be working with the SIUE STEM Center to support our community outreach programs.”

All five recently named scholars are working with the university’s STEM Center in 2013, according to Locke, before they graduate and benefit from the scholarship.

Additional education for Noyce Scholars involves experience and training in the areas of research, teaching, outreach, service and leadership, Krim said, along with building and honing necessary skills for teaching and working with diverse populations.

The application process for the 2014-15 Noyce Scholarships and 2014 summer Noyce Scholarships begins in February. The summer internship program awards $2,500 to qualified freshman and sophomore applicants for 200 hours of in-service training.

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


SIUE Alum Jeffry Harrison Helping to Throw College Students a Bone

25 November 2013, 2:34 pm

Jeffry Harrison, right, with Mike Philip

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business alum Jeffry Harrison, chief operating officer of RoverTown, recently was featured on the Domain Tech Report of at

Rovertown is an app that sends local coupons to college students’ smart phones when they click on a bone. Harrison and Mike Philip, chief executive officer of RoverTown, were featured in the video. is presented by Washington University and hosted by Edward Domain. The site features news and editorials about technology, businesses and ideas that are changing society.

For more information, visit Twitter: @RoverTown or @Techli TV.

Photo Information: Jeffry Harrison, SIUE alum on the right, is pictured with his business partner Mike Philip, CEO of RoverTown.


SIUE Alum and SDM Student to Appear on Wheel of Fortune

25 November 2013, 1:31 pm

SDM School of Dental Medicine year 1 dental students montage 8-2-12Since she was a little girl in Elsah, Kaydi Legate dreamed of one day appearing on the television game show, Wheel of Fortune. That dream will come true for the second-year student in the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SDM) during a March 17 episode set to air at 6:30 p.m. on KSDK-TV, the NBC affiliate in St. Louis.

The young woman entered the SDM after earning her bachelor’s in biomedical sciences from SIUE in 2012.

Last summer she heard the “Wheel Mobile” was going to be in St. Louis on her birthday looking for contestants for the show. All she wanted for her birthday was to go to the auditions. So, her friends, obliging her single birthday wish, accompanied her to Lumiere Place Casino and Hotel downtown.

Her entourage arrived for the morning audition session. During the audition, people were called up randomly. Her best friend, Liz Wall, was among one of those selected.

“She really didn’t want to do it,” recalled Kaydi. “She asked if I could go in her place, but they wouldn’t allow that.”

Instead, she and her friend were told their names would be submitted for a “Best Friends Week” segment later in the season, and they would find out by email if they were selected to audition for a show.

“Typically, with the first Wheel Mobile audition, you would have had to have been one of the people chosen on that day, and they would also select a few random people to come back for a second interview,” Kaydi said.

To her surprise, Kaydi received an email a month later saying she had been selected for auditions. “I was surprised,” she remembers. Nearly 45 people turned out for the next audition.

“Once we got there, we had to do some ‘game play,’ naming letters,” she said. “Then there was a written exam to determine puzzle-solving ability. We were given five minutes.

“After that, we were told to take a 30-minute break and they were going to grade the tests, and some of us would be called back.”

Kaydi was among a total of 24 people who made the cut. Those who were called back for the afternoon portion of the audition engaged in more intensive game play and were asked to talk about themselves a bit. She said, “They were checking our stage presence.”

She was not sure what the results would be from that audition. “From there, it was ‘You will either hear from us in two weeks or you won’t.’” She did—and her Los Angeles adventure began.

She shared the good news with her friends and family using Facebook and text.

Legate’s parents, Bob and Jeri, were excited for their daughter. The Legates are both SIUE alumni with undergraduate and graduate degrees. Bob earned his through the School of Business and Jeri achieved hers through the School of Education. Bob learned of his daughter’s good news by receiving “a group text message from our immediate family members who were all sharing the excitement from the notification.”

“I was really happy for her,” said her father, associate director in University Housing at SIUE. “Kaydi has been a Wheel of Fortune fan ever since she was very little. She still enjoys the game show and has had Wheel of Fortune games that she has played over the years, both electronic and board, as a form of entertainment and relaxation—almost to the point of obsession.”

Kaydi flew to Los Angeles on a Thursday night and spent all day Friday taping for the upcoming episode.

“It was just really exciting to go,” she said of the experience. “This is something I have always wanted to do since I was little. It’s just unreal to think that my life’s dream was coming true.”

Following the taping, the Legates stayed in LA for the weekend. Along with her parents, Kaydi was joined by her grandmother, Sandy Legate, and her youngest sister, Kayli, who is attending Jerseyville High School.

“My sister and I had never been to California before,” she said. “Everybody has been able to keep up with me on the journey through Facebook. It was unreal. It was seriously a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.

“I was really lucky it was on a Friday. My teachers were really great about working with me on my schedule so I could go. I think they were just as excited as I was.”

Legate is slated to graduate from the SDM in 2016.

Another sister, Kayci Legate, who is a first-year student in the SIUE School of Pharmacy, was disappointed she was not able to re-arrange her schedule to make the taping.

“After Kaydi had completed the second round selection process, I had been constantly checking the mail at our parents’ house for Kaydi in anticipation of her receiving the Wheel of Fortune invitation,” Kayci said. “I immediately opened the mail and called Kaydi and told her that she had been notified.

“She was really excited, because the day before she was feeling down since the deadline had passed and she had not received her notification. I called her and told her the good news. We both shared a scream together!”

The sisters, who are very close, had hoped it would work out for Kayci to join the family in LA.

“I tried to think of every possible way that I could go with her,” she said. However, I could not find any way to join her given my course work in the pharmacy program—quizzes and exams.

“I sent her off with my positive support. The day of the event, I really didn’t get to talk to her until she was finished with the show.

“Even after the event, I do not have the details given the security and confidentiality requirements.”

Legate has an older sister, Kayri (Legate) Reynolds, who is a graduate from the School of Nursing. Her youngest sister, Kayli, plans to attend the University when she graduates from high school.

Symposium Promotes Regional Goal to Grow Immigrant Population

21 November 2013, 4:49 pm


How universities across the region can engage St. Louis companies to make this the fastest-growing metropolitan area for immigration by 2020 was the subject of an immigration symposium held Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“Immigration as an Economic Development Tool,” jointly hosted by University Park SIUE, Inc. and Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, featured strategies for dramatically increasing the rate at which greater St. Louis grows its immigrant population over the next six years. Engaging both businesses and higher education institutions in developing solutions to keep foreign-born university graduates here and retain that global talent base, says James Pennekamp, special assistant to the SIUE chancellor for regional economic development and University Park executive director, is one of the best ways to ensure the region’s global competitiveness.

Pennekamp is a founding member of the steering committee that formed two years ago to launch The St. Louis Mosaic Project. The initiative’s mission, “Regional Prosperity Through Immigration and Innovation,” is to dramatically increase the rate at which greater St. Louis grows its immigrant population – and to move the MSA into first place of all major U.S. cities in immigrant growth by 2020.

According to Pennekamp, an existing barrier impeding this mission is the fact that student visa restrictions prevent foreign-born graduates to remain in the U.S. and begin their professional careers.

“Research shows that 80 percent of international students studying in the St. Louis region would like to stay if they could remain in the U.S. to find a job after graduation,” said Pennekamp, “and if their visas didn’t require them to leave at that point. These high-performing graduates provide talent and cultural diversity that make our region better going forward, and they’ll contribute to our overall Mosaic Project goal of making the St. Louis MSA the fastest-growing region for immigrants by 2020.”

Increasing the St. Louis region’s immigrant share to a number-one ranking of all U.S. cities is an ambitious but doable goal, said symposium presenter and project director Betsy Cohen, citing a 2012 study performed by Saint Louis University economics professor Jack Strauss, Ph.D. According to the study, St. Louis has the lowest immigration share of any top 20 city and the second-slowest overall population growth. Other metro areas in the top 20 average 40 percent faster economic growth over the past decade, she added.

“St. Louis’ foreign-born community is highly educated with predominantly white-collar jobs,” Cohen said. “They earn an average salary of $83,000, are 44 percent more likely to have at least a college education and 60 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs. But St. Louis currently has fewer than 5 percent foreign-born living in our region, placing our region with one-quarter the immigrants of other major MSAs. Recent studies show that St. Louis organizations providing services to immigrants are fractionalized and uncoordinated compared to other regions across the country,” she said. “That’s what The Mosaic Project is about. Supporting, linking, engaging and growing these relationships.”

A Nigerian-born, Chicago-grown immigrant entrepreneurial success story, presenter Ola Ayeni shared his experiences at the symposium. Ayeni came to the U.S. at age 26 and in 2009 launched Dining Dialog, a high-tech hospitality marketing company. Ayeni competed against 700 others to win the 2013 Arch Grant Global Startup Competition for his 2012 software platform, eateria.

Photo: SIUE University Park Executive Director Jim Pennekamp.


SIUE Professor Holt Delivering Talk on Native American Heritage Month

21 November 2013, 3:42 pm

Research and Creative Activities Julie Holt Archeological Dig 6-19-13In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Julie Zimmermann Holt, professor of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Department of Anthropology, will deliver a presentation to the Daughters of the American Revolution at 7 p.m. tonight, Nov. 21 at the Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville.

“Native American History and the SIUE Archaeology Field School” will be the topic of the discussion, which will focus on Native American history and SIUE archaeological finds.

This is the last installment in a series of events to observe Native American Heritage Month. Earlier this month, Brad Koldehoff, chief archaeologist for the Illinois Department of Transportation, visited campus to discuss tribal consultation and archaeology of the new Mississippi River Bridge project in East St. Louis. Then, LaDonna Brown, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, spoke passionately on campus to an audience of more than 100 people about the culture and tradition of the Chickasaw.

Native American Studies program departments of Anthropology, Historical Studies, Philosophy and Political Science, as well as the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration contributed to the awareness initiative.

SIUE Electrical Engineering Senior Wins 2013 Lincoln Laureate Award

20 November 2013, 5:28 pm

Christopher Branch, a senior electrical engineering major from Shiloh, was named this year’s recipient of the Student Laureate Award for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Branch received the Lincoln Medal, a Certificate of Merit, and a monetary grant at a ceremony held in the Hall of Representatives in the Old State Capital hosted by the Governor of Illinois on Nov. 2.

The Lincoln Academy began the Student Laureate Award Program in 1975 to honor students that represent the values and virtues of America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Recipients are chosen for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

“I felt very honored that not only the School of Engineering feels that I’m suitable to represent them as their nominee, but the University also felt I was the best nominee on the SIUE campus,” said Branch.  “It feels great to know that the work I do does not go unnoticed.”

During 2011, Branch received the SIUE 1st Place Rising Sophomore Academic Award, a University wide paper writing competition. In 2012, he was awarded a scholarship from The Boeing Company; a prestigious award based on a student’s academic achievements and extracurricular activities. Branch also received the 2013 Electrical Engineering Outstanding Junior Award.

During the summer of 2013, the School of Engineering ran a pilot study to gather data on the impact of supplemental instruction in pre-calculus classes. Branch was recruited to be part of the project team. He worked with his peers as a supplemental instructor in an interactive problem-solving environment. The aim was to improve their understanding of the course material.

“Although he is intellectually gifted enough to thrive as an engineering student, studying on his own, and has demanding time pressures as a husband and father, Chris seeks out and tries to study with students, who need academic help, because he is gratified in seeing those students succeed,” said Bob LeAnder, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  “He has a superior work ethic.”

A non-traditional student, Branch began his studies at the age of 26, while raising a family. He was discouraged from signing up for classes by many people. He said he was told he could not finish his studies while raising a child.

He proved them wrong—not only effectively balancing school, work and family, but excelling in the demanding program and earning a 3.95 GPA.

“I knew it would be difficult, but I believed that it would be worth it,” said Branch.  “It all started with standing firm on my belief that education is worth the extra effort.”

SIUE Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Student Wins 2013 Outstanding Thesis Award

20 November 2013, 3:55 pm

Missael Garcia Hernandez, an electrical and computer engineering graduate from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, recently was named the recipient of the University’s Outstanding Thesis Award.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Garcia Hernandez is now a Ph.D. student in computer engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and credits his experience at SIUE with giving him the opportunity to go farther than he had expected. 

“Moving to another country to start a new life and face new challenges without any guarantees of success was a tough life decision,” he said. “Fortunately for me, the support of extraordinary people like Dr. (Bradley) Noble, my advisor, and friends in the SIUE community made the transition smooth, enriching and enjoyable.

The Outstanding Thesis Award is presented annually to a graduate student whose thesis has been identified as a truly outstanding example of excellence in graduate-level research and writing.  Garcia Hernandez will receive a cash prize of $500 and a framed commemorative certificate.  In addition, his thesis also will be nominated for the 2014 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award.

“Missael developed a novel approach to the layout of the capacitive sensors so that they would conform to the roof of an arbitrarily shaped mouth,” said Oktay Alkin, chair of the SIUE Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “His work points to a new direction in the area of human-computer interfacing; allows for hands-free control of a computer, and had the potential to lead to new developments that can be especially beneficial for quadriplegics.”

 Garcia Hernandez received the award Oct. 30 at the SIUE Graduate School Honors Day Luncheon.

University Museum Continuing Knit and Crochet Lunches on Campus

20 November 2013, 2:20 pm

sullivan_column_pieceThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville University Museum’s inaugural “Yarn Bomb” last month was a success. To make next year’s celebration of knitted and crocheted artwork even bigger and better, the Museum is continuing its popular Knit in Public activities, during lunch hours throughout the year.

“Our goal is to be able to do a yarn bombing once each year and take out last year’s donations and add on to them,” said Noelle Norris, graduate assistant with the University Museum.

Knitted and crocheted artwork produced by fiber artists across the region will again be featured on the SIUE campus next fall. In preparation, fiber artists are encouraged to attend lunch sessions to keep up the effort.

Days for the remainder of the year are tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 21; Tuesday, Dec. 3; Thursday, Dec. 12 and Tuesday, Dec. 17. All events are from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first floor of SIUE’s Morris University Center.

This year, the amount of knitted and crocheted projects that poured into the University Museum provided the staff enough materials to dress the 5-foot-tall central section of the two Louis Sullivan columns outside the Lovejoy Library, and to blanket four of the eight 10-foot-tall base pillars of a metal sculpture in the open area between the Morris University Center and the Engineering Building.

“We have received donations of yarn and unfinished Afghans from faculty and staff on campus, as well as the Coventry Crafters Group” Norris said in October, adding that individuals from surrounding communities contributed pieces to the cause.

She spearheaded the effort and organized lunchtime knitting and crocheting sessions in the SIUE Stratton Quadrangle. As the weather has grown colder, the sessions have moved indoors to the MUC.

The pieces that were used for this year’s event are being washed and stored for use next year, and additional works will be added to the mix.

For more information about the Yarn Bomb or how to get involved in the Knit in Public activities, check out the University Museum’s Facebook page, or call 618-650-2996.

Educational Outreach Programs Focus on African-Americans and Africa

19 November 2013, 12:02 pm

The African American Journey and It’s Not Easy Making a Living as a Predator: Life on the Great Savannahs of Eastern and Southern Africa are on the agenda tomorrow for the Office of Educational Outreach programs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The African American Journey with Courtney Kenner, graduate assistant for Dr. Venessa A. Brown, associate provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, will take place from 10:30-11:45 a.m. tomorrow, Nov. 20, at 200 University Park, room 1127.

A stimulating question-and-answer period will follow the showing of a 20-minute-chaptered DVD that examines the African American journey from Africa to Colonial America; the Revolutionary War; the Civil War and the Underground Railroad; Emancipation, the time in U.S. history leading to the Civil Rights Movement and the election of President Barack Obama.

The film includes the famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The second Educational Outreach event of the week, It’s Not Easy Making a Living as a Predator: Life on the Great Savannahs of Eastern and Southern Africa will feature Dr. David E. Ault, emeritus professor of economics and finance. The event will take place from 1:15-2:30 p.m. tomorrow Nov. 20, at 200 University Park, room 1127.

Ault will discuss the ecosystems of Eastern and Southern Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.

“Dr. Ault explains that there are complex, finely balanced relationships among the grazing herds, large and small predators, and scavengers,” said Cheryl Brunsmann, assistant director of Educational Outreach. “When all of the various actors play their parts, the result is an ecosystem that is sustainable indefinitely.

“The roles played by predators and scavengers are key to the health of these systems.”

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

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

SIUE Engineering Students, Alums Garner ASCE Awards and Scholarships

18 November 2013, 6:40 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering was recognized throughout the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) St. Louis Section’s 2013 annual dinner. The event was held Sept. 27 at Lombardo’s Trattoria in St. Louis.

Civil Engineering graduate student Evan Wilson was awarded an ASCE St. Louis Section Scholarship. Section scholarships are awarded to individuals, who are passionate about civil engineering, hardworking, professional, competent, ethical, enthusiastic, conscientious, organized, focused, dedicated, respectful and strong leaders with great character. Common themes among the applicants included service, respect for the environment and working for the common good. Wilson also received a Structural Institute Scholarship.

Civil engineering graduate student Damien Di Vittorio received a 2013 Mike Alizadeh/Geotechnology Scholarship. The intent of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance for geotechnical/environmental studies towards a master’s degree. The awardee is selected annually based on their enthusiasm for geotechnical/environmental engineering studies, their appreciation of the importance that field experience plays in the professional growth of an engineer and their academic record.

SIUE civil engineering alum ’05 William Stahlman received the Region 7 Outstanding Younger Member Award. This award is given annually to an engineer, 35 years of age or younger, who has exhibited professional achievement and made significant impact to the field of civil engineering.

Directly upon graduation from SIUE, Stahlman was appointed by the Port’s board of commissioners to serve as the port engineer. At the time, he was the youngest professional engineer to serve in this key position since the Illinois State Legislature created the Port in 1959. As port engineer, he is responsible for managing all engineering and construction projects within the Port’s jurisdiction. He received the St. Louis Section Young Award for Professional Achievement in 2011. Mr. Stahlman serves as the practitioner advisor for SIUE.

Brent Vaughn, SIUE Civil Engineering adjunct lecturer and lab specialist, was sworn in as director of professional development for the ASCE St. Louis section. Jim Zhou, associate professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, noted that Vaughn’s appointment will lead through a nine-year administrative path.

Former SIUE Construction Management Chair Dr. Narayan Bodapati received the Professional Recognition Award. The honor recognizes the importance of professional attainment in the advancement of the science and profession of engineering. It is presented to a member who has made substantial contributions to the engineering profession and the St. Louis Section. After nearly 40 years in private practice, Bodapati joined the SIUE faculty in 1995 to share his experience with students pursuing careers in the construction industry. After 10 years at SIUE, he now serves as an adjunct professor for the Missouri University of Science and Technology Engineering Education Center.

For a complete review of the ASCE’s annual dinner event, visit

SIUE’s Beta Alpha Psi Recognized as Superior Chapter

18 November 2013, 6:17 pm

BAP_membersSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville’s national honorary accounting society, Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), was recognized as a Superior Chapter for the second-consecutive year. The recognition comes from its national organization for the 2012-2013 academic year. In order to receive this recognition, chapters must excel in the areas of academics, professionalism, service and leadership.

“Superior status is a great recognition of our students’ hard work and participation in professional and service activities,” said BAP’s advisor, Mike Costigan, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Accounting.

According to Costigan, the society requires all members to participate in service activities and professional meetings throughout the academic year. This is meant to provide the students with a professional education and community involvement.

BAP President and graduate accounting student Abby Tonkin, of Canton, said the accomplishment was not easy and the recognition shows how hard BAP members have worked. “All of the members, officers and accounting firms that have been involved in BAP events have put in a lot of time and hard work in order for our chapter to meet the requirements for Superior status,” said Tonkin.

This year, BAP hosted several guest speakers from area businesses such as CliftonLarsonAllen, Brown Smith Wallace, Edward Jones and Northwestern Mutual.

In addition to guest speakers, Tonkin said BAP members volunteered throughout the Edwardsville community with events such as Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Making Strides, SIUE Gardens Cleanup, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Preparation and Relay for Life.

In previous years, BAP has been recognized as a Distinguished Chapter. After becoming a Superior Chapter in 2012, BAP strove for the status again.

Tonkin said the support of the School of Business and its faculty has had a major influence on the organization’s success. “The faculty in the School of Business and the Department of Accounting are extremely supportive of Beta Alpha Psi,” said Tonkin. “The professors help promote professional meetings to their classes as well as let us recruit their students.”

With the recognition comes an award of $275 sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. Tonkin said the financial reward will provide BAP members with the tools necessary to pursue the status next year.

Photo: (From L-R): Beta Alpha Psi’s officers Tiffany Ramirez, Lisa Holsapple, Savannah Connaway, and Abby Tonkin.

Alestle Wins Associated Collegiate Press Award

16 November 2013, 2:03 pm

SIUE’s student newspaper, The Alestle, won a Best of Show award at the annual Associated Collegiate Press national convention in New Orleans, Oct. 23-28. ranked among the Top 10 of schools in the 10,000-20,000 population range for news website general excellence:

1. The Weal, SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta
2. The Orion, California State Univ., Chico, Chico, Calif.
3. The Appalachian, Appalachian State Univ., Boone, N.C.
4. The Sun, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, Calif.
5. Highlander, Univ. of California, Riverside, Riverside, Calif.

6. The Easterner, Eastern Washington Univ., Cheney, Wash.
7. The Miami Hurricane, Univ. of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.
8. The Daily Eastern News, Eastern Illinois Univ., Charleston, Ill.
9. Alestle, SIUE
10. The Arkansas Traveler, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.

Tammy Merrett-Murry is the Alestle program director. Lexi Cortes in the editor in chief, and John Layton is the managing editor.

SIUE Nursing and Pharmacy Host Active with Asthma Camp

15 November 2013, 12:52 pm

Lubsch_Comrie_asthmaThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy along with the Southwestern Illinois College Respiratory Therapy Program hosted Active with Asthma “Camp During School” on Friday, Nov. 1.

The one-day event was designed to teach children, parents and caregivers about asthma, physical activity, medications, nutrition, how to avoid triggers and asthma action plans.

“Pharmacy and nursing students have been working side-by-side caring for children with asthma during a variety of camps since 2007,” said Dr. Lisa Lubsch, clinical associate professor of pharmacy. “At this event, our students were able to apply their own knowledge within an interprofessional team, while educating children about their chronic medical problem in a fun environment.”

Active with Asthma “Camp During School” was held at Venice (Ill.) Elementary School. The event had approximately 75 participants comprised of a mix of students, parents and caregivers. This was the first year that the annual event was designed entirely to address the needs of parents and caregivers of children dealing with asthma.

“The incidence of asthma continues to increase across high risk areas,” said Dr. Rhonda Comrie, associate professor of nursing. “The metro east has one of the highest rates in the state especially among school age children.”

The objective of Active with Asthma “Camp During School” was to improve the lives of children with asthma by educating them and their caregivers on how to manage their asthma.

“An event like this is an important way to help families develop skills to better manage their child’s asthma, while hopefully increasing awareness and recognition of environmental triggers,” said Amy Funk, project coordinator of Metro East Community Air Project Action Research Illinois. “It was wonderful to see how engaged the children and parents were throughout the day.”

This free event was made possible by grant funding from the American Lung Association, Jaris Waide Knockout Asthma, the Asthma Coalition and the Illinois Salon Departmental La Boutique 8/40.

Photo: SIUE’s Lisa Lubsch (L) and Rhonda Comrie (R) flank  Venice Elementary School Nurse Anice Ells.

SIUE’s Devraj Receives National Research Award

15 November 2013, 12:14 pm

Radhika DevrajDr. Radhika Devraj, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, was awarded the Sabra M. Woolley Memorial Award for Best Oral Abstract Presentation at the 5th Annual Health Literacy Research Conference on October 29.

Devraj’s presentation addressed the relationship between health literacy, knowledge of self-management behaviors, disease awareness and kidney function in patients with chronic kidney disease.  Her research was funded by the SIUE STEP grant and School of Pharmacy Research Grant.

The Health Literacy Research Conference is an opportunity to advance the field of study by raising the quality of research and professional development.

“Winning this award brings national recognition to my work and the University,” said Devraj.  “I am hopeful that it will translate into more collaboration and research opportunities in the future.”

Dr. Michael Crider, professor, associate dean of research and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, acknowledged the importance of Devraj’s research.

“Dr. Devraj has worked extremely hard to ensure the success of this project,” said Crider. “Her research on health literacy and chronic kidney disease has been recognized nationally in leading journals. She has pursued research collaborations with individuals at other institutions to strengthen the overall quality of this research.”

SIUE’s A Season for The Child Continues with The Velveteen Rabbit on Nov. 30

15 November 2013, 11:37 am

A Season for the Child (SfC), the family-oriented live theater season presented by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friends of Theater and Dance (FOTAD), continues its 24th season with a holiday treat in two separate showings at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30.

The Velveteen Rabbit will take the stage in Katherine Dunham Hall by the Imaginary Theatre Company (ITC). The tale unfolds about a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, as imagined by Margery, a mother and a writer. Margery’s magical story reveals how the Velveteen Rabbit himself learns an important lesson about love.

Each year, FOTAD presents nearly $5,000 in merit scholarships to talented, current SIUE theater and dance majors. The organization also funds scholarships for qualified new freshmen entering the theater and dance program. The support organization holds an endowment to help fund the merit scholarship program. Those interested in donating to the endowment may contact Greg Conroy, 618-692-0874.

Individual tickets for the Nov. 30 performance of The Velveteen Rabbit, and subsequent shows for the 2013-14 SfC, are $5 per person and are available through the SIUE Fine Arts box office at 618-650-2774. For the entire season online, visit

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

The ITC returns to the FOTAD stage Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, with The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, a presentation aimed at slightly older children; however, all are welcome. The final show of the season will be a performance of Cinderella or the Story of Bigfoot on Saturday, March 22, presented by Curtains Up Theatre Co., of Collinsville and Edwardsville.

Muslim-American Comics Featured in “Allah Made Me Funny” Tuesday

15 November 2013, 9:11 am

Allah Made Me Funny 11.15.13A Palestinian-American, an Indian-American and an African-American—aside from being American men, they have three other elements in common: they are all minorities, they are all Muslim and they are all funny.

The community is encouraged to attend the showing of “Allah Made Me Funny” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 in the Lovejoy Library’s Abbott Auditorium on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus. During the film, the comics will skewer everything from family to food to American politics, and their fellow Muslims.

“In a way, these men represent the full spectrum of Muslim-American identifies,” said Dr. Steve Tamari, associate professor of historical studies. “They shine a light on American society that most Americans don’t think about.”

Tamari talked about the manner in which these men are going about changing public perceptions. Christian and Jewish comedians have long used their humor as stand-up comedians in American society to dispel misconceptions, poke fun and have fun.

“These three men are making use of a medium that is totally American,” he said. “Since the whole purpose of progress is to break up stereotypes and misinformation, I don’t think there is a better channel for doing that than through humor and laughter.”

This series is made possible by a generous grant of books, films and other resources from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association program “Bridging Cultures: The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf”; Lovejoy Library; and the SIUE Muslim Students Association.  For information contact Lydia Jackson at 618-650-2604 or ljackso@siue or Tamari at 618-650-3967 or

Chickasaw Nation Rep. Visits Campus for Native American Heritage Month

15 November 2013, 8:58 am

LaDonna Brown spoke passionately Wednesday about the culture and tradition of the Chickasaw Nation. Her presentation to an audience of nearly 100 people in Peck Hall on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is part of the University’s celebration of Native American Heritage Month.

She discussed her vocation. Brown is a historic preservation officer for the Chickasaw Nation. She is enrolled in the Chickasaw nation and works at the Chickasaw Nation’s Department of Homeland Affairs in Ada, Okla.

“On the one hand, I deal with cultural information and traditional knowledge, and how that helps me work with federal agencies in dealing with projects that they propose to us that might be taking place on their lands or within their boundaries,” she said. “It helps bring both perspectives together and bring about a better understanding on the tribal side and the governmental side.

“From my perspective, it causes me to walk in two worlds – where I have one foot in the cultural world and the other foot in the U.S. federal governmental perspective.”

“We are a sovereign nation,” she said about the Chickasaw nation. “So, we have a government-to-government relationship with the United States.”

“I would like people to understand that for me, speaking from the Chickasaw perspective, the Chickasaw people are still here. We are still alive. We still have a culture, and we are able to discuss that culture.

“It’s still alive, and it’s definitely something that has to be shared from Chickasaw people.

“People have tried to write about our culture. You read about historical accounts, and they are usually from an outside perspective. Those people might not understand what they’re writing about, or they might skew whatever they are viewing.”

Brown noted that sometimes the Chickasaw culture is misrepresented. “Sometimes you might see things from videos, films or TV, and there is sort of a generic view of Native American culture. It’s not the true perspective that we, as the Chickasaw people, would like for a general audience to understand.

“What I would like people to understand is that there is a true perspective. I would like to try to get that general information out and get people to maybe do a little bit of research of their own, so they can have a better understanding of Chickasaw culture.”

Brown spoke to faculty, staff and students about the cultural resource work taking place in the Chickasaw homeland, which includes Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Chickasaw, along with the Cherokee, were forced to leave their homeland in the southeast and move to Oklahoma after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. They joined the Cherokee people on the Trail of Tears.

She also discussed historic preservation, archaeology and the Chickasaw Nation with a class on campus. Brown visited the SIUE archeological site, which is a campus dig site where faculty, staff and students currently uncover Native American artifacts. She visited the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, located in Collinsville. Cahokia Mounds is an active excavation site where archeologists and students take part in uncovering artifacts from the past to explain the history of the Cahokians, a Native American people.

Earlier in November, SIUE’s Native American Studies program brought another professional to campus to talk about Native American Heritage. Brad Koldehoff, chief archaeologist for the Illinois Department of Transportation, visited to discuss tribal consultation and archaeology of the new Mississippi River Bridge project in East St. Louis.

Brown’s trip was funded by Native American Studies program departments of Anthropology, Historical Studies, Philosophy and Political Science, as well as the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration.


SIUE Offers New Tuition Rates for Students of Regional States

14 November 2013, 2:30 pm

Flowering spring trees on Quad students 3_14_12 BillThe Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today approved new tuition rates for entering freshman and transfer students, and master’s level graduate students at the Edwardsville campus.  Students from the regional states of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wisconsin will pay the same tuition rate as those students from Illinois.

The new tuition rate will take effect for the 2014-15 academic year. During the 2013-14 academic year, SIUE’s annual tuition rate was $7,296 for new, in-state full-time undergraduate students (15 hours per semester). Non-resident tuition for those same students was $18,240.

During the 2013-14 academic year, SIUE’s per credit hour tuition rate for master’s level graduate students from Illinois was $279.25. Non-resident tuition for those same students was $698.15.

“We proposed this recruitment enhancement program to increase the number of students from these regional states,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “Our goal is to expand the overall pool of prospective SIUE students. This program is designed to promote geographical access, especially from St. Louis, to our excellent academic programs.”

“This rate will allow SIUE to remain competitive with other institutions in the recruitment of regional students,” said Scott Belobrajdic, associate vice chancellor for Enrollment Management. “This will promote geographical diversity that will benefit all SIUE students.

“Applications are at an all-time high for this time of the year. With this announcement, we anticipate a surge in applications throughout the region.”

This news comes on the heels of SIUE landing on Washington Monthly’sBest Bang for the Buck” lists in late August. SIUE is in the top 10 percent of both all schools surveyed and public master’s universities. The publication attempts to list the colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

In 2007, the Board 2007, the Board approved “Revision to Residency Status Policies” which allows the president and the chancellors to charge, upon approval by the Board, alternative tuition rates for special situations and/or special populations. The option was designed to permit the chancellors to better manage their respective campuses and improve the recruitment of students who might not otherwise attend SIU.

Stack Appointed SIUE Vice Chancellor for Advancement

14 November 2013, 12:24 pm

Stack_Rachel_mugoutdoorThe Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today confirmed Rachel Carlton Stack’s appointment as vice chancellor for University Advancement on the Edwardsville campus.  Stack comes to SIUE after serving as assistant dean of advancement within the University of Illinois Chicago’s College of Business Administration since 2006. She assumes her SIUE duties on Jan. 6, 2014.

“Rachel’s professional background, including many years of development experience within higher education, made for an excellent choice,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “We expect that she will make a significant impact on our mission to develop professionals, scholars and leaders who shape a changing world.”

At UIC, Stack conducted a “Brilliant Futures Campaign” that raised more than $25 million. She grew an annual fund raising program from $600,000 to more than $2 million. She recruited and managed a business advisory council of 50 corporate leaders. She also managed a staff of five advancement professionals and a marketing director.

“Thanks to Chancellor Furst-Bowe, search committee chair Keith Becherer and the committee for their belief in my abilities,” Stack said. “SIUE is a remarkable and growing university, and I am honored to serve it. We will create and execute an advancement strategy that will create a stronger culture of philanthropy.”

Prior to her UIC tenure, Stack served as senior director of development for the central region office of CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) USA from 2005-06. She raised $1.5 million for the major international humanitarian agency that delivers broad-spectrum emergency relief and international development projects.

Stack was associate director of development at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering from 2004-05. She raised $4 million while successfully managing two departmental mini-campaigns in chemical and biological engineering, and materials science.

Stack spent five years at the State University of New York at Buffalo in two different positions. She began as assistant director of development for the School of Pharmacy, where she raised $950,000 in less than two years. She was assistant dean of development in the School of Nursing until the close of her tenure. She created a campaign strategy that produced $2.8 million and achieved 100 percent faculty and staff participation.

“My expertise is growing public higher education advancement programs while attracting, retaining and mentoring high caliber professionals,” Stack said. “This is the next logical step in my professional career. It will be exciting to work with the chancellor, faculty and staff, our various constituencies and our alumni to keep SIUE moving forward.”

Stack began her development career in 1995 as director of fundraising for Cradle Beach Camp in Angola, N.Y. She followed that by serving as Canisius High School’s director of annual fund and special events in Buffalo from 1996-98.

Stack earned a bachelor’s in English Literature from Elmira College and a master’s in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She has been a certified fund raising executive (CFRE) since 1996 and has specific experience in fundraising for health-related educational entities as well as business and engineering.

“The quality of the search for our new vice chancellor was outstanding, and SIUE owes a great debt of gratitude to search committee chair Keith Becherer and the committee for their time and dedication to identifying an excellent pool,” said Furst-Bowe, who noted the five-month national search involved more than 50 candidates.

Stack succeeds Patrick Hundley, who is retiring during the 2014 spring semester.

SIU BOT Approves Contracts for SIUE Union Station Renovation, Electric System Distribution Repairs

14 November 2013, 12:09 pm

Morris University Center Building students walking 11-9-12The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees at its regularly scheduled meeting today on the Edwardsville campus approved contracts worth more than $5.6 million to renovate SIUE’s Union Station in the Morris University Center and to upgrade the campus electric distribution system.

The MUC project will renovate the main level Union Station convenience store. The improvements will lessen congestion while improving Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, re-stocking functions and customer point of sale systems. The project’s approved budget is $1.3 million and will be funded through MUC repair, replacement and reserve (RRR) funds.

The contracts to perform the Union Station renovation work were awarded to the following Illinois firms:

Work                              Contractor                                                                                         Value

General Contractor:        Tindall Construction, Inc., of Pontoon Beach                          $459,840

Electrical:                        K&F Electric, Inc., of Belleville                                                      $86,600

Heating:                          France Mechanical Corp. of Edwardsville                                    $276,700

Guarantee Electrical Co. of St. Louis was confirmed as the phase one contractor for SIUE’s electric distribution system repairs and upgrades that will improve the system’s reliability, operations and capacity to support the campus’ facilities master plan. The approved contract is valued at $4,832,549. The overall approved budget is $11 million and is funded through the facilities fee. The project will be implemented in phases as funding is available.

The Board approved planning and cost estimates to develop improvements for SIUE’s Stratton Quadrangle. The plan will evaluate designs and costs to replace the deteriorating bricks in the quadrangle. University plant funds are expected to support the project.

The Board also approved planning and cost estimates to replace the Simmons Law Firm Baseball Complex’s natural outfield turf with a synthetic surface. A high quality turf suitable for tournament plan and year-round training will be considered. Oates & Associates Engineering will determine the extent and estimated cost of the project. SIUE used the Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process to select Oates & Associates as the on-call engineering firm for the evaluation.

SIUE Opera Outreach Department Takes Anti-Bullying Message into Local Schools

13 November 2013, 3:59 pm

Tyler Green as the bully goat

SIUE students Ben Rardin, Allison Wagner and Lindsey Davis

Four “billy goats’’ from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville went to Silver Creek Elementary School in Troy last week to show the negative effects of bullying.

“It was active and a lot of fun to watch,” said fifth grader Andrew Gula about the opera, The Billy Goat’s Gruff. “I have seen someone bullying another person. I asked him why was he doing it, and told him it was just not nice.”

This is the message that SIUE vocal students has been spreading through the Opera-tion Arts! The three-week production of The Billy Goat’s Gruff, which performs in cooperation with the SIUE Department of Music, will conclude Friday.

“Over the past several years, we have reached thousands of elementary students through our outreach program, Opera-tion Arts!” said Dr. Marc Schapman, associate professor of Music in Voice, who started Opera-tion Arts! “It is great to know the children are being exposed to great music, and learning valuable life lessons at the same time.

“Billy Goat’s Gruff boasts an anti-bullying message that is so important in today’s society. The cast and artistic staff have done a marvelous job of putting together a witty and beautifully sung opera!”

“I’m a bully. I’m as mean as can be. I am mean, and I don’t care,” sang Tyler Green, who plays Osmini the bully goat. Green is a sophomore majoring in vocal performance and music business.

The other “billy goats” in the opera are: Allison Wagner, a junior and vocal performance major; as the youngest goat, Lucy; Lindsey Davis, a senior and vocal performance major, as Ernesta the middle goat; and Ben Rardin, a senior and vocal performance major, who plays Dandini, the oldest goat.

The subject was a familiar one to everyone in the audience. “Who has known a bully?” asked Kate Slovinski, theater specialist for Opera-tion Art! Seemingly every hand was raised.

“It’s always a good idea to bring this message to school,” said Beth Luttrell, Silver Creek assistant principal, who responded to a flyer from the SIUE Music Department. “I wanted students to hear what to do if they are put in a situation of bullying.”

The opera story takes place after school. After the three billy goats play a game of hide and seek, they are prevented from crossing the bridge and going home by the bully goat. Lucy both stands up to Osmini and is nice to him. She then introduces him as a new friend to the other billy goats.

“Kindness is contagious,” Lucy sings in the end.

“How many think it is possible for a bully to change, if he is treated with kindness?” Slovinski asked the more than 500 students and staff at the beginning of the play. An overwhelming majority raised their hands.

The opera was adapted from The Billy Goat’s Gruff story by John Davies. The music, according to Slovinski, was rearranged from arias of such composers as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Gioachino Antonio Rossini. The music director is Dr. Joe Welch, McKendree College faculty member and SIUE alum. The stage manager is Ryan Wiechmann, a SIUE senior and Theater and Mass Communications major.

For one “billy goat” in the play, the subject matter is a painful memory.

“I was bullied for two years, in the sixth and seventh grades,” said Davis, who said she would not cave into peer pressure. “I didn’t fight back, because I didn’t believe in fighting, and I was afraid of telling anyone.

“But I have taken my experiences to help youth who may be the victims of bullying. If you find yourself being the target of a bully, please tell someone.”

For more information about SIUE’s production of The Billy Goat’s Gruff, visit

College of Arts and Sciences: Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences has 19 departments and 85 areas of study. More than 300 full-time faculty/instructors deliver classes to more than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty help students explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region’s workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.

Photo Information:

SIUE students singing in the Opera-tion Art! performance of The Billy Goat’s Gruff are (from left to right) Ben Rardin, a senior and vocal performance major; Allison Wagner, a junior and vocal performance major; and Lindsey Davis, a senior and vocal performance major.

Tyler Green, who played the bully goat, Osmini, gives high-fives to students leaving the play.


International Speaker Series: “Gays and Minorities in the Armed Forces and the Evolving Role of Women in Armed Combat”

13 November 2013, 3:49 pm

“Gays and Minorities in the Armed Forces and the Evolving Role of Women in Armed Combat” was the topic of the latest Southern Illinois University Edwardsville International Speaker Series held Nov. 7.

Nearly 30 students, and some SIUE and ROTC faculty members, attended the event, which took place in the Morris University Center. Dr. Paul Viotti, executive director of the Institute on Globalization and Security (IGLOS) at the University of Denver in Colorado, talked about the evolving role of minorities in today’s military, mostly from a U.S. vantage point. He took the discussion back to World War II and moved forward to recent times.

Viotti talked about the long road to military integration of minority populations:

• Addressing and overcoming race barriers, with African American men pushing forward with their military careers in spite of challenges they faced during and following World War II

• The inequities faced by Asian-Americans during and post-World War II, and the strides that they, and those descending of Asian, Latin and other minority populations, have made during the last 50 years

• The push for gender equity, with women advancing beyond clerical roles and the hospitals, and into combat-ready positions

• The “big secret” of sexual orientation and the implementation, and subsequent repeal, of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy in the U.S. Military

He noted the changes he has seen during his lifetime: “The generation in which I exist and the one preceding me were extraordinarily homophobic.

“Your generation is much more understanding from the degree of acceptance,” he told the students. “That degree of progressive understanding was unheard of in my time.”

He recounted a very recent military dinner he attended, hosted by Spectrum, the U.S. Air Force Academy’s first club for gay, lesbian and bisexual students, and their heterosexual friends and supporters.

“I was having a discussion with a graduate from the class of 1968, which was around the time I graduated from the Academy,” Viotti said. “This person was a woman. Women were not allowed entry into the Academy until 1976.

“It didn’t occur to me until later that I had been speaking with a transgender individual. This person had been born a man, and had changed identity after leaving the military.

“The transgender part of LGBT has always served, but that has been in a private identity.”

Viotti noted the transgender community still has not been wholly integrated into the military, and that the Pentagon currently is working on a policy to address this.

“Progress has been made, but it’s been glacial,” Viotti said of the changes that have come to the U.S. military. He noted that gender prejudice still exists, and the military needs to become a more diverse mix of the population at large. This mix needs to be reflected in gender, politics, ethnicity, beliefs and in all other ways in order to fully exemplify the true climate and culture of the people living in the U.S.

During the discussion, Viotti briefly touched on the issue from a global perspective. He referenced how the U.S. is different from Israel, which requires mandatory service for all its men and women, and Switzerland and Sweden, which both allow voluntary service among females.

Viotti said the U.S. should adopt integration techniques of the Swiss and the Swedes, having their military personnel living and co-existing within non-military communities. He noted this concept is mandatory in Switzerland and Sweden, and after men have served in the military, they are required by the governments in those countries to keep their arms in their homes following their service to their countries.

Since 1992, Viotti has been a professor at Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley in 1978.

For 20 years he taught political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and for 30 years he served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a colonel. His career has taken him to California, Vietnam, Europe, the Pentagon and Colorado.

His publications include International Relations Theory, International Relations and World Politics, American Foreign Policy, American Foreign Policy and National Security, and Arms Control, Terrorism and Homeland Security. His forthcoming publications include U.S. National Security Policy and The Dollar, National Security and Foreign Policy.


SIUE Officer Poses the Question: Does Sustainability Equal Student Retention?

13 November 2013, 2:36 pm

Does sustainability have any correlation with the retention of college students? It’s a significant and timely question, according to Kevin Adkins, sustainability officer at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Adkins and Dr. Connie Frey Spurlock, SIUE faculty sustainability fellow, presented the topic: “Sustainability: A Solution to Student Retention” at the most recent SIUE Chancellor’s Council. Adkins and Frey Spurlock gave the same lecture last month at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) National Annual Conference in Nashville.

“We wanted to look at the relationship between a school’s sustainability practices and its retention and graduation rates for students,” said Adkins.

The Sustainability Officer compared schools and categories based on AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS). “STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance,” according to AASHE’s website.

“Looking at all 234 of the schools participating in STARS, of which SIUE is one, we found an average student retention rate of 83 percent and an average graduation rate of 66 percent,” Adkins said.

The student retention rate at SIUE is 70 percent and the graduation rate is 52 percent, he said. Adkins and Spurlock also looked at schools cited in U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Green Review, a selection of public schools in the Midwest, among others.

“The first thing we saw is that schools that practiced green habits had higher retention rates,” Adkins said. “We see a correlation, but we can’t say there is causation yet.

“This is preliminary research designed to open the door on further discussion. We received a lot of interest at the conference, and several schools wanted to start a discussion with us. We’re glad that SIUE is out front on this topic.”

Also presenting at the conference were two SIUE students: Mark Veverka, president of the Student Organization for Sustainability (SOS), and Shikha Kahlon, vice president of SOS.

“SIUE has the potential to be a university sustainability superstar,” Adkins said.

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.


Panamanian Diplomat and Businessman was SIUE Lunch Guest

13 November 2013, 10:03 am

Eduardo Vallarino, diplomat and businessman, attended a special luncheon to discuss “Building Peace after War,” Nov. 7 in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Morris University Center. Vallarino, who was joined by SIUE faculty, staff and students, talked about his academic and political experiences.

Vallarino is a distinguished Panamanian diplomat and businessman, and served in a number of important positions representing Panama. He was ambassador to the United States, ambassador to Canada, permanent representative of Panama to the United Nations and Panama’s director of Industrial Development. He also was a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Panama in 1994.

Mr. Vallarino attended Louisiana State University, where he earned bachelor’s in both civil and petroleum engineering. He then spent several years at Harvard University, where he earned an MBA, completed course work in the business school’s doctoral program and was appointed a member of the faculty.

While an Edward Mason Fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Vallarino was awarded a master’s in public administration. His educational career has also included graduate teaching positions in the Central American Institute of Business Administration (Nicaragua).

Vallarino spoke knowingly about the history of Panama, its troubled relationship with Columbia that lingers to this day, and its longstanding and complex relationship with the United States.

He responded to a number of student questions. One centered on the future capacity of the Panama Canal to handle supertankers. Another dealt with the potential for wind and solar energy production in Panama that might cover the wider Central American region.

Vallarino downplayed the prospect for a competing canal in Nicaragua, and he maintained that economic development in Panama is definitely on the rise.

“We are always delighted to host these events on the SIUE campus,” said Dr. Ron Schaefer, distinguished research professor and director of the Center for International Programs. “Through opportunities like this, our faculty, staff and students are able to gain real perspective on issues of international significance.

“It is our hope, through what we do at the Center, to assist the University community in learning more about global topics, so that individuals can be informed citizens of the world.”

The event was made possible by the SIUE Center for International Programs. The Center often hosts these events, working with the St. Louis Council on Foreign Relations to bring speakers to campus to meet with the University community prior to evening speaker engagements.


SIUE Alum Martha Warren Among Emerson Award Recipients

12 November 2013, 8:33 am

Martha Warren has two master’s degrees from SIUE. The East St. Louis High School teacher was among 104 educators throughout the St. Louis metro region to receive the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award this past weekend.

Belleville News-Democrat writer Jamie Forsythe profiled Warren in an article posted Nov. 9.

SIUE School of Engineering Delegation Visits India

12 November 2013, 8:09 am

During September, the SIUE School of Engineering sent two representatives to Hyderabad, India, with an interest in strengthening relations between the School and colleges in Hyderabad.

Hosted by Guru Nanak Institutions (GNI), Dennis Bouvier, associate professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, and Gary Mayer, assistant professor of computer science, spent a week visiting with GNI, the Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology (CBIT) and the Teegala Krishna Reddy Educational Society (TKRES).

“Our trip helped us to recognize the similarities between our two educational systems and the differences,” said Mayer. “From that, we can work toward developing a partnership that enables student success and benefits all universities.”

Bouvier and Mayer spoke with administrators, faculty and students about establishing programs that would enable Indian students with opportunities to attend SIUE. Such an initiative also would provide the School of Engineering with the ability to strengthen its international presence in its master’s programs. Many of the discussions centered on computer science programs, but there is the potential for programs in electrical and computer engineering as well.

“The visit of the two professors is a gesture to our Indian partners that we value their collaboration,” said Hasan Sevim, dean of the School of Engineering.  “We recently signed an MOU with GNI and hope to do the same with CBIT and TKRES.”

The School of Engineering founded the relationship with GNI and CBIT when Sevim and Ron Schaefer, director of International Programs, visited the schools during a conference in Hyderabad.

Harvinder Saini, Managing Director of GNI, brought five students to the SIUE campus last May to meet with faculty from SIUE’s Schools of Engineering and Business.

FOX Sports Midwest to Televise Eight Cougar Basketball Games

11 November 2013, 2:02 pm

PrintFor the second-consecutive season, SIUE basketball fans across the Midwest will be able to follow the Cougars on television.

SIUE and FOX Sports Midwest have renewed their agreement to televise Cougar men’s basketball on the regional sports network that also features Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals and the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues.

The deal, which began with a five-game package during the 2012-2013 season, has expanded to include seven games during the 2013-2014 season, beginning with the Cougars’ home opener Nov. 13 against Saint Louis University.

“We are excited to partner with Fox Sports Midwest,” SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt said. “This not only showcases our basketball program, but also highlights those who help make SIUE the special place that it is—the student body, faculty and staff.”

In addition to the Cougars television package, the Ohio Valley Conference office has included the March 1 SIUE home date against Eastern Illinois in its schedule. That game also will appear on FSM.  All eight games will air live.

“We’re pleased to again bring SIUE basketball to viewers throughout the region,” said Jack Donovan FSM senior vice president and general manager.  “Cougar basketball is part of a jam-packed winter programming lineup on FOX Sports Midwest alongside Blues hockey, the NBA and college hoops.”

The Voice of the Cougars, Joe Pott, will team with Pat Parris on the broadcasts.

The SIUE schedule on FSM:

Nov. 13                 Saint Louis                           7 p.m.

Dec. 2                    Texas-Pan American       7 p.m.

Jan. 4                     Eastern Kentucky             7 p.m.*

Jan. 16                  Austin Peay                        7 p.m.

Jan. 18                  Murray State                     1 p.m.

Feb. 8                    UT Martin                            8 p.m.

Feb. 26                 Belmont                               7 p.m.

Mar. 1                   Eastern Illinois                   7 p.m.

*Game will air live on FOX Sports Midwest Plus

About FOX Sports Midwest

FOX Sports Midwest, a regional sports television network, is the leading provider of local sports in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, reaching nearly 6 million cable and satellite television homes. FSM telecasts more than 3,000 hours of live local programming annually, including Cardinals baseball and Blues hockey. FOX Sports Networks are the nation’s leading provider of local sports. Through 19 owned-and-operated regional networks, FOX Sports Networks serve as the TV home to more than half of all MLB, NHL and NBA teams. For more information visit

SIUE’s Major Wilson Shares Story behind Tuskegee Airmen Memorabilia

8 November 2013, 6:54 pm
Major Ken Wilson shares his stories about Lt. Col. Bill Thompson and the Tuskegee Airmen while looking over his personal memorabilia collection.

Major Ken Wilson shares his stories about Lt. Col. Bill Thompson and the Tuskegee Airmen while looking over his personal memorabilia collection.

 Video is available of interviews with veterans from SIUE’s 2nd Annual Veterans Tribute, which was held Nov. 4-6.

Major Ken Wilson recalls the day he met Lt. Col. Bill Thompson in Chicago. As a then-cadet in the Chicago State University ROTC program, he was taking a military history class. His instructor told him they were going on a field trip to take the Tuskegee Airmen to their original location.

“I thought we were going to Tuskegee,” he said. “I didn’t realize we were headed to Rantoul.”

Thompson was one of the original six Tuskegee Airmen from the 99th Fighter Squadron, a group of determined young men who volunteered to form the nation’s first crop of African American military airmen.

Then, in his early 20s, Wilson recalls being awestruck by meeting the war hero. He laughed a little as he remembered the lieutenant colonel’s parting words that day.

“The next time I see you, I want to see you as a lieutenant, and I want to see you fly,” Thompson said briskly. “You have no idea what we went through. Now days you have opportunities, so I don’t want to hear any excuses.”

From 1941 to 1946, nearly 1,000 African American pilots were trained at Tuskegee. “That group never lost a bomber,” said Wilson proudly. “That’s their legacy, and I just want to keep it going.”

Wilson stayed in touch with Thompson through the years. He remembers he couldn’t wait to tell Thompson that he had been named an active Army officer in December 1994 and was accepted to flight school, which began in January 1995.

“I was so excited to tell him: I’m a pilot! I’m going to flight school!” Wilson said. “He didn’t congratulate me. He said, ‘The door is open. You’d better not flunk out!’”

Two years later, Wilson graduated as a second lieutenant from the U.S. Army and was a pilot. He fondly reflects that Thompson was his mentor through it all. At the time of Thompson’s death in 2006, Wilson was on active duty in Iraq. When he learned of the death of his mentor, he visited Thompson’s son to pay his last respects.

“His son gave me a shoebox full of memorabilia.” Wilson said. “I really almost broke down, and I don’t break down.”

Wilson displayed his memorabilia with the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus community Nov. 4-6 during the University’s 2nd Annual Veterans Tribute.

Today, Wilson is an assistant professor of Military Science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He decided to tell his story about Thompson and share his memorabilia as an opportunity to educate the greater community.

“It’s not about me,” he said. “I felt to keep his legacy going, I needed to spread the word and share his story. I want to do the same thing he did—inspire others.”

SIUE Alum Harrison Speaks at CEO National Convention

8 November 2013, 2:41 pm

Harrison_presentationRoverTown’s student discount program is able to differentiate itself in the saturated market by meeting students where they are most: online.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alum Jeffry Harrison is RoverTown’s chief operating officer. His marketing and sales strategies have significantly aided RoverTown’s growth to over 70 colleges and universities nationally. Over 1.4 million students now have access to RoverTown’s Student Discount Program.

Jeffry shared his strategies insights during the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) National Convention in Chicago. The annual conference brings together students, faculty, and young entrepreneurs to learn skills and expertise from successful entrepreneurs.

By providing their services via the web and mobile applications, the RoverTown team is able to collect much more interesting and useful data on the coupon-provider’s customers. This data, previously unavailable to businesses that collect paper coupons, is valuable for future marketing and customer relationship purposes.

In addition to the digital and analytic components, the strategy of working directly with the colleges and universities has been successful. Whereas competitors hand out paper coupon books on campus, RoverTown contacts the school’s administration directly, so as to be promoted by the individual college or university.

CEO is an entrepreneurial network with over 245 collegiate chapters. Harrison’s interview with CEO can be heard here. He co-founded a CEO chapter while a student at SIUE.

A Redbud native, Harrison arrived at SIUE as a result of the Homer L. & Helen L. Cox Scholarship from the School of Business. He earned a bachelor’s in finance and entrepreneurship in 2012. Harrison served as the SIUE student trustee for the SIU Board of Trustees for two years.

Photo: Jeffry Harrison presents to a large group of students at the 2013 CEO National Conference in Chicago.

SIUE Alum Colvin Named School of Business Director of Development

8 November 2013, 9:30 am

Colvin_Sara_mug_crop_sm (2)Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Business has named alumna Sara (Stroud) Colvin, ‘98, ’05, as its new director of development. She assumes her new role on Nov. 13 with 15 years of experience in the fields of communication and fundraising.

Since receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SIUE, Colvin has worked at the USO of Missouri, ’62 Sports Group, Inc., Clear Channel Entertainment (Live Nation) and Northwestern Mutual and Clear Channel Radio. Colvin found the director’s position extremely appealing.

“The opportunity to come home was key,” said Colvin. “SIUE provided my start in the professional world.”

“The School of Business is thrilled to have Sara on board,” said School of Business Interim Dean John Navin. “She brings a wealth of experience to our director of development position. Her experience in the St. Louis area combined with her SIUE background puts her in a unique position to promote the school’s alumni relations.”

Once in the position, Colvin hopes to engage alumni and foster relationships between them and current students. “I would like to create new and inventive ways to engage alumni that will allow them to experience what it means to be a current SIUE School of Business student,” she said.

Having been in a similar position at the USO, Colvin is excited about working with students, alumni and area businesses. An active community member, she is involved with the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, SIUE Alumni Association, Community Service Public Relations Council and the Ed/Glen Young Professionals Group.

Within her role as director of development, Colvin plans to use those connections to benefit the School. “The higher education environment is much larger than my previous roles,” she said. “I am excited about the opportunity to work within a larger network of resources and people at SIUE.”

Colvin joins the school after Marilyn Marsho’s retirement this past March.

SIUE School of Pharmacy and SLU to Offer Online Certificate

7 November 2013, 5:56 pm

School_of_Pharmacy_4CThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy and Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in late October for the advancement of pharmacy education.

The MOU was developed to provide SIUE pharmacy students, as well as SIUE School of Pharmacy alumni, the opportunity to earn an online certificate in organizational leadership and/or an online certificate in healthcare information systems from SLU.

These certificates offered online make it easier for current students and alumni to take the classes at their own pace. The flexible format also offers up to nine credit hours of completed coursework from SIUE to be transferred.

“This MOU gives students and alumni an excellent opportunity to earn certification in two key areas that have the potential to give them an edge in the job market,” said Dr. Gireesh Gupchup, dean of the SIUE School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Matthew Grawitch, interim dean for the SLU School for Professional Studies; Dr. Ellen Harshmann, SLU interim vice president for Academic Affairs; Bill Wuller, SIUE School of Pharmacy clinical associate professor and director of experiential education; and Dr. Ann Boyle, SIUE interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs also were involved in developing the agreement.

This new partnership is the only kind in this region, creating advancements for students and alumni in the job market.

“This partnership and these certifications will provide pharmacy students with additional opportunities for tailoring their education to meet their long-term career goals in a way that does not conflict with their primary area of study,” said Grawitch.

The certificate in organizational leadership allows students to develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to assume leadership and administrative roles in corporate and non-profit settings. Students acquire knowledge and skills in a variety of areas including human resources, marketing and leadership.

Students, who earn a certificate in healthcare information systems, gain the tools necessary to succeed in an information technology (IT) role in the health care industry. A background of information systems and technology, cloud computing and virtualization, programming, database design, network fundamentals, healthcare information systems terminology and IT systems for health care organizations is acquired through coursework.

Students and alumni can begin taking classes now. For more information, contact Connie Stamper-Carr at or (618) 650-5159.

SIUE Construction Students Earn Third Place in ASC National Competition

7 November 2013, 5:25 pm

ASC PreconstructionTwelve Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering students participated in regional and national open competitions held at the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Region 3 Conference at Downers Grove in mid-October.

The SIUE Department of Construction students took part in two team competitions: the preconstruction competition and the heavy civil competition. The SIUE preconstruction team was awarded third place after California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Pepper Construction sponsored the preconstruction challenge, which focused on preconstruction responsibilities including risk assessment, conceptual estimating, schedule development and logistics planning for a $30-40 million professional office building and training center.

“Our students prepared and explained their schedule thoroughly, and demonstrated excellent coordination and communication skills throughout the process,” said Chris Gordon, associate dean of the SIUE School of Engineering and chair of the Department of Construction.

SIUE’s reconstruction team consisted of: senior Thomas Parker of Edwardsville, senior Andrew Veliz of Belleville, senior Michael Trobaugh of Highland, senior Bryon Graminksi of Collinsville, junior Mason Musick of Lincoln, and senior Zachary Carlson of Quincy.

Douglas Degen, a faculty observer from Ohio Northern University said, “The SIUE team rocked with their ability to communicate their schedule and team commitment to the project.”

Walsh Construction sponsored the regional heavy civil competition which required demonstrating competence in estimating, scheduling, safety and quality planning, and site logistics for a bridge and roadway project.

SIUE’s heavy civil team members included: senior Avery Mason of Paris, senior Mike Van de Veer of East Peoria, junior Jared Kraus of Freeburg, sophomore Jacob Eilers of Breese, junior Chad Kolmer of Breese and senior Ethan Zachman of Germantown Hills.

The challenge was open to all ASC member programs, and included 12 competing schools from Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, California and Texas.

Photo: A Pepper Construction representative (far left) presents the third place award to SIUE  preconstruction team members (second from left to right) Tom Parker, Mike Trobaugh, Mason Musick, Bryon Graminski, Zach Carlson and Andrew Veliz.

SIUE Celebrating Native American Heritage Month Events Tomorrow and Next Week

6 November 2013, 3:28 pm

November is Native American Heritage Month, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Native American Studies program is hosting two guest speakers to celebrate.

Brad Koldehoff, chief archaeologist for the Illinois Department of Transportation, will be on campus tomorrow, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in Peck Hall, room 0312, to talk about tribal consultation and archaeology of the new Mississippi River Bridge project in East St. Louis.

“East St. Louis was a sister city to that great Native American metropolis, Cahokia Mounds,” said Dr. Julie Holt, SIUE professor of Anthropology. “Archaeological excavations in East St. Louis, in advance of bridge construction, uncovered a partial mound and remains of over 1,000 houses dating between AD 1000 and1250.

“The Osage, among other tribes, are believed to be descendants of the Cahokians, and have played a role in deciding the fate of this site.”

Next week, LaDonna Brown, historic preservation officer for the Chickasaw Nation, will be on campus to discuss historic preservation, archaeology and the Chickasaw Nation. Brown is enrolled in the Chickasaw nation and works at the Chickasaw Nation’s Department of Homeland Affairs in Ada, Okla.

“Much of the cultural resource work that LaDonna will talk about takes place in the Chickasaw homeland, which includes Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky,” Holt said. “The Chickasaw were forced to leave their homeland in the southeast and move to Oklahoma after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. That is, the Cherokee were not alone in their Trail of Tears.”

Brown will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13 in Peck Hall, room 0312. Her visit to SIUE has been generously funded by Native American Studies program departments of Anthropology, Historical Studies, Philosophy and Political Science, as well as the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration.


SIU Dental Medicine Student Wins Research Award

6 November 2013, 12:41 pm

Farrow_Patrick_w-presentationSouthern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine student Patrick Farrow won Most Outstanding Presentation in Clinical Research at the 2013 Hinman Student Research Symposium on Oct. 27 in Memphis.

Farrow’s project focused on developing a rodent behavioral model as an inexpensive and unbiased method to measure orofacial pain. Farrow’s project was directed by Dr. Kevin Rowland, associate professor of physiology.

“Patrick’s dedication for research stems from a sincere desire to help people, especially individuals suffering from pain,” said Rowland.

The Hinman Student Research Symposium featured oral and poster presentations of research projects by dental and graduate students from dental schools across the nation. At this year’s Symposium, 104 students represented 47 dental schools in 29 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces.

Eight awards were given for the most outstanding student presentations, four in clinical research and four in basic science research. In addition, the National Students Research Group (NSRG) of the American Association for Dental Research also presented an award.

The Symposium is co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and co-sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society. Support also is provided by grants from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Gies Foundation, the Procter & Gamble Co., the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry Alumni Association and the Tennessee Dental Association Foundation.

History, Veterans, Hot Topics and More at SIUE This Week

6 November 2013, 9:49 am

Today is the final day of the 2nd Annual Veterans Tribute, and marks the kickoff of a week packed with attention-grabbing topics through Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Office of Educational Outreach.

Local author Charles Schwend will present “Inhabitants of Ancient China and Japan: Historical Fiction ‘Dragon Dreams’” from 10:30-11:45 a.m. today, Nov. 6 at 200 University Park in Edwardsville, room 1127. Schwend will share excerpts from his book, “Dragon Dreams.”

Later today, from 1:15-2:30 p.m. in the same location, Tom Dehner, retired news director from WSIE-FM radio station and an instructor of mass communications will present “From the Sidelines.” He will show attendees a collection of personal memoirs and recount musings from his more than 40 years in the communications field of broadcasting, public relations and higher education.

Both presentations will cost $5 each for general admission; $2 each for Lifelong Learning members, and are available for free for SIUE students.

In honor of the U.S. Military Forces, the Office of Educational Outreach has been hosting events this week with the SIUE Departments of Political Science, Peace and International Studies, ROTC and the Office of Veterans Coordination. Today is the final day for the 2nd Annual Veterans Tribute, which will feature activities throughout the day in the Morris University Center. Events are open to the public. For more information, visit

As part of the International Speakers Series, which is co-sponsored by the Center for International Programs and the Office of Educational Outreach, “Gays and minorities in the armed forces and the evolving role of women in armed combat” will be presented. The event, featuring Dr. Paul R. Viotti, professor and executive director of the Institute on Globalization and Security (IGLOS) at the University of Denver in Colorado, will take place from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 in the MUC Mississippi-Illinois Room, second floor. It is open to the public.

Visitors to campus must pay to park.  Lots B & C are both easily accessible to this location and cost $1 per hour.  Check out campus maps here: www.siue/edu/maps.

Thursday evening from 7-8 p.m. “A Review of ‘Reminiscences of Early Life in Illinois,’” featuring Christiana Holmes with Anne Werner, an SIUE assistant professor of construction, will take place. Christiana Holmes Tillson traveled with her husband in 1822 to the then new state of Illinois. Almost 50 years later, Christiana wrote a memoir of her travels and early married life for her daughter. Her memoir was published in 1872 as “Reminiscences of Early Life in Illinois, by Our Mother,” and then again in 1919 as “A Woman’s Story of Pioneer Illinois,” by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company of Chicago.  This presentation reviews Christiana’s book and the times she lived in. The event is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Main Street Community Center, 1003 N. Main Street, Edwardsville.

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

SIUE Head Start Parent Wins Regional, State Award and National Mention

5 November 2013, 3:46 pm

Carl Millender with daughter Paulette 2012-2013 Illinois Head Start Parent of the Year Regional Head Start Parent of the Year East St. Louis building C 9-27-13

At one time, 34-year-old Carl Millender Jr.’s life seemed to be bursting at the seams. Millender was engaged with his full-time job, working to complete his master of business administration, committed to the sole care of his 4-year-old daughter and an avid volunteer with the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Head Start/Early Head Start program.

It was the above reasons and more that earned the East St Louis native the honor and distinction of winning awards as the 2012-2013 Regional V Head Start Parent of the Year and the 2012-2013 Illinois Head Start Parent of the Year. Millender’s capture of the regional award allowed him to be considered for the National Head Start Association Parent of the Year Award. Millender was notified Oct. 7 that he won first-runner-up for the National Head Start Association 2014 Parent of the Year Award.

Millender’s youngest of two children, 4-year-old Paulette, was a student at the SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start Lovejoy Center during the 2013-2013 school year.

Some of the accomplishments, activities and roles that Millender achieved and took part in included:

• Volunteering more than 50 hours

• Serving as vice chair of the SIUE Head Start Policy Council

• Being chair of the Lovejoy Head Start Parent Committee

• Being an Illinois Head Start Association Parent Ambassador

“I feel the primary responsibility of children’s education lies with the parent,” Millender said. “That is why I became so involved with Head Start.

“The more I learned, the more I realized the importance of the program and what a great resource it is for children and families. Not to mention, the Head Start staff led by Lynnie Bailey and Ethel Coleman is second-to-none.”

Bailey is the program director and Coleman is the assistant program director SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start.

The mother of the 4-year-old Head Start student was away on active military duty from 2009-2013, and Millender provided the primary support for Paulette.

Two years ago Millender was looking to place his daughter in a pre-kindergarten program when he first learned about the SIUE Head Start/Early Head Start program.

“I didn’t know Head Start provided quality early childhood education,” he said. “I didn’t know that their services included health care, dental and social, and mental services.”

Soon after Paulette was enrolled with Head Start, Millender became an active parent. “I didn’t feel I had an option not to become involved,” he said. “I was buying wipes for the entire class. If the class went on a field trip, I volunteered. The staff here is so motivating and inspiring, I’d put them up against any Head Start/Early Head Start staff in the country.”

Millender works full time at American Steel Foundry in Granite City, where they manufacture rail car undercarriage components. “My employer and supervisor, Mr. Ron Ruble, was very supportive of my volunteer work at my daughter’s school. Mr. Ruble would tell me to keep up the good work, and that he was very proud of me.”

Millender is a model of a great Head Start parent, said Carolyn Jason, program operations coordinator for the Lovejoy Head Start Center. “He exhibits all of the qualities of an excellent Head Start parent as far as becoming immersed into the workings of the program and volunteering at his child’s school,” Jason said. “He also benefited by the program’s encouragement and goal setting for parents to better equip and empower himself.”

Millender, who served 13 years in the U.S. Navy, has his bachelor’s in aeronautics from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Head Start staff encouraged Millender to complete his work on the MBA that he had previously started. In June, Millender received his MBA from the University of Phoenix.

“It’s extremely important that my daughter see the passion I have for education,” Millender said.

He said he recalls the tough times of caring for a very young Paulette, and he’s grateful for the support he received from SIUE Head Start.

“The excellent Head Start program at SIUE makes life so much easier for me to manage,” he said. “I love knowing that my daughter is being well taught and cared for. I also love doing all I can to support Head Start, its children and families.”

Specifically, Millender made note of the hard work of Kay Robertson, Lovejoy Head Start Center coordinator, and Tonica Wright, Lovejoy Head Start Center community representative.

Photo Information:

Carl Millender Jr. with his four-year-old daughter, Paulette. Millender won the 2012-2013 Regional Head Start Parent of the Year and the 2012-2013 Illinois Head Start Parent of the Year. He was also named as first runner-up for the National Head Start Association 2014 Parent of the Year Award.


SBDC Offers Financial Success, Credit Decisions Workshop Tomorrow

5 November 2013, 3:04 pm
Pictured is Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Pictured is Patrick McKeehan, director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Representatives from regional credit counseling organization Justine PETERSEN (JP) will offer an Asset-Building Workshop from 2-3:30 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 6, in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Morris University Center Hickory/Hackberry rooms.

JP will offer advice on achieving financial success and making better credit decisions. Justine PETERSEN is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-certified micro-lender. The event is being hosted by the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at SIUE to support regional entrepreneurship and guide people to improving their credit scores.

“It is the philosophy of Justine PETERSEN that it is never too late or too early to start strengthening and protecting your personal credit rating,” said Patrick McKeehan, SBDC director. “JP has developed a number of proven techniques, programs and one-on-one support systems to assist in achieving your financial goals.

“Your credit rating determines your ability to finance a house or vehicle, and the interest rate you will pay. It plays a major factor in a bank approving or rejecting a business loan request. This is why I encourage you, your fellow students/colleagues, family and friends to consider attending this event.”

The event is being sponsored by JP, the SBDC at SIUE and the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network. Light refreshments will be served.

The event is free and open to the public.

Space is limited, so to reserve your seat email, call 314-533-2411 ext. 132 today. For more information, contact the SBDC at 650-2929.


SIUE $52 Million Science Building Dedicated

4 November 2013, 4:33 pm

SciLab2013Dedication Video

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville christened its $52 million Science Building West this afternoon as SIU President Glenn Poshard and SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe officially cut the ribbon. Joining in the celebration were SIU Board of Trustees Chairman Randal Thomas, SIUE Interim Provost Ann Boyle, and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aldemaro Romero.

The facility incorporates laboratories for faculty and student research initiatives in a state-of-the-art learning environment. It opened for use during the 2013 fall semester.

“The SIUE Science Building Complex project has been worked on at the state level for many, many years by both current and former state legislators, and many others in this community,” Poshard said.  “Our elected officials, University leaders, business and labor leaders, and alums never gave up on this project, because they have long understood and appreciated the prosperity that this University brings to Southwestern Illinois.

“For some time now, the lack of a new science building has been an impediment to the growth of this University and, today, we can say that hurdle has been cleared.”

Three departments, including chemistry, biological sciences and environmental sciences, have moved into Science Lab Building West. Physics, mathematics, statistics and the STEM Center will stay in Science Lab Building East, which is the existing building. The next phase of the project is a $30-million renovation to the existing Science Lab Building East that will begin in early 2014. Both buildings comprise the SIUE Science Building Complex.

“The Science Lab Building West is a wonderful example of SIUE’s commitment to its long-term goals and to the well-being of Southwestern Illinois,” Furst-Bowe said.  “This new construction honors our goal of ‘Innovative High Quality Programs.’ With so many students leaning toward the health sciences, SIUE is even better positioned to make a significant and extremely beneficial impact on the future of health care in this region.”

Solar Array_ScienceBldngThe new building features the newest renewable power source on campus — a 30-kilowatt solar array. The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) provided a $103,000 grant for support to reach the goal of providing a portion of the new building’s electricity via the sun’s rays.

“As an SIUE alum, I am personally very proud of the strides being made on this campus and the commitment of the faculty and staff here to continually improve and expand what we offer,” Thomas said. “It’s important to the citizens of Southern Illinois that we remain at the forefront in our vision for higher education, including the facilities in which students work and learn.”

The ICECF collaborated with the University, the Illinois Capital Development Board, Hastings & Chivetta architects, BRiC Partnership engineers and contractor JF Electric, Inc., to make the $230,000 solar array functional and effective.

With the array’s electrical output displayed on video monitors in the building, there will be a continuing demonstration of renewable solar power’s possibilities and practical application.

Other Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) features include use of non-heat absorbing roofing materials; low water use plumbing fixtures; high efficiency insulating materials; collection and use of recyclable materials; sun shades on the south and west facing windows; high efficiency window glazing; lighting and air conditioning occupancy sensors, and active teaching displays showing building energy use.

SIUE’s Art and Design West building, which is connected to the existing Art and Design East structure, was dedicated in spring 2013, is the University’s first LEED Gold-Certified building on campus.

Acclaimed Poet Kryah Appears at SIUE Bookstore Nov. 7

4 November 2013, 9:02 am

Kryah_Joshua_BWmugAcclaimed poet Joshua Kryah will read from his work Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Bookstore in the Morris University Center. The reading will be followed by a question and answer period, a book signing and a reception.

The newest addition to SIUE’s creative writing faculty, Kryah is the author of two poetry collections. We Are Starved (2011) was published by the University of Colorado Press as part of its New Mountain West Poetry Series. Glean (2007) was selected by Donald Revell for the 2006 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize.

Kryah’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, FIELD, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review and Ploughshares among others. A St. Louis native, he earned a master’s of fine arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was a Schaeffer Fellow.

Kryah is the recipient of a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) fellowship. During 2013, he was the Thornton Writer-in-Residence at Lynchburg College and the Summer-Poet-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

Kryah’s awards include the Michael W. Gearhart Prize from The Southwest Review, selected by Timothy Liu, and the Third Coast Poetry Prize, selected by Carolyn Forché.

Critics and reviewers have called Kryah one of our “finest young voices,” and a poet who “is redefining what it means to write spiritual poetry.”

Writer Alex Lemon has said these “breathtakingly mature poems are fueled by a man’s internal combustion, the tremendous labor it is to live well – to be a father, a lover, a son – in a fallible world.”

For more information, contact Professor Geoff Schmidt at (618) 650-2289.

SIUE Professors and Students Swear-In as U.S. Citizens

1 November 2013, 4:06 pm

Diane Seck, SIUE student

Dr. Yun Lu

Judge Williams, Dr. Cairo, Attorney Wigginton

Two associate professors and two students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville were among 46 people who took part in a United States Naturalization Ceremony on Friday at Central Junior High School in Belleville.

“It’s something to be said about not having all the rights of a citizen,” said Dr. Aminata Cairo, associate professor in Anthropology. “It is an important thing to have the full rights and responsibilities of a citizen.”

Cairo was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to parents who were immigrants from Surinamese in South America. Cairo left Amsterdam after high school and came to the U.S. in 1984 to attend Berea College in Kentucky. Cairo never left the U.S. and earned two masters and a doctorate degree in the states. She came to SIUE in 2009. Cairo and her three sons live in Edwardsville. The youngest, Nasim, automatically became a U.S. citizen at Cairo’s naturalization process and will participate in a separate children’s swearing-in ceremony scheduled for a later time.

Also taking an oath to the U.S. on Friday morning was Dr. Yun Lu, associate professor of Chemistry at SIUE. “I have been working here some years, and I started to love this country, the land and the people. I love teaching here in the U.S.

“I love the students and the love they have for learning. They are also accepting of me and my teaching style,” said Lu, who received one of SIUE’s 2010 Teaching Distinction Awards. Lu and his wife and two sons live in the Metro East area.

SIUE students who pledged their allegiance to America in a gymnasium full of approximately 500 students, family and friends, were Ghado Aljawawdeh, originally from Jordan and Diane Seck, originally from Togo Lome in West Africa. Aljawawdeh is an elementary education graduate student. Seck is working on her bachelor’s in administration. Both women expect to graduate in May 2014.

Achieving educational and life goals can be hard, but it is possible in America, said the keynote speaker, Amany Ragab Hacking, assistant professor and supervisor of the Externship Program at the Saint Louis University School of Law. Hacking, at the age of seven, came to the U.S. in 1979 with her mother, two siblings and one packed bag to join her father in Chicago.

“We are more alike than we are different. That is what America is all about,” Hacking told the crowd in general and the 46 naturalization candidates in particular. “But don’t forget where you came from. Make America part of your life, and make your old life and culture part of America.”

Earlier, U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton greeted the 46 candidates for citizenship, citing that the oldest was a 77-year-old man from Mexico and the youngest was a 19-year-old from India. “We welcome every one of all religions and cultures – Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Islamic. We at the U.S. Justice Department take protecting your civil rights as seriously as everyone else’s.”

“I’m excited about this ceremony,” said Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams of the Southern District of Illinois at the beginning of the ceremonies, “because it tells me that we continue to do something right that immigrants still want to come here. These are challenging times in our country, but we will always have challenging times. You bring something to the table, and our nation will be stronger with you as citizens.”

Photo Information:

Dr. Aminata Cairo, associate professor in Anthropology, after receiving her American certification papers, is congratulated by Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams of the Southern District of Illinois and U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton.

Dr. Yun Lu, associate professor of Chemistry, takes the Naturalization Oath on Friday.

Diane Seck, originally from Togo Lome in West Africa and SIUE graduate student, talks about her desires to become a U.S. citizen.


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