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September 3, 2004

Chingy To Perform Live At SIUE With Opener Nina Sky

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Chingy, popular rapper from St. Louis who has toured the world and who has numerous club hits, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Vadalabene Center. The opening act is Nina Sky, a popular twin-sister singer-songwriter duo.

With recent releases such as Right Thurr and Hit the Club, Chingy has earned high acclaim for his most recent album, Chingy. He broke onto the world music stage in 2002 while touring with St. Louis superstar Nelly. A member of the "Lucacris Disturbing the Peace Family," Chingy credits Nelly for teaching him "everything from how to run meet and greets, operating backstage, and adjusting to life on the road." Chingy is preparing for the release of a new album in November.

Nina Sky-otherwise known as identical twins Natalie and Nicole Albino-is popular for Move Ya' Body, currently ranked No. 1 on the Billboard dance chart. Nina Sky's music has been described as a light R&B sound with a heavy influence of hip hop.

Tickets are now on sale to the SIUE community at the Morris University Center Information Center. Tickets are $22; SIUE students with valid ID, $17. All members of the SIUE community will be able to purchase a maximum of four tickets with their SIUE ID. No phone orders will be accepted.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public for $22 at all MetroTix locations or at beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7. SIUE students must purchase their tickets at the Morris Center Information Center to receive the student ticket price. Doors will open for the event at 7 p.m.

The event is sponsored by SIUE's Campus Activities Board (CAB). For more information, call CAB: (618) 650-3371, or the Kimmel Leadership Center: (618) 650-2686, or, visit the CAB Web site:

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September 7, 2004

Garrison Keillor Appearance For Arts & Issues Sold Out

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Sept. 21 appearance of American humorist Garrison Keillor, part of the 2004-05 Arts & Issues series at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is sold out.

"We are happy with the response to Garrison's appearance and we're sorry not everyone will have the opportunity to experience his unique sense of humor," said John Peecher, coordinator of the Arts & Issues series.

However, Peecher said a limited amount of subscription ticket packages have been reserved for those who would still like to purchase them. Subscriptions for seven events are $115; students $57.50, or seven events plus the added attraction of the Blind Boys of Alabama, $133, students, $66.50.

A 2004-05 season brochure is available by contacting the Arts & Issues office, (618) 650-2626, or by e-mail: Subscriptions or individual tickets also may be purchased on the Web site:

Tickets still are available for the remaining Arts & Issues dates: Marlin Fitzwater and Joe Lockhart (Oct. 13); Windham Hill Winter Solstice Holiday Tour (Nov. 19); Kathy Mattea (Jan. 21, 2005); The Acting Company with its rendition of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (Feb. 27, 2005); Ladysmith Black Mambazo (March 19, 2005); Dallas Brass (April 22, 2005); The Blind Boys of Alabama (Feb. 4, 2005).

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September 8, 2004

SIUE's Enrollment Has Increased For The Tenth Consecutive Year

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's fall enrollment has grown to 13,493 students, an increase of 198 students, or about 1.5 percent higher than fall 2003, according to Todd Burrell, the university's director of Admissions. The figure represents the highest enrollment since 1975.

The enrollment announcement comes on the heels of SIUE's recent ranking of 16th among public universities in the Midwestern Universities-Master's category of U.S. News and World Report magazine's annual university rankings. As part of that U.S. News ranking, SIUE was recognized by university administrators in the category with a peer assessment, or reputation, score that was highest among Illinois public universities.

Much of SIUE's fall 2004 enrollment increase is attributable to student retention at the undergraduate level. The number of continuing undergraduate students is up 278 over last year. New freshmen for fall 2004 number 1,682, down from 1,709 last year. "We could have enrolled more new freshmen if we had more classroom space and additional space in the three residence halls," Burrell said.

"But we feel our current enrollment management strategies allow us to continue providing a quality education for our students."

Not only is enrollment up, but there also was an increase in full-time equivalent (FTE). FTE is based on the number of hours taken by all students. The number is then divided by 12 semester hours, the level at which a student is considered full-time at SIUE. The university's FTE jumped from 9,556 in fall 2000 to 10,778 this semester, an 11-percent increase. Burrell said growing FTE levels have prompted discussion regarding stabilizing enrollment growth and also raising admission standards.

"Over the last several years, there has been a great deal of discussion on campus regarding enrollment and admission standards, prompting a change in

admissions standards," he said. "The higher FTE is a positive reflection of that change and puts SIUE at an optimum level in the size of our classes, the available classrooms, faculty load, and our ability to provide personal service for our students."

Burrell attributed the increases to a continued awareness of SIUE as an affordable institution that provides a quality education.

The U.S. News rankings, published in August, are based on several key measures of quality that are used to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college. These measures fall into seven broad categories: peer assessment; graduation and retention rate; faculty resources (for example, class size); student selectivity (for example, average admission test scores of incoming students); financial resources; alumni giving; and, only for national universities and liberal arts colleges, graduation rate performance.

"We are excited about the continued growing interest and reputation at SIUE," said Boyd Bradshaw, SIUE's vice chancellor for Enrollment Management. "More and more students and parents view SIUE as a first choice institution due to our course offerings, first rate residence halls and the engagement of students inside and outside the classroom," Bradshaw said.

Overall, in the Midwest Master's category, SIUE was ranked 58 out of 142 institutions, a list that includes private and public universities.

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September 10, 2004

SIUE Jazz Supper Gala Set For Oct. 3 To Feature Big Band Music

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) With its theme of "Make Believe Ballroom Time," the 16th Annual Jazz Supper Gala, featuring a live old-time radio broadcast, will offer an evening of fun, food, and music from 6-10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Reservation deadline is Sept. 24.

Proceeds benefit the SIUE Friends of Music scholarship fund that provides scholarships to talented music students. Half of the ticket price is a gift to the Friends organization and may be considered a tax deductible contribution. The Friends organization is a support group for the SIUE Department of Music.

Set in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of SIUE's Morris University Center, the Jazz Supper Gala offers a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing to the big band sounds of SIUE's Concert Jazz Band, under the direction of SIUE Professor Brett Stamps, director of the Jazz Studies Program for the university.

Vocalist Tom Heitman, guitarist Rick Haydon, also a professor of music at SIUE, and pianist Reggie Thomas, an associate professor of Music, will be featured artists. The evening's "special honoree" will be jazz vocalist Mardra Thomas.

The event also includes a live "Old Time Radio Broadcast," featuring on-air interviews hosted by WSIE-FM (88.7) jazz personality Ross Gentile, who will invite audience participation.

Tickets for the Jazz Supper are $50 per person; a table of eight may be reserved for $350. A Blue Note sponsorship entitles a table of eight to preferred seating and recognition in the evening's printed program.

The Friends of Music is a support organization for the Department of Music. For reservations or more information, call Martee Lucas in the department, (618) 650-3799, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 3799.

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September 10, 2004

SIUE Early Childhood Center Receives Grant For Family Services

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Early Childhood Center (ECC), which has served the university community's childcare and Pre-kindergarten education needs since 1969, has been awarded a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education to offer expanded family services in collaboration with Edwardsville Community School District No. 7.

The $58,776 grant will help expand high-quality early childhood educational experiences and provide an added family component in conjunction with the Pre-K program (FACES) in the district. The grant is part of the Early Childhood Block Grant Early Learning Partners program, said ECC Director Rebecca Dabbs-Kayser.

"This grant is aimed primarily at SIUE student families with Pre-K children," Dabbs-Kayser said. She said the ECC is staffed with certified Pre-K teachers, but this grant will help expand services to families. "We'll be offering parenting education, such as parent workshops about child development and school readiness, for example, as well as family events in conjunction with the Edwardsville district and the SIUE Family Resource Center," she said.

"Through the grant, children will be screened for hearing and vision, kindergarten readiness skills, speech and language, and fine and gross motor skills. The screenings will help to identify if a child need additional developmental services which will be provided through the collaboration.

"The ECC has been providing quality Pre-K education for more than 35 years, but now we'll be collaborating with District 7," she said, "and, we are looking forward to working together to provide more services for our families."

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September 22, 2004

Gov. Howard Dean, Pundit Tony Blankley To Appear Oct. 13 At SIUE

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) On the eve of the presidential election, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean and well-known conservative political pundit Tony Blankley will offer lively debate as part of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Arts & Issues series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of SIUE's Morris University Center.

Dean and Blankley replace Marlin Fitzwater and Joe Lockhart on the Arts & Issues 2004-05 bill because of scheduling conflicts.

Arts & Issues, which began in 1985 at SIUE, has a long-standing tradition of bringing world-class performers and noted speakers to Southwestern Illinois. "For two decades the Arts & Issues series has been the benchmark of quality entertainment and distinguished speakers for Southwestern Illinois audiences," said John Peecher, coordinator of the series. "Howard Dean and Tony Blankley have a great deal of political savvy and will have much to say about the upcoming presidential election," he said.

"Both Dean and Blankley continue our tradition of bringing provocative speakers to the Arts & Issues podium."

Appearing on the covers of Time and Newsweek, all eyes were on Howard Dean earlier this year as he mounted an influential campaign as a candidate for the 2004 Democratic nomination for President.

Dean, a medical doctor, has previously shared a private practice with his wife, Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean, in Vermont. He earned a bachelor's at Yale and received a medical degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Dean was a member of the Vermont General Assembly from 1983-85 and was elected lieutenant governor of the state in 1986, gaining re-election in 1988 and 1990. He became governor upon the death of Gov. Richard A. Snelling in August 1991 and was elected to a full term in November 1992, gaining re-election in 1994, 1996, 1998, and in 2000.

Blankley served for seven years as press secretary for then-U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. In that role, Blankley became the leading spokesman for the "Contract with America." Before his career on Capitol Hill, Blankley had served as a speechwriter and senior analyst for President Ronald Reagan.

After leaving Gingrich's staff in February 1997, Blankley joined George magazine as a contributing editor. He currently is a regular panelist for the McLaughlin Group and he also appears regularly on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, as well as CNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Rivera Live, The News with Brian Williams, and MSNBC. In June 1999, Blankley joined the Washington Times as a weekly political columnist; he also is a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Tickets for the Oct. 13 Arts & Issues event are $12; students, $6. A season brochure is available by contacting John Peecher, (618) 650-2626, or by e-mail: Individual tickets also may be purchased at the Web site:

The remaining Arts & Issues season includes: Windham Hill Winter Solstice Holiday Tour (Nov. 19) is SOLD OUT; Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea (Jan. 21, 2005); The Acting Company with its rendition of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (Feb. 27, 2005); the powerful a cappella singing of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (March 19, 2005); the exciting sounds of the Dallas Brass (April 22, 2005); the special appearance of the "funkified" gospel music of The Blind Boys of Alabama (Feb. 4, 2005) is SOLD OUT.

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September 22, 2004

SIUE Friends Of Religious Center Awards Dinner Set For Oct. 2

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) A Caseyville pastor and a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville faculty member will be honored Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Second Annual Interfaith Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Friends of the Religious Center (FRC) at SIUE.

The event is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at the SIUE Religious Center, the geodesic dome just east of the SIUE Art and Design Building. The Rev. Douglas Cripe, coordinator of the Metro-East Interfaith Partnership, and Assistant Historical Studies Professor Rowena McClinton, who is dedicated to preserving the history of the Cherokee Nation, will receive the Friends of the Religious Center 2004 Interfaith Leadership Award.

Reservation deadline is Sept. 30; tickets are $25 per person, which includes dinner and free parking.

The FRC established the awards to recognize religious leadership and interfaith cooperation in the region. "Rev. Cripe has shown great dedication to his faith and has encouraged dialogue in the region among many faiths," said SIUE Associate Philosophy Professor Greg Fields, who is president of the FRC board and coordinator of the SIUE Religious Studies Program. "Dr. McClinton's work on Cherokee history is a great contribution to the Cherokee people, and also is a resource for all Americans who wish to gain a fuller understanding of historical encounters between native spiritual traditions and Christianity," he said.

"The FRC is honoring these two recipients so that the community at large can learn about the good work they do."

Fields said the FRC, formed more than three years ago, sponsors two main events each year to raise money to refurbish parts of the 33-year-old Religious Center that is need of repair. "We offer this Interfaith Awards Dinner in the fall and also the Celebration of World Faiths in the spring to encourage interfaith dialogue.

"The FRC is a support group dedicated to preserving the SIUE Religious Center as a significant contribution to architecture," Fields said, "as a place for the spiritual growth of SIUE students as the next generation of leaders, and for religious learning and fellowship within the community."

Cripe, pastor of the Crossroads Christian Church in Caseyville, is coordinator of the Metro-East Interfaith Partnership. The organization is dedicated to promoting peace, respect, and understanding among people of all faiths in the Metro-East area, while providing a timely public voice on issues of common concern. Cripe also serves on the boards of the Area Agency for Aging of Southwestern Illinois and the Beacon of Belleville, an interdenominational organization for helping those in need. In addition, he also is president of the Belleville Area Clergy Association.

In addition to scholarly research regarding the Cherokee culture, McClinton served this past year on the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee at SIUE and was instrumental in bringing Native American speakers to campus to discuss Indian sovereignty. She is very active as a member of the board for the Illinois chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, serving as historian and archivist for the group. The chapter is currently mapping the historic trail in Illinois for future interpretive center sites. McClinton also is one of two representatives from Illinois on the National Trail of Tears Association.

Dinner reservations may be made through the SIUE Religious Center, (618) 650-3246, or, toll-free from St. Louis, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 3246, or, by calling Greg Fields, (618) 650-2461; St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2461.

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September 23, 2004

SIUE School Of Nursing Scholarship Walk Raises Nearly $4,000

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Seventy-five walkers raised nearly $4,000 for the first Scholarship Walk sponsored recently by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing.

Nursing Development Director Bob McElligott said more than $3,800 raised by the volunteer walkers will be used for scholarship funds for pre-clinical, clinical, and graduate nursing students at SIUE. "Through scholarship support," McElligott said, "students will be able to focus more of their energy on nursing education, rather than holding down a job while attending school."

McElligott said more than 100 T-shirts were distributed to nursing students, faculty, staff, and those who raised donations.

In addition to fund-raising, the walk also was designed to increase public awareness of the nursing shortage, and what the SIUE School of Nursing is doing to address the problem. Graduates of the school's basic program earn a four-year BSN degree that develops and supports critical thinking skills, clinical decision-making abilities, and nursing values and ethics.

Two major sponsors of the Scholarship Walk were Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, McElligott pointed out. "The publicized goal was to raise at least $10,000 in scholarships for nursing students," he said. "Even though we did not reach this goal, we will continue to seek donations to help our students become the nurses that current and future patients depend on for personal health care.

"We set the goal high because that is the need and opportunity. We are grateful for the work and generosity that the donation recognizes."

During the past five years, the SIUE School of Nursing has graduated 681 baccalaureate-level (BSN) nurses and 231 master's and advanced-practice (e.g., Nurse Practitioners) nurses. Most SIUE graduates tend to come from-and return to work in-Southern Illinois and in the St. Louis region.

SIUE graduates also are teaching at SIUE and in other nursing schools around the country. Nearly 4,000 nursing students have graduated during the school's 39-year existence.

McElligott said enrollment at the School is up significantly. "From fall 2003 to fall 2004, undergraduate nursing enrollment of sophomores, juniors, and seniors increased from 191 to 262; up 37 percent," he said.

"The RN to BSN program grew from 54 to 64; up 19 percent. Graduate nurse enrollment increased from 140 to 214; up 53 percent."

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September 30, 2004

Editors: Photos are available:

Noises Off To Open Oct. 13 At SIUE Mainstage

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) Unlike some plays that have deep intellectual levels of meaning upon meaning, the upcoming production of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Noises Off has none.

It's just plain fun and that may be why audiences have been roaring for nearly 20 years at Michael Frayn's jaunt through the foibles and mistakes of a traveling theater troupe.

The comedy, which is directed by Johanna Schmitz, an assistant professor of Theater and Dance at the university, runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 13-16, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, all in the Katherine Dunham Hall theater. The three-act comedy is of the play-within-a-play genre but that's about the only thing to be said about it in an intellectual manner. "This play has no intellectual pretense whatsoever," says Schmitz,

The SIUE production of Noises Off, based on a revised script published by Frayn in 2000, chronicles a hapless theater troupe performing the fictional British door-slamming sex farce "Nothing On": first at final dress rehearsal; then behind-the-scenes at a matinee on tour a month later; and finally, seven weeks after that, another matinee.

Practically everything that can go wrong does. The conflict comes as we find most of the characters, including the director and the stage manager, involved in romantic trysts, which set up a destructive dynamic fueled by jealousy and ego.

The result is something beyond slapstick. "It is just the funniest play I've ever seen," Schmitz said.

To work, the actors must perform choreographed movement with precision, and Schmitz and her cast have been working diligently on that aspect. "We had to mount the basic set much earlier than we would any other play because we needed to begin work immediately on the timing of the action.

"In this play, when one door opens, another door literally must slam shut immediately after. It's all about the timing."

Schmitz said directing Noises Off is a complete 180-degree turn from her last effort at SIUE-directing Oedipus the King last spring. "It's a joy and a new challenge for me to direct this very demanding farce," Schmitz said. "The comedy in Noises Off comes from the funny situations and the play's increased momentum as it continues to move faster and faster, becoming more complicated."

The play also gives students a chance to hone their comedic skills. "Not only does the play give them a chance to show off their training, but they also get to be in a cast that includes two of our faculty members," she said. Associate Professor Peter Cocuzza will be playing the part of Selsdon Mowbray, the elderly has-been Shakespearean, while Assistant Professor Chuck Harper will portray the role of the director, Lloyd Dallas.

"Peter has been teaching a comedy technique class and he wanted to try his hand at this comic part," Schmitz said, adding that both faculty members will lend some "maturity" to the characters they play. There's a lot of exaggeration and repetition, which also makes it very funny," Schmitz said. "And, there are a lot of cheated expectations-you think one thing is going to happen and then something else happens instead."

Tickets are $10; senior citizens, students, and SIUE faculty and staff, $6. SIUE students are free with a valid university ID. For tickets, call the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774, or, from St. Louis toll-free, (888) 328-5168, Ext. 2774.

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September 30, 2004

Finalists Announced For Mississippi Valley Family Business Awards

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business, celebrating its 10th anniversary of presenting the annual Mississippi Valley Family Business of the Year Awards, has announced the finalists for the 2004 competition.

The prestigious, regional awards recognize outstanding family businesses in Missouri and Illinois and are given in three categories: large (250 or more employees), medium (50 to 250 employees), and small (fewer than 50 employees).

The 2004 Illinois Small Category finalists are: Freer Auto Body & Accessories and White's Greenhouse Inc., both located in Godfrey, and SUNCON Inc. in Alton. The Illinois Medium Category finalists are: Fischer Lumber Company in East Alton, and Korte & Luitjohan Contractors in Highland. The Illinois Large Category finalist is Luhr Bros. Inc. in Columbia.

The Missouri Small Category finalists are Nikco Sports Memorabilia in Chesterfield, Mo.; Branneky Hardware in Bridgeton, Mo.; and Lackey Sheet Metal in St. Louis. The Medium Category finalists in Missouri are: Da-Com Corporation in St. Louis; Salon De Christe in St. Peters, Mo.; and Commercial Letter Inc. in St. Louis. The Missouri Large Category finalist is The Western Group in St. Louis.

The Family Business of the Year Award is presented to companies with a strong commitment to both business and family. In addition to business success, those recognized demonstrate positive family business values, have multigenerational family business involvement, use innovative business strategies, and make personal contributions to their industries and communities.

Winners in each category will be announced at the 10th Anniversary Dinner on Friday, Nov. 5, at the SIUE campus. Tickets may be purchased for $125 per person, which includes a reception with the finalists and sponsors, dinner, and the awards presentation. For more information, contact Cheryl Camp by phone: (618) 650-2317, or, by e-mail:

Sponsors supporting this year's awards program include: Colarelli Meyer & Associates, Lexow Financial Group, MassMutual Financial Group, Moto Inc., Partners Bank, Polsinelli Shalton Welte Suelthaus PC, Sheppard, Morgan & Schwaab Inc., the St. Louis Business Journal, and TheBANK of Edwardsville.

The SIUE School of Business is among the leading institutions in the region that prepares students and business professionals by creating high quality innovative programs to serve Illinois and the St. Louis metropolitan area.

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September 30, 2004

Editors: Photo available at

SIUE School Of Nursing Holds First 'Dedication' Ceremony

(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing conducted its first Dedication to the Profession Ceremony recently at SIUE's Morris University Center. Thirty-five students recently admitted to the School participated, with 120 family members and faculty also attending.

The ceremony is a milestone marking the students' entrance into clinical practice, and their first steps in answering a pledge to deliver excellent patient care.

During the program, the students and family members were welcomed and congratulated by SIUE Provost and Vice Chancellor, Sharon K. Hahs, Dean Marcia Maurer, and other Nursing .

An Alumni Award was presented to Michele Brown, associate director of Patient Care Services for St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis, for recent accomplishments in helping coordinate the development of a new master's program at SIUE, the Clinical Nurse Leader.

The SIUE School of Nursing is increasing public awareness of the nationwide nursing shortage, and what the SIUE School of Nursing is doing to address the problem. Graduates of the school's basic program earn a four-year BSN degree that develops and supports critical thinking skills, clinical decision-making abilities, and nursing values and ethics.

For more information about supporting the School of Nursing, contact McElligott, (618) 650-3906, or by e-mail: Information about the SIUE School of Nursing also may be found on the Web:

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