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September 2013

Erin Bode Concert Highlights 2013 SIUE Alumni Weekend

30 September 2013, 4:43 pm

Erica_Ellis_homecomingSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville is celebrating 2013 Alumni Weekend and Homecoming with a week-long series of events targeting current students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members. This year’s events begin today, running through Sunday, Oct. 6 on the SIUE campus.

Erin Bode is the headliner for the week as the St. Louis singer will appear at The Gardens at SIUE on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 7-9 p.m. Bode’s band creates music forged from the Americana of its members’ Midwestern roots. Sophisticated arrangements and attention to phrasing, both vocal and instrumental, distinguish the band’s sound.

This year’s theme is “Lights, Camera, Cougars!” The schedule of events will include: a comedy show featuring Arvin Mitchell; a golf cart parade; a recliner race; celebrity bingo; a Homecoming dance; Cougar karaoke; and a bonfire in the Woodland Bowl. All the events are open to current students and free to attend.

The Alumni Association sponsors alumni events throughout the week. The sixth annual SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Morris University Center (MUC) Conference Center. During the event, six honorees will be inducted into the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.

The 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off will take place at 6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 5, at Korte Stadium prior to the men’s soccer match against Central Arkansas. The annual Homecoming King and Queen crowning will occur during halftime of the match.

SIUE Intercollegiate Athletics will host an exciting schedule of games during Homecoming. The women’s soccer team will host two Ohio Valley Conference matches at Korte Stadium facing Eastern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and Morehead State at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. The men’s and women’s cross country teams host the John Flamer Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, on the SIUE course. The women’s volleyball team entertains Belmont that afternoon at 2 p.m. For ticket information to all intercollegiate sporting events, visit

More information on the 2013 SIUE Alumni Weekend and Homecoming and a complete schedule of events can be found at For questions, contact Theresa Schmidt in SIUE Alumni Affairs at 618-650-2760.

Photo:  SIUE student Erica Ellis takes part in Alumni Weekend and Homecoming activities.

Grad Teaching Assistant Honored as Top Community Leader Under 40

30 September 2013, 4:00 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Graduate Teaching Assistant Michael Williamson was honored last week as a “Top Community Leader Under 40” during a banquet sponsored by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce and the Effingham Daily News.

The event was held at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham, which is a little over an hour and a half east of the St. Louis area. The award reception was held to celebrate individuals who have set a great example of community leadership.

2013 Research Center Directors’ Reception Educates Students, Faculty

30 September 2013, 2:28 pm
Dr. Ernest Kwakv Kraka and his wife, Dzifa Kugbega speak with Dr. Sabrina Trupia of the NCERC at SIUE: Advancing Biofuels Research during last week's research centers fair.

Dr. Ernest Kwaku Kraka and his wife, Dzifa Kugbega speak with Dr. Sabrina Trupia of the NCERC at SIUE: Advancing Biofuels Research during last week’s research centers fair. The couple is from Ghana.

Faculty members, students and members of the community attended this year’s research center directors’ reception last week in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Morris University Center to find out about available resources and interdisciplinary opportunities.

The reception opened with presentations from four of SIUE’s research centers, including the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC); the Institute for Urban Research (IUR); the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach at SIUE (STEM Center), and the NCERC at SIUE: Advancing Biofuels Research.

The IERC, established in 2000, provides Illinois with education research to support P-20 education policy making and program development. The center takes part in independent research and policy analysis in collaboration with other researchers. The IERC uses information it gathers at the state level to provide citizens with a seamless system of educational opportunities and to inform policy-makers. More information is available at

The IUR, which was founded in 2001 by a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, is a community resource that brings together top SIUE experts to explore ways to solve the issues that affect life in urban and metropolitan areas. Business, government and community leaders rely on the IUR’s expertise in urban issues, data analysis and project management to implement applied research projects that benefit the entire region. For more information, visit

The STEM Center is dedicated to building a community of researchers and educators who, together, innovate ways to engage students and the public in STEM. Partnerships exist through collaborative grant projects, working with faculty fellows and providing faculty service, as well as engaging in service learning projects for students. More information is available at

The NCERC at SIUE facilitates the commercialization of new technologies for producing biofuels more effectively. It utilizes interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and industrial collaborations to conduct research. It also develops and provides hands-on training to prepare students for the biofuels workforce. For more information, visit

Each of the presenters brought examples of how their center has touched the lives of students, faculty members and the surrounding community. Students and faculty members provided in-person and audio testimony about the value of their experiences.

Some students referenced the ability to “apply an academic background and get real world experience” as solid reasons to recommend collaborating with the research centers. Others talked about how they enhanced their presentation and interpersonal communication skills.

The Gardens at SIUE Director Jane Drake was on hand to answer questions about how that Center is providing a growing number of opportunities.

“The Gardens is a great cross-curricular resource for campus,” Drake said. “Most of our research and internship opportunities involve that place where plants, people and the environment come together.”

Currently, Drake works with students through sustainable-focused courses in historical studies, engineering, instructional science, biological sciences and English language and literature, as well as freshman seminar.

The Gardens is a 35-acre property that includes a variety of natural areas, gardens and sculpture in a landscaped setting. It has been recognized by the Missouri Botanical Garden as a Signature Garden. For more information about The Gardens visit

Visitors stopped by center booths to review posters, pick up branded items such as pens, calculators and more, and ask questions of university faculty and staff members.

Dzifa Kugbega, an international student from the Republic of Ghana in the master of public administration and policy analysis program, attended the event with her husband, Ernest Kwaku Kraka and the couple’s six-month old daughter. She said she was interested in the opportunities available through the IUR.

“This program today has been helpful in teaching us about options,” Kugbega said.

Kraka, also a native of Ghana, stopped by the NCERC at SIUE booth. Kraka holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in agricultural science.

“I talked to these folks about biofuels and I intend to send them my electronic CV,” he said. “I’m looking for an agricultural job and this is a great resource.”

The event also included the Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship (IRIS) Center, founded by Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt and Dr. Jessica Despain, associate and assistant professors of English language and literature, respectively. The purpose of the Center is to explore the possibilities of digital research within the humanities and social sciences. Its website, which currently is undergoing updates, is For more information, visit the Center’s blog site at or call (618) 650-2667.

Information about the Cuban and Caribbean Center also was available at the event. The Center’s objective is to create a more diverse and inclusive academic and cultural experience with Cuba and the Caribbean through curriculum development and academic collaboration. More information is available at its website,

Additionally, the Laboratory for Applied Spatial Analysis (LASA) was represented at the fair. Undergraduate and graduate students work with LASA each semester, conducting site and field work for satellite mapping, and researching. Students gain real-world experience by working on projects with agencies, such as the Abandoned Mines Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the USDA Soil Conservation Service, local and county governments and school districts, and more.

LASA’s interdisciplinary nature creates the opportunity for cross-collaboration with the schools of Engineering and Nursing, the departments of Anthropology, Biological Sciences, English Language and Literature and others. Professor of Geography Randall Pearson, LASA’s director, is available to answer questions about the Laboratory and direct individuals to resources. He can be reached at (618) 650-5735.

Flyers were on tables at the reception announcing the upcoming 2013 Graduate School Fair at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. There will be two chances to meet with faculty and staff members to discuss options for graduate studies. Times have been set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 in the Morris University Center Goshen Lounge. Representatives from more than 40 graduate programs will be on hand to answer questions and talk about areas of study, flexible options, graduate assistantships, the track to graduation and much more.

Free parking will be available in Lot B, which is next to the Morris University Center. To register, visit the graduate fair registration page through the SIUE Office of Admissions. For more information, call (618) 650-2741 or email Learn more at

SIUE Welcomes Turkish Educators to Campus

27 September 2013, 1:18 pm

Listen to video here.

Two officials from Mehmet Akif Ersoy University in Turkey are visiting the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.

Dr. Mustafa Saatci, rector; and Dr. Mehmet Ozcan, assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, arrived in Edwardsville on Wednesday.

“The main objective was for them to learn about the American educational system,” said SIUE School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim. “They are on an exploration trip. Before they leave, we will sign a letter of intent that says we will work together to explore potential areas of cooperation.”

Sevim, the Turkish-born dean, said he first met Ozcan a year ago at an international conference in India.

“The purpose of the conference, sponsored by the Indus Foundation, was to bring representatives from educational institutions all over the world to meet with Indian delegates to promote global collaborations,” Sevim said.

While at the international conference, Ozcan also met with representatives from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, who invited them to visit their campus. When Saatci and Ozcan learned of the date that they would visit Northern Arizona, they made arrangements to also meet with their new Turkish friend and SIUE officials.

Saatci and Ozcan visited Arizona on Monday and Tuesday. They arrived at SIUE on Wednesday evening. The pair will leave campus on Friday evening.

On Thursday, the guests met with various SIUE administrators including: Dr. Julie Furst-Bowe, chancellor; Dr. Ann Boyle, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dr. Susan Thomas, associate provost for academic affairs; Dr. Bette Bergeron, School of Education dean; Dr. Chris Gordon, School of Engineering associate dean; and Dr. Ayse Evrensel, chair of the Department of Economics and Finance.

On Friday, the pair is slated for several activities, including appointments with Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Narbeth Emmanuel, Center for International Programs Director Ron Schaefer, School of Engineering Associate Dean Cem Karacal, Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Oktay Alkin and Dr. Seran Aktuna, professor of English Language and Literature.

Mehmet Akif Ersoy University is a four-year school, established in 2006 in Burdur, a southwestern city in Turkey. The university is named after the famous Turkish philosopher, member of parliament and poet who lived from 1873-1936. Ersoy was also the author of Turkey’s national anthem.

The university, which has approximately 12,000 students, offers a wide range of disciplines, including education, business and engineering. The school is best known for its veterinary and nursing schools, according to Sevim.

In part, the University’s mission is: “. . . to integrate global values with the national values and find solution to the problems of the region, country, and the world, and thereby present the output which benefits the society as a whole.”

Mehmet University officials have taken note of SIUE’s mission, vision and values, Sevim said. Their school’s vision in part is: “. . . to be a university that believes in science, prefers creativity, originality of thought, and believes that different opinions and thoughts can be expressed in peace and tolerance. . .”

“If we agree on the cooperation, Sevim said, “we may end up helping them with their new programs and to improve their existing program offerings. They may send some of their faculty members and doctoral students to be with us.

“Also, currently they are a commuter campus, but would like to transform it to a residential campus. They have just begun plans to build residence halls. We will show them our university housing and fitness center before they before they leave.”

For more information, visit Mehmet Akif Ersoy University,

Photo Information:

A two-man Turkish delegation from Mehmet Akif Ersoy University visited SIUE’s campus from Wednesday through Friday. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Hasan Sevim, SIUE School of Engineering dean; Dr. Ann Boyle, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Mehmet Ozcan, assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University; Dr. Julie Furst-Bowe, SIUE chancellor; Dr. Mustafa Saatci, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University rector; Dr. Susan Thomas, associate provost for academic affairs; and Dr. Cem Karacal, school of engineering associate dean.

SIUE Chancellor greets Mehmet Ozcan, assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University as Dr. Mustafa Saatci, rector, looks on and SIUE School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim makes introductions.


Alzheimer’s Walk is Latest Way an Instructor Plans to Raise Awareness

27 September 2013, 12:11 pm

It’s been only a little more than a month since Stacey Howard, instructor of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville lost her father to Alzheimer’s disease. She and her family members plan to honor the family patriarch at the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Sept. 28 starting at the trails near Parking Lot A on the SIUE campus. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m.

As a tribute to her father and her family, Howard kept an account of what was going on during the family’s journey with this illness through her personal blog posts. She recounted how it brought her parents to move back to their hometown, and her siblings to live in Illinois and Iowa to be closer to each other and their parents. She reflected on cherished memories she has held on to through the years—memories that her father no longer remembered.

According to Howard’s blog post, her father loved animals and children, and couldn’t wait to be a grandfather. Recalling one memory, she shared, “When Jim (her husband) and I were stationed in Germany, dad called just to let me know that he had bought a high chair at an auction. He let me know that he would just keep a doll in it until he could get the ‘real thing.’ I will never forget calling him later to tell him, ‘It’s time to take the doll out of the high chair!’ Mom said she thought the whole town knew in a matter of minutes that he was going to be a grandpa … and what a grandpa he was!”

Howard said the blog was a way for her to inspire others to “find the joy in Alzheimer’s,” and a way to increase awareness. She has used the blog to garner donations for the walk to put an end to the disease. She hopes her stories will motivate others to attend and take part in Saturday’s event, as well as encourage individuals to donate time, money and any resources they can to the effort.

More information about Saturday’s event and how to donate is available on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s site.

Nobel Prize Winner John Mather Informs and Entertains at Shaw Lecture

27 September 2013, 10:06 am

Dr. John C. Mather arts and issues Shaw Memorial Fund 9-26-13Presentation Video
NASA senior astrophysicist Dr. John C. Mather entertained a capacity crowd at the annual William C. Shaw Lecture Thursday, Sept. 26, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Morris University Center.

SIUE’s Physics Department kicked off the 2013 Arts & Issues season in the Meridian Ballroom by presenting one of the world’s most prominent astrophysicists. Mather works out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and specializes in infrared astronomy and cosmology. He was a co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics.

Mather’s dry humor, historical perspective and hints of what the future will bring were on display as he discussed a variety of topics including NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, the Hubble Space Telescope, the lifespan of stars and the Big Bang theory.

The COBE measured the spectrum (color) of the heat radiation from the Big Bang, discovered hot and cold spots in that radiation, and hunted for the first objects that formed after the great explosion. He and co-researcher George Smoot were awarded the Nobel Prize for this work.

Mather currently serves as senior project scientist for the development of the James Webb Space Telescope. This new telescope will look even farther back in time than Hubble, and will peer inside the dusty cocoons where stars and planets are being born today.

The William C. Shaw Lecture is presented by SIUE’s Department of Physics. It features outstanding scientists who speak on primarily astronomy-based topics. The series commemorates the teaching career of Professor William Shaw, who taught at SIUE between 1959 and 1973 and passed away in 1977.

SIUE’s Schmoll Named Dir. of University Police

26 September 2013, 3:33 pm
SIUE Director of University Police Kevin Schmoll.

SIUE Director of University Police Kevin Schmoll.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher announced today that Kevin Schmoll will be the new director of university police. Currently serving as a lieutenant on the force, Schmoll will assume his new duties Oct. 1.

“I want to thank Vice Chancellor Neher, search committee chair Paul Fuligni and the entire committee for this opportunity,” said Schmoll, who was selected from a national pool of more than 80 candidates. “Continuity is an important factor in continuing the high level of service that the department currently provides, and our goal will be to keep the department moving forward.”

A Red Bud native, Schmoll joined the SIUE department in 1994. He quickly moved through the ranks from patrolman to a detective for investigations to sergeant. He was promoted to his current position as lieutenant in charge of the SIUE patrol division in January 2005. He also serves as the department’s public information officer and is the operations section chief for the emergency operations team.

He began his law enforcement career as a security officer in private business. He joined the St. Louis Major Case Squad as an investigator in May 2000 and served that elite unit for 12 years.

Schmoll chairs the Board of Police Commissioners in Columbia where he currently resides. He has been a member of the Metropolitan Campus Investigators Association (MCIA) for five years, MCIA vice president for two years and directed activities for the Police Benevolent Association for 15 years.

Schmoll earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice from McKendree College in 1993. He succeeds Regina Hays.

2013 Research Centers Reception Promotes Awareness of Opportunities

26 September 2013, 1:29 pm
Isam Alyaseri, a PhD student in the SIUE School of Engineering, visits the STEM Center table and speaks with Colin Wilson, research center manager during the 2013 SIUE Research Centers reception.

Isam Alyaseri, a PhD student in the SIUE School of Engineering, visits the STEM Center table and speaks with Colin Wilson, research center manager during the 2013 SIUE Research Centers reception.

Faculty members, students and members of the community attended this year’s research center directors’ reception in the SIUE Morris University Center to find out about available resources and interdisciplinary opportunities.

The reception opened with presentations from four of SIUE’s research centers, including the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC); the Institute for Urban Research (IUR); the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach at SIUE (STEM Center), the NCERC at SIUE: Advancing Biofuels Research.

Other center’s represented during the event included The Gardens at SIUE, the Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship Center, the Cuban and Caribbean Center, and the Laboratory for Applied Spatial Analysis.

2013 SIUE Graduate School Fair Open for Career-Minded

26 September 2013, 11:13 am

Individuals considering a change in careers or career advancement are encouraged to attend the 2013 Graduate School Fair at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

There will be two chances to meet with faculty and staff members to discuss options for graduate studies. Times have been set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 in the Morris University Center Goshen Lounge. Representatives from more than 40 graduate programs will be on hand to answer questions and talk about areas of study, flexible options, graduate assistantships, the track to graduation and much more.

“Whether you are a full-time student coming back for your master’s degree or a working student who needs to go part-time, we have options for you,” said Graduate School Dean and Associate Provost for Research Jerry Weinberg. “We have online programs, evening courses and weekend courses, as well as traditional courses.”

Weinberg noted the University increased its grant funding by 79 percent from last year, and offers more than 500 graduate assistantships that include tuition waivers. Each assistantship provides the chance for students to conduct research or gain practical work experience. SIUE also awards competitive graduate awards.

“Through mentorship opportunities, as well as research and classroom experiences, our graduate students collaborate with outstanding nationally and internationally recognized faculty members to gain real-world perspective that is applicable in today’s highly competitive job market,” Weinberg said. “Through scholarship and practice, SIUE graduates make their mark on the world as competent leaders, good global citizens and skilled practitioners.”

Those interested in learning more about the research and faculty can visit

This month, U.S.News & World Report ranked SIUE among the best Regional Universities Midwest for the 10th consecutive year and among the top 10 public universities in that category. The listing is in the magazine’s “Best Colleges of 2014” issue.

The latest U.S. News rankings come just after recognition by Washington Monthly in August that ranks SIUE among the top 60 master’s universities in the nation. In March, SIUE also was named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which is a list of colleges and universities demonstrating a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

“SIUE is an active research community where faculty members attain funded grants from major agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the National Endowment for Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and many other prestigious agencies,” Weinberg said.

SIUE offers a variety of graduate programs in a wide array of areas. All programs are accredited.

As an incentive for prospective students, the graduate school application fee is being waived during the fair.

Free parking will be available in Lot B, which is next to the Morris University Center. To register, visit the graduate fair registration page through the SIUE Office of Admissions. For more information, call (618) 650-2741 or email Learn more at

Two-Time SIUE Grad Writes Story of Her Personal Journey

26 September 2013, 11:01 am

From her apartment in Dallas, Texas, Sarah Peebles recounts the events that led her to write her first book—a book she never intended to create or publish.

The young woman, who earned a bachelor’s in business administration and a master’s in public administration and policy analysis from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, surmounted multiple, difficult obstacles to get to where she is today. She discusses those challenges, as well as the driving force that pushed her forward and made her the person she is today—strong, educated, focused, resourceful and a published author.

“When I started college at SIUE, I had a poor vocabulary and I was behind in my comprehension level,” she said. “I had a very rough, hard upbringing. By the time I entered college, I knew I had a lot of work to do to catch up to where I needed to be.”

She was a product of the Ferguson/Florissant and St. Louis School Districts. She was fortunate to connect with some teachers who encouraged her growth and development. At times, they even took her into their homes. Her childhood was filled with uncertainty. There were times she faced homelessness, which was a bigger challenge at the time than her school work.

During her junior year at the University, Peebles started having nightmares about her childhood. Unsure of what to do to put those bad dreams to rest, she began keeping a journal. It was shortly after she began writing down those dreams that they stopped.

Upon her graduation, she moved to Ohio and went through the federal law enforcement academy. She recalls that as a peaceful time in her life. However, it was at that time that the dreams came back. They kept her up at night. They haunted her thoughts throughout the day.

“At any time, these events would come to mind,” she recalled. “I knew I had to come up with a solution.”

She flipped through her notebooks from her college years and realized the writings were coming together like a book. “Being that I’m not a writer, putting all that on paper and pulling it together was very intimidating for me,” she said. “But I felt as if that’s what I had to do.”

It was at this time Peebles told her mother about the project. “She asked me, ‘So, when is your book going to be done? When are you writing more of your book?’” Peebles laughed, “At that time I wasn’t calling this project a book. In my mind, I wasn’t writing a book.”

The “non-book” was 27 chapters of her personal story. The process of pulling together those 27 chapters was agonizing, she said, noting she prayed, became angry, cried and was filled with a plethora of emotions. “I couldn’t write anymore; I had to stop.”

Four years later, she started on the undertaking again. In three weeks, she completed chapters 28-46.

“When I wasn’t writing, I was sleeping,” she said. “This book took me on a really bad emotional roller coaster.”

After completing it, she had it professionally edited and bound. That was in December 2011.

“I had no intention of ever publishing it,” she said. But based on feedback she received from the editor on the project in the form of a personalized letter at the end of the manuscript, she knew what to do next. She didn’t see the letter until a few months after she received the edited, bound text.

At the request of the editor, Peebles included an epilogue of what is happening in the lives of the other characters in the publication. “It hurt me,” she said. “It hurt me so much, because they’re not really doing well.”

While working on her master’s, Peebles completed the epilogue and prepared the book for sale. Those hoping to obtain a copy or learn more about Peebles’ journey are encouraged to visit

SIUE Alum Kuhl Named President/CEO of First Clover Leaf Bank

25 September 2013, 5:09 pm

First Clover Leaf Bank has appointed SIUE alum P. David Kuhl as president and chief executive officer effective Monday, Oct. 7. Kuhl earned a master’s of business administration from SIUE in 1977. Read about Kuhl in a Wall Street Journal article posted Sept. 25.

NEA to Webcast Tribute to SIUE Professor’s Collaborator Pauline Hillaire

25 September 2013, 9:50 am

Lummi Nation elder Pauline Hillaire, Scälla -Of the Killer Whale, will be honored at 7 p.m. (CT) Friday, at the Library of Congress for her lifetime of cultural work and teaching. Hillaire is collaborating with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Professor of Philosophy Gregory Fields on two books.

Both books are being published through the University of Nebraska Press. The first, “A Totem Pole History,” will be available in December, and “Rights Remembered” will follow.

Hillaire is one of nine individuals nationwide to receive a 2013National Heritage Fellowship, awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award is the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Among past recipients is blues great B.B. King.

A live webcast of the NEA event will capture the event at

Hillaire’s daughter, Audrey Chicone, will receive the award on her behalf. Chicone says, “Through her art, she dares you to have heart. Through her dance, she encourages you to dream. Through her story-telling, she dares you to remember.

“With mother’s help and never-ending enthusiasm to teach, our culture survives, not only for our family and the members of the Lummi tribe, but also for the world.”

Chicone conveys what her mother might say of her work, if she were able to attend, “This responsibility is a gift not only to the recipient, but to the one sharing.”

Hillaire is being recognized additionally with the Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Award, for an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

Lummi singers and dancers will honor Hillaire at a public concert Friday at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Led by Hillaire’s grandson Benjamin Covington, the group of elders, adults and children includes Covington’s wife Lila, son Dillon and cousin Jeremy Covington.

Ben Covington says of his grandmother, “Her love for her parents, Joseph and Edna Hillaire, was infinite and methodical. She dedicated herself to the Children of The Setting Sun Song and Dance group.

“She encouraged all she met to be involved in their own way, from chopping wood to keep the people warm, to college education to keep the people informed. No matter what walk of life you are in, keep yourself grounded. Always remember where you come from.”

Covington says of the songs to be sung in D.C., “The Star Song is a way to tell your loved one how you feel for them: ‘You were once right there, and now you are gone; I will always remember you.’

“The Farewell Song tells your friends, ‘Until we meet again, farewell; the visit was worthy of telling your people of.”

For more information, contact Fields, (618) 972-9042.


SIUE Educational Outreach Offers a Week of Lifelong Learning

25 September 2013, 9:14 am

The semester is in full swing, and a week of exciting lectures lies ahead as part of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Lifelong Learning program.

On tap today:

• 10:30-11:45 a.m., ‘“Kill Them Like Dogs!’ The Lynching of Allied Airmen in Germany,” will be presented by Dr. Jim Weingartner, an SIUE professor emeritus of Historical Studies.

• 1:15-2:30 p.m., “A Visit with Dolley Madison,” will feature speaker Barbara Kay, a retired high school history teacher. Kay will talk about Dolley Madison, who was given the title “First Lady” at her funeral. Madison was the first wife of a president to live in Washington City full time.

Both topics will be covered in the Morris University Center Mississippi-Illinois Room. The cost for each of these programs is $5 for general admission; $2 for Lifelong Learning members and free for SIUE students.

Programs slated for Thursday include:

• 9:30-10:30 a.m., “Amusing Questions in Mathematics,” will be presented by Dr. Adam Weyhaupt, associate professor and chair of the SIUE Department of Mathematics and Statistics. There are many interesting questions in mathematics that are very simple to state, but complicated and surprising, or have unknown answers. Dr. Weyhaupt will introduce a handful of amusing questions for attendees during the program at the Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville.

• 5-6 p.m., “Medicare: What’s New?” will be presented by Chris Fulton, information and assistance manager for the Area Agency on Aging of Southwestern Illinois. The event will take place in the Morris University Center’s Mississippi-Illinois Room.

Both of Thursday’s events are free and open to the public. Those attending events on campus must pay for parking. Visitors can park in lots B and C for $1 per hour. A list of upcoming Lifelong Learning programs and workshops is available at

For details about upcoming programs, or to register in advance, which is recommended, contact Cheryl Brunsmann, assistant director of Educational Outreach, (618) 650-3209, or email and provide name, daytime phone number and email address.


SIUE Alum Geri Mitchell Named KWMU Host

20 September 2013, 4:35 pm

St. Louis Public Radio has named SIUE alum Geri Mitchell as a morning host. She earned a bachelor’s in mass communications/journalism from the College of Arts and Sciences. Read about Mitchell on St. Louis Public Radio’s website.

SIUE’s Karen Kelly among School of Nursing’s 50th Anniversary Awardees

20 September 2013, 10:07 am

Karen Kelly nursing SON Springfield, Ill. 8_11_09 BillThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing has selected five recipients to receive 2013 School of Nursing Excellence Awards. They will be honored at the Nursing Excellence Gala and 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 5. The event in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom begins at 5:30 p.m.

“Our gala award recipients are prime examples of individuals and organizations who continuously give of themselves for the good of others,” said Anne Perry, interim dean of the SIUE School of Nursing. “Their service to the School, the nursing profession and their communities is truly admirable.”

The awardees include:

Outstanding New SIUE School of Nursing Alumna: Carla J. Daniels, FNP-BC, AOCNP

The award was created to honor a baccalaureate or master’s graduate who has made a significant contribution to the nursing profession and earned a degree within the past 10 years.

Daniels earned a family nurse practitioner master’s degree from SIUE in 2004. An oncology nurse practitioner at Springfield (Ill.) Clinic, Daniels has achieved credentials as an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner, a certified Breast Health Specialist and a BRCA testing expert. She is a leading resource for genetics counseling in the Springfield area and is a tireless advocate for breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Next year, she will celebrate 25 years at Springfield Clinic.

Outstanding SIUE School of Nursing Alumna:  Lenora M. Drees, APN-FNP

The award was created to honor a baccalaureate or master’s graduate who has made a significant contribution to the nursing profession and who earned a degree more than 10 years ago.

Drees began her nursing career in 1968 after graduating from St. John’s Mercy School of Nursing with a nursing diploma. In 1989, Lenora graduated from SIUE with a bachelor’s in nursing. Four years later, she earned a family nurse practitioner master’s from the University of Illinois – Chicago.

She is a member of the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing, a certified diabetic educator and a SIUE nursing preceptor. She currently practices at Family Care Associates in Effingham.

Outstanding Friend to Nursing:  Dr. Karen Kelly

The award honors a person, business, foundation, legislator or other entity that has demonstrated a civic responsibility to the profession of nursing and to society by advancing the nursing profession through acts such as funding, supporting legislation or promoting nursing through media outlets.

Kelly graduated with a bachelor’s in nursing from SIUE in 1972. She has dedicated her life to the betterment of the health care industry and nursing education. A triple SIUE alumna, she earned a master’s in 1977 and a doctorate in education in 1983.

Currently serving as an associate professor and director of continuing education in the SIUE School of Nursing, Kelly has worked with many state and national organizations to promote the advancement and success of the profession. She is president of the Illinois American Nurses Association and continues to make strides towards nursing excellence in every aspect of her life.

Outstanding Health Care Agency
50 year partner of SIUE School of Nursing: 
East Side Health District

The award honors a community health agency,  home health care agency or long-term care facility that has advanced the nursing profession and can be considered a model for others.

East Side Health District opened in 1937, making it one of the oldest health departments in the metro-East area. It has worked to improve the health and environment of the people living in East St. Louis and surrounding communities through various health promotion and disease prevention programs.

Since the SIUE School of Nursing was established on the Edwardsville campus in 1963, East Side Health District has partnered with the School to offer students a clinical environment in which they are able to receive advanced training in nursing.

Outstanding Hospital
50 year partner of SIUE School of Nursing: 
Barnes-Jewish Hospital

The award honors a hospital/hospital system that has advanced the nursing profession and can be considered a model for others.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a Magnet®-designated hospital, is committed to providing an exceptional learning environment for nursing students, clinical instructors and staff alike. For the last 50 years, students from SIUE, under the supervision of their clinical instructors, have worked with Barnes-Jewish Hospital to care for patients on a variety of units, including cardiology, general medicine and oncology.

Students have depended upon these care experiences to create and foster the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to provide quality care in professional nursing. This long lasting partnership has been pivotal to the successful history of SIUE nursing.

Nursing excellence nominees are considered on the basis of their commitment and inspirational influence, and having a profound impact on their communities and the health care profession. Alumni, health professionals, School of Nursing faculty and staff, and friends of nursing submitted nominations.

The Gala will include dinner along with silent and live auctions. More information is available at

SIUE School of Engineering Study Abroad Students To Make Presentation to Chancellor

19 September 2013, 3:32 pm

A total of 14 undergraduate students from Southern Illinois University’s School of Engineering will present to the Chancellor’s Council on Oct. 16 about the four weeks they spent in Istanbul, Turkey during this year’s Study Abroad program.

The SIUE students, who represented the Industrial and Manufacturing, Mechanical and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments, studied sustainable alternative energy and history of science and technology at Istanbul Technical University (ITU.) They received college credit for their experience and efforts.

After spending their mornings in the classroom they were able to explore Turkey on field trips to industrial plants using alternative energy, as well as historical sites including the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Basilica Cistern, Bosporus Bridge, and Topkapi and Dolmabahce palaces.

 “Walking down any street, you are surrounded by ancient buildings that are each accompanied with their own unique story,” said Josh Rasch, a senior mechanical engineering major. “Turkey is a melting pot of culture. You find people from all surrounding countries on a daily basis. This diversity makes every day an adventure.”

 The students were housed in ITU residence halls and granted full access to the university’s facilities. They learned the similarities and differences of the two educational systems and cultures with daily interaction with Turkish students.

 “Studying in Istanbul was a great experience,” said Adam Kuebel, a student in the mechanical engineering department. “I really enjoyed the culture and lifestyle of Turkey and learned a lot from the dual diploma students.”

 The travel study program was organized by Cem Karacal, associate dean and professor in the School of Engineering. The courses were taught by Serdar Celik, associate professor in mechanical engineering and Geoffrey Bowe of ITU Humanities. 

 “My study abroad experience was life changing,” said Joshua Tonnies, a junior mechanical engineering major. “A new culture, dorm life and many other things made it very influential to my life.”

SIUE Hosts St. Louis Regional Chamber Board

19 September 2013, 1:28 pm

Regan_Joe_JFB_9-19More than 40 members of the St. Louis Regional Chamber Board of Directors gathered at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Morris University Center on Thursday, Sept. 19. The board enjoyed a light breakfast before engaging in its regular September agenda.

“We are grateful to Chamber President Joe Reagan and his staff for bringing the board to our campus,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “It’s important to remind everyone just how closely situated SIUE is to downtown St. Louis and the role we play in the metro region’s economic engine.”

SIUE has an annual regional economic impact of nearly $500 million and generates approximately 8,800 jobs. Each year, SIUE employees and students spend nearly $230 million in the region. More than half of SIUE’s 95,000-plus alumni live in the metro area.

Photo:  Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, speaks with SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe at the board of directors meeting in SIUE’s Morris University Center on Thursday, Sept. 19.

SIUE Wrestlers Pitch in for Edwardsville Playground

18 September 2013, 4:59 pm

SIUE Wrestlers

The SIUE wrestling team helped with the Edwardsville Rotary Club’s playground construction on Tue., Sept. 17. The Rotary Club is coordinating this effort to rebuild the demolished playground at Township Park (AKA Airplane Park).  The playground is 12,000 square feet and being built this week to be completed by Sunday, Sept. 22.

The Cougars placed playground equipment around the site and filled 180 holes with vertical supports (pictured to the right). Each of the 15-foot long, composite wood posts will help support the playground.

During the remainder of this week, SIUE Greek organizations, student groups, and SIUE intercollegiate athletic teams will work alongside community volunteers to complete the project.

For more information on the playground, click here.

SIUE Alum’s Quilt Art to be Featured at SLU Museum of Art

18 September 2013, 4:44 pm

SIUE alum and artist Luanne Rimel will have her work displayed at Quilt National 2013, which is set to open on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art. She earned a master’s in art from SIUE’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2001.  Webster-Kirkwood Times writer Mary Shapiro featured Rimel in a story posted Sept. 13. Rimel is one of 85 artists whose work was chosen from 851 submissions.

Chancellor Furst-Bowe Highlights Accomplishments, New Reality Project

18 September 2013, 1:37 pm

Chancellor's Address 9-18-13

Chancellor’s Address Video
During her annual address to the campus community this morning at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe reflected upon the many accomplishments during her first year as SIUE’s leader, expressed optimism over the state of the institution and also acknowledged the challenges that are ahead.

From the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom, Furst-Bowe greeted a receptive crowd of more than 500. She spoke highly of “The New REALITY Project,” which is an initiative that was introduced by Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle earlier this month. Reality is an acronym for Reimagining Excellence in Academics and Learning through Innovation, Technology and You.

The New REALITY Project will involve establishing campus teams to address:

  • Expanding enrollment
  • Retaining students and improving graduation rates
  • Designing competency based and prior-learning assessments
  • Retooling processes for speed and adaptability
  • Enhancing experiential learning in the curriculum and co-curricular activities
  • Developing international programs and support for international students
  • E-learning initiatives addressing development of online courses and programs
  • Innovating pedagogies to support student learning and academic quality in all settings

“There is a need to develop and offer new interdisciplinary programs to meet the needs of students and employers, and facilitate retention and graduation,” Furst-Bowe said. “Expanding online education is critical to our long-term strategy.”

Furst-Bowe enthusiastically recounted the University’s most recent recognitions. This month, U.S.News & World Report ranked SIUE among the best Regional Universities Midwest for the 10th consecutive year and for the first time, among the top 10 public universities in that category.

The latest U.S. News rankings came just after recognition by Washington Monthly in August that ranked SIUE among the top 60 master’s universities in the nation. The Chancellor also referenced SIUE’s naming in March by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which is a list of colleges and universities demonstrating a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Also among the achievements was the strategic planning process that resulted in updated mission, vision and value statements. Each attendee received a pocket card with the renewed philosophies:

Mission:  SIUE is a student-centered educational community dedicated to communicating, expanding and integrated knowledge. In a spirit of collaboration enriched by diverse ideas, our comprehensive and unique array of undergraduate and graduate programs develops professionals, scholars and leaders who shape a changing world.

Vision: SIUE will achieve greater national and global recognition and academic prominence through innovative and interdisciplinary programs that empower individuals to achieve their full potential.

Values: SIUE fulfills its mission based on the fundamental shared values of citizenship, excellence, inclusion, integrity and wisdom.

She referenced campus growth and sustainability initiatives, recognizing the University’s first Faculty Sustainability Fellow, Dr. Connie Frey-Spurlock, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies.

Among the other high points, Furst-Bowe reported that SIUE received 189 external awards totaling $42.2 million in FY13.

The chancellor also focused on the importance of an inclusive campus community.

Furst-Bowe ended her address by enthusiastically encouraging faculty and staff members to sign up for one of the teams created to support the “New REALITY Project.” She closed with a quote from the publication, Women in Higher Education: “By giving people a role in revitalizing campus, the process becomes the product.”

Photo:  SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe.

NCERC’s Caupert Lends Support to Biofuels Development Act

17 September 2013, 4:26 pm


NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert spoke in support of increased partnership between the military and the biofuels industry Monday, Sept. 16, at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Research Farm in Belleville. The occasion was the unveiling of the Biofuels Development Act of 2013 by Congressman Bill Enyart’s (D-Ill.)

Enyart, a member of the House Armed Services and Agriculture committees, introduced a plan to build on an existing Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and the Navy to promote military use of biofuels.

The Biofuels Development Act would provide competitive grants to existing biofuels research centers to fund pilot-scale research, development and testing of bio-based fuels for use as an aviation fuel for the Air Force.

“The Biofuels Development Act leverages our region’s existing resources—our natural transportation network, the most fertile farmland in the nation, a skilled workforce and more than a century of combined biofuels expertise at our Center—and brings those assets together to advance our nation’s energy security,” Caupert said.

“Farmers have proven they are more than capable of feeding and fueling a growing world, and we want to continue to give them that opportunity” he added. “We will be taking agricultural products, including cropland residue, and converting it into the fuel that powers a fleet of aircraft. And best of all, every drop of homegrown fuel produced here is one less drop that is imported.”

Speaking at the SIUC Research Farm, which overlooks Scott Air Force Base, Enyart said the Act would boost the local economy and increase American energy security.

“We stand beside fields of corn and soybeans that will be harvested in the coming weeks,” Enyart said. “Across the fence from those crops are runways that support fighter jets and refueling tankers that keep our country strong and secure from threats from throughout the world.

“We have an idea whose time has come. Here in Southern Illinois, we can lead the way to both an energy independent country and a vibrant economy here at home.”

Caupert and other agriculture leaders, including representatives from the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association, praised Enyart for his work on behalf of Illinois agriculture and ethanol.

“I applaud Congressman Enyart for his leadership on this issue and encourage his fellow members to support the Biofuels Development Act,” Caupert said.

Photo: NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert with Congressman Bill Enyart (D.-Ill.)

The World of CAS is Open to All During Hands-On Day in the MUC

17 September 2013, 3:27 pm

CAS hands on day & Majors Fair 9-17-13

From left to right, Dave Parsons, Historical Studies Professor Allison Thomason, and Alexis Brown, a junior majoring in engineering, examine the contract of an indentured servant.

The SIUE Morris University Center was alive with exciting stops Tuesday as part of Hands-On Day & Majors Fair 2013, enticing students, faculty, staff and visitors to tour the world of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS.) CAS offers a variety of degree programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Displays were set up to feature everything from African Studies to Art & Design, and from forensic sciences to foreign language and literature. For more information about academic opportunities through CAS, visit

SIUE Student Eickhoff Crowned National Winner in Miss Amazing Pageant

17 September 2013, 2:57 pm

SIUE student Tiffany Eickhoff was recently crowned a national winner in the “Miss” division (ages 24-27) of the Miss Amazing Pageant held on Aug. 30 in Omaha, Neb.

Eickhoff is a senior speech communication major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Eickhoff and other contestants were recently featured on The Today Show for their accomplishments. Click here to read the story and view a video. Tiffany is featured at the 1:51 mark in the video.

“Every girl at the Miss Amazing pageant receives a crown because every girl to an extent in her own way is Miss Amazing, just by participating in the event and really pushing her limits,” said Jordan Somer, the founder of the Miss Amazing pageant, which is for girls with physical and/or mental disabilities.

SIUE’s Sjursen Receives AAUW American Fellowship

17 September 2013, 1:13 pm

2009 New faculty headshots

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has awarded a 2013-14 American Fellowship to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Katrin E. Sjursen, Ph.D. She is an assistant professor of historical studies within SIUE’s College of Arts and Sciences.

American Fellowships, AAUW’s oldest and largest funding program, date back to 1888 and support women scholars who are completing doctoral dissertations, conducting postdoctoral research or finishing research for publication.

“I was shocked when I learned that the AAUW had awarded me one of their postdoctoral fellowships,” said Sjursen. “The grant is extremely competitive, with a lot of really excellent projects submitted.

“I plan to use the grant to produce a book based on my research into the military obligations of medieval noblewomen.  Hopefully, young girls today will learn that there were many roles open to women in the past and that women were an important part of all sectors of life.”

A native of Old Lyme, Conn., Sjursen earned a doctorate in medieval history from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2010.  She joined the SIUE faculty in 2009 as an instructor, advancing to her current position in 2010, and now resides in Edwardsville.

“The American Fellowship program affords scholars the ability to become leading thinkers in their fields and have an impact across multiple disciplines,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW vice president of fellowships, grants and international programs. It also recognizes their great potential, because they are receiving support from one of the nation’s most respected women’s organizations.”

For the 2013–14 academic year, AAUW awarded a total of $3.7 million to 245 scholars, research projects and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls through six fellowships and grants. AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded nearly $100 million in fellowships, grants and awards to more than 12,000 women from more than 130 countries since 1888.

As part of the 125thanniversary celebration of the fellowships and grants program, AAUW created a new video and interactive timeline, which feature historic photos and documents from the program’s rich history.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 165,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day – educational, social, economic and political. Learn more at

Photo: SIUE Assistant Professor Katie Sjursen.

SIUE Women Engineers Host Open House Oct. 5

17 September 2013, 8:46 am

Society of Women Engineers Open House Panal Discussion 3-23-13The Women Engineers at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (WE@SIUE) Open House is set for Saturday, October 5, from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the School of Engineering Building. The event is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in conjunction with the School of Engineering.

The Open House allows prospective female students to discover the many opportunities available within the School. Students will attend sessions presented by the Offices of Admissions and Student Financial Aid, the Career Development Center and two engineering majors of their choice.

“Engineering is an extremely rewarding profession, especially for women, who comprise only 15 percent of today’s engineering workforce,” said Hasan Sevim, dean of the School of Engineering.  “This event provides female high school students the chance to discover exciting career possibilities in engineering.  The SIUE SWE students can play a significant role in recruiting future female engineers who will bring fresh, creative ideas and perspectives to the industry.”

Separate panels of professional female engineers and current SIUE female students will be available for questions. Throughout the day, students will be able to interact with engineering professionals, students and university faculty. The Society of Women Engineers will host a lunch with a keynote speaker.

For more information, visit the SIUE SWE website.

Photo: At the SWE Open House during the 2013 spring semester, Mark Goerger and daughter Kristin visit with Vicki LaRose, an SIUE alum and president of Civil Designs, Inc., in St. Louis.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Announces Strategic Plan

16 September 2013, 3:35 pm

Gireesh Gupchap, School of PharmacySouthern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Pharmacy introduced its five-year strategic plan during August. SOP Dean Gireesh Gupchup highlighted six major goals as the growing school enters its second decade.

“We are fulfilling our mission as an interdisciplinary educational community dedicated to the preparation of pharmacy professionals, scholars and leaders,” Gupchup said. “We strive every day to improve the health and well-being of this region and beyond.

“We expect to develop SIUE’s School of Pharmacy to be a national model for exceptional pharmacy education, patient-centered care and innovative research,” said Gupchup, in regard to the vision for the School. “For that to occur, there are six initiatives that must be executed.”

The SOP’s six-point plan includes:

  • Advancing innovative education, service and research programs
  • Promoting faculty and staff development and support
  • Fostering prospective pharmacy students
  • Expanding and supporting professional growth of students and alumni
  • Cultivating diversity and inclusiveness
  • Identifying, developing and sustaining external relations and financial support

To read the complete strategic plan, visit

In its short 10-year history, the SIUE SOP has grown dramatically and is operating at capacity with a record fall 2013 enrollment of 325 students.

SIUE’s Gordon and Hindelang Discuss Construction Industry in BND

16 September 2013, 10:07 am

Chris Gordon headshot 1-29-13

SIUE’s Chris Gordon and Sandra Hindelang were quoted in a Belleville News Democrat story regarding challenges within the construction industry. The story by BND reporter Will Buss was published Sun., Sept. 15. Gordon is an associate professor and chair of the Construction Department in the School of Engineering. Hindelang is director of executive education in the SIUE School of Business. They combine to direct SIUE’s highly successful Construction Leadership Institute.

Photo: SIUE Assoc. Professor Chris Gordon.

TED Talks Personality Hannah Brencher Appears at MUC Thursday

16 September 2013, 8:45 am


The SIUE Morris University Center and Campus Activities Board are co-sponsoring TED Talks speaker Hannah Brencher’s visit to the MUC. She will appear on Thursday, Sept. 19at 7 p.m. in the Meridian Ballroom

Fresh out of college, Hannah fell into depression and searched for a way to find her “place in this world.” She began writing love letters and leaving them scattered across New York City. Brencher wrote about the experience on her blog, and soon a following grew. So, she made the Internet a promise, “If you emailed a snail mail address, she would write you a love letter.”

One year and 400 love letters later, “The World Needs More Love Letters” was born. Founded in September 2011, More Love Letters is a community of over 20,000 passionate individuals from 49 countries who take to leaving love letters all over their communities and mailing letters to strangers in need.

Following her presentation, Brencher will lead a letter writing activity.

For additional information, contact Brett Murray, MUC programming specialist, at or Cathy Passananti, MUC assistant director, at

SIUE Solar Car Visits Columbus Elementary School

13 September 2013, 4:17 pm
SIUE School of Engineering Graduate Student Amy Sunderlin talks with fifth graders from Columbus Elementary School.

SIUE School of Engineering Graduate Student Amy Sunderlin talks with fifth graders from Columbus Elementary School.

More than 120 fifth-graders from Columbus Elementary School in Edwardsville enjoyed a visit today from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering solar car and members of the award-winning SIUE Solar Car Team.

Vince Schlueter, the principal at Columbus, said Edwardsville School District 7 promotes a strong STEM-oriented curriculum for its classes. Columbus School has worked with other leaders in the district to create solar powered Barbie jeeps and with SIUE to host a highly popular weather balloon launch.

Today’s visit by SIUE students and graduates took these fifth-graders to the next level by introducing them to engineering and solar power as it comes into play in higher education, he said.

“This is a great visual representation of how solar can be used to move objects and to charge batteries,” said Matt Maddox, a fifth grade teacher at Columbus who helped set up the event. “It’s also a wonderful opportunity for these students to see engineering in action.

“We’ve worked on STEM projects on a small level.”

The solar car uses a lithium ion battery pack that produces up to 96.2 volts of electricity. It can reach up to 45 miles per hour. The car has been driven in competitions, including the Formula Sun Grand Prix in Austin, Texas in June. SIUE’s solar car team won the Spirit Award at the event.

Team members are looking forward to another race, the American Solar Challenge, in July, 2014. This race, too, will be held at the Circuit of the Americas Formula race track in Austin.

The SIUE students and alumni who presented the car and gave an overview of its capabilities were:

• Amy Sunderlin, of Rockford, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering. Sunderlin has worked with the solar car for four years and recently served as the SIUE Solar Car Team captain.

• Alex Wolff, an alumnus from Ferguson, Mo.

• Louis Neumeyer, a junior engineering major from Millstadt.

The SIUE students talked about the importance of team work in engineering projects.

The fifth-graders passed around solar panels, as well as pieces of carbon fiber that are used to support the solar panels on the vehicle. The children were asked to break the carbon fiber. They couldn’t. The pieces of solar panel are attached to carbon fiber and hooks are used to hold them in place.

Sunderlin enjoys speaking with grade school children about engineering and opportunities in the field. “I have a passion for it,” she said about engineering. “There’s nothing like the feeling of working on something, and it’s not working the way you want it to, and then it just comes together. I’m doing what I love.”

After she earns her master’s degree, Sunderlin said she hopes to become an automation engineer.

Steve Muren, faculty advisor for the SIUE Solar Car Team, took part in the visit. He hopes visits like this will encourage more young people to pursue STEM degrees and careers in the future.

At the end of the presentation, Schlueter asked the students, “Are you guys ready to see it move?” To which students cheered and shouted.

Following the honk of its horn, the vehicle was started and a clicking sound of its electric motor could be heard as it was maneuvered in the Columbus Elementary School parking lot, straightened out and led back into its trailer.


SIUE Receives Fifth Straight Military Friendly Designation

13 September 2013, 9:03 am


Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to the prestigious Military Friendly Schools® list for the fifth- consecutive year. The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students to ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the list of Military Friendly Schools® shows SIUE’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Victory Media vice president and a Navy veteran.   “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The Military Friendly Schools® media and website, found at, feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences.  The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.  These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

Now in its fifth edition, The Military Friendly Schools® list is compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 Veterans Administration-approved schools nationwide. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. The board members list can be found at

A full story and detailed list of 2014 Military Friendly Schools® will be highlighted in the annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools®, distributed in print and digital format to active and former military personnel in early October.

Annual Give Kids A Smile Day at School of Dental Medicine

12 September 2013, 2:25 pm

Give Kids a Smile event Alton SDM School of Dental Medicine 10-8-12

Southern Illinois University’s School of Dental Medicine is urging parents of qualified children between the ages of 3 and 13 to attend this year’s Give Kids A Smile Day from 7:30 a.m. to noon, Monday, Oct. 14 at the School’s main clinic in building 263, 2800 College Ave. in Alton.

Free dental care, including examinations, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions, will be provided by SIU School of Dental Medicine faculty and students, members of the Madison and St. Clair district dental societies,, and Lewis and Clark Community College dental assisting and dental hygiene faculty and students. Professionals and volunteers from the community also will participate.

Children qualified to participate in the event are those eligible for free and reduced-priced meal programs.

“Every measure is being taken to ensure that information about our event is available to all area families, so that all registered children receive treatment,” said Dr. Poonam Jain, professor in the SIU School of Dental Medicine and director of Community Dentistry. “Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to be treated. Waiting times are kept to a minimum”

Give Kids a Smile Day is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free dental treatment for underserved children. The event is organized to promote community awareness of the need for dental services among the underserved.

In Alton, the one-day event allows an average of more than 200 children to receive care from dental professionals each year. The volunteer dentists and staff offer an annual average of more than $50,000 in preventive, restorative and surgical treatment for the children who participate.

Fun activities for children will take place throughout the event. First-year dental students from the SIU School of Dental Medicine will host a “Smile Station” featuring fun, educational activities and games to help children learn the importance of a good diet, oral hygiene and the connections between their mouths and bodies.

For more information, contact Sherie Gottlob from the School of Dental Medicine, (618) 474-7200, or While pre-registration is preferred, it is not required. Walk-ins are welcome between 7.30 a.m. – noon.

Photo:  SIUE dental student Kasey Kirchner has fun with a young contestant, challenging the “Circle of Smiles,” a spinning wheel that offered oral health education and fun, at the Smile Station during the 2012 Give Kids A Smile Day.

SIU Board Approves Faculty Appointments, Facility Planning at SIUE

12 September 2013, 12:51 pm

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today approved three faculty appointments and four facility projects for the Edwardsville campus. The board held its quarterly session on the Carbondale campus.

The Board approved the appointment of Dr. Ann Perry as interim dean of the School of Nursing. She has previously served the School for five years as chair of the Department of Primary Care and Health Nursing and was associate dean for Academic Programs for four years.

Dr. Toni Roucka’s appointment as associate dean of the School of Dental Medicine in Alton was approved. Roucka came to SIUE after serving Marquette University’s School of Dentistry since 2001. She was an assistant professor and most recently program director for general dentistry.

Dr. Robert Blackwell was approved as interim chair of the Graduate Education Department within the School of Dental Medicine. Currently the director of Implant Dentistry, Blackwell was deemed by the Board as possessing the range of experience in education, research, service and administration to guide Graduate Education as it grows and expands.

The board approved developing plans and cost estimates for four projects:

  • Improving eight different roads on the Edwardsville campus that would include resurfacing, new pavement markings, replacing traffic signs, replacing accessible curb ramps, and installing right turn lanes and cross walks on North University Drive at Circle Drive. The study will look at the feasibility of completing the work in phases. One of SIUE’s on-call architectural firms will assist in determining the extent and estimated cost of the project. University Plant funds would cover the cost.
  • Replacing windows in the Art and Design East Building. Cracked, damaged and leaking glass block windows require replacement. The study will examine the feasibility of combining windows, metal panels and limestone to create a look similar to the new Art and Design West Building. A qualifications based selection will be conducted to select a consultant. Funding would be from University Plant funds.
  • Waterproofing the Vadalabene Center’s exterior walls. One of SIUE’s on-call architectural firms will evaluate designs and costs for covering the permeable exterior plaster finish with a metal panel system. University Plant funds would cover the expense.
  • Developing improvements to the baseball clubhouse and construct an indoor practice facility to support the Cougars’ intercollegiate baseball program. The baseball indoor facility would be similar to the recently completed softball indoor facility. One of SIUE’s on-call architectural firms will examine the extent and estimated cost of the work. Donations are expected to fund the project.

The Board also approved a salary increase plan for fiscal year 2014. It will provide eligible SIUE employees with an average increase of up to two percent.


Chancellor Appears on Charter’s Conversation with Lee Presser

12 September 2013, 8:46 am


SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe was interviewed on Tuesday, Sept. 10, by Charter Communications’ Lee Presser for his show “Conversation with Lee Presser.” The half-hour show is scheduled to run on both Monday, Oct. 7, and Monday, Oct. 14, on Charter. Watch Presser and Furst-Bowe discuss her first year as SIUE’s chancellor and issues in higher education on Youtube.

SIUE Campus Site of ADA Metro-East Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

11 September 2013, 2:05 pm

The American Diabetes Association is dedicated to changing lives one step at a time during its annual walk Saturday, Oct. 5 on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.

According to the ADA, a donation of $26 supports the 26 million people living with diabetes in the U.S.

The Metro-East Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes will begin and end in parking lot A, and wind through the walking trails that showcase the beauty of The Gardens at SIUE.  The Gardens at SIUE is a Missouri Botanical Garden signature garden. There will be two walks; one measuring 1.5-miles and the other is 3-miles. Check in for both treks is 8:30 a.m. The start time will be 9 a.m.

There are numerous ways individuals can actively participate in the event:

  • Through serving as team captains in honor of friends or loved ones
  • By becoming a red strider, which is an individual with diabetes who walks
  • Through raising more than $1,000 to become a champion to stop diabetes

Individuals raising more than $100 before race day will receive a free official 2013 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes T-shirt commemorating the event. Additionally, other fundraising prizes will be awarded.

Those who cannot physically attend are encouraged to participate in the event as virtual walkers. These individuals can garner donations through online registration.

The event is presented by Simmons Attorneys at Law. Event sponsors include Impact Strategies, Alton Steel Inc., and Alton Memorial Hospital. Media sponsors are The Telegraph and WBGZ 1570 Radio in Alton.

Registration for the event is available online at More information is available at 1-888-DIABETES.

Annual Celebration of World Faiths at SIUE

10 September 2013, 1:19 pm

The colloquium as part of the Annual Celebration of World Faiths will take place from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Center for Spirituality and Sustainability.

The interfaith colloquium is titled, “What’s Your Vision of the Divine? Exploring the Singularities and Similarities of Diverse Spiritual Traditions.” The Center is located in the Geodesic dome on the SIUE campus.

Since its inception in 1971, the Center has been dedicated to its foundational principle of interfaith dialogue and cooperation. During the discussion, a panel of representatives from diverse spiritual traditions will talk about their experiences.

Panelists will include:

• Maryl Walters, a Christian Science practitioner and interfaith advocate who serves on the Cabinet of the Interfaith Partnership in St. Louis

• Cindy Conner, who is of Cherokee ancestry and deeply connected to the Cherokee spiritual traditions

• Satnam Singh, a member of the St. Louis Sikh community and president of the Sikh Study Circle of St. Louis.

The public is invited to join the Friends of the Center in discussion, fellowship and refreshment. Free will donations will be accepted.

Parking is free in visitors’ parking lot B on South Circle Drive, between Morris University Center and the dome.


U.S. News Tabs SIUE Among Top Midwest Regional Universities For 10th Consecutive Year

10 September 2013, 3:00 am

U.S.News & World Report ranks Southern Illinois University Edwardsville among the best Regional Universities Midwest for the 10th consecutive year and among the top 10 public universities in that category. The listing is in the magazine’s “Best Colleges of 2014” issue that was released today.

SIUE moved up seven spots overall in the Regional Universities Midwest category from 49 a year ago to 42 in this year’s rankings. SIUE improved three spots to eighth overall among public universities in that category. The U.S. News overall scores are based on the reputation of SIUE in higher education, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

“Moving up in U.S. News’ annual rankings is particularly noteworthy as we position SIUE among the top universities in the Midwest ,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “Our efforts to improve in all areas are showing impressive results.

“Providing academic excellence at an affordable price and producing exceptional leaders for our community and region is SIUE’s hallmark. Our distinguished faculty and talented staff provide the type of individualized attention and unique experiences that prepare SIUE students for career success.”

SIUE’s steady growth during the past decade has continued with record enrollments for the Schools of Engineering, Nursing and Pharmacy for fall 2013. Meanwhile, undergraduate programs in the Schools of Education, Business and Nursing are enjoying enrollment increases.

SIUE is nearing completion of a nearly $300 million planned campus infrastructure update and construction phase. The new Science Building has opened for fall classes and renovation of the current Science Building will begin during 2014.  The Art and Design Building addition was dedicated in March 2013. Earlier this month, the Art and Design Building was named a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building. It is the first SIUE campus building to achieve that distinction from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Regional universities are considered to have a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs, but few doctoral programs. The 621 universities in this category are ranked against their peer group in one of four geo­graphic regions (North, South, Midwest and West), because they tend to draw students most heavily from surrounding states.

The latest U.S. News rankings come on the heels of last month’s recognition by Washington Monthly that ranks SIUE among the top 60 master’s universities in the nation. In March, SIUE also was named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which is a list of colleges and universities demonstrating a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Associate Professor Dr. Panico is In the News

9 September 2013, 4:41 pm

In the Sept. 5 issue of The Edwardsville Intelligencer, Dr. James Panico, associate professor in the SIUE Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, was quoted. Panico specializes in fluency disorders. For more information, visit the article.

SIUE STEM Center’s Locke is in The Telegraph

9 September 2013, 4:36 pm

SIUE’s Sharon Locke is serving on a committee to improve STEM learning initiatives in the Edwardsville School District. Read about Locke, executive director of the SIUE Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach in a Sept. 6 article in The Telegraph in Alton.

SIUE Associate Professor Talks about Occupied Palestinian State

9 September 2013, 10:34 am

Dr. Denise DeGarmo, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, spoke passionately about human security in the occupied Palestinian State on Thursday evening.

A group of 20 people attended the discussion at the Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville. The presentation, titled The Quest for Human Security: The Case of the Occupied Palestinian State, examined the model of human security set forth by the United Nations Development Programme in 1994, and assessed the status of human security in the occupied Palestinian state. The event was part of the SIUE Office of Educational Outreach Lifelong Learning program.

Some of DeGarmo’s SIUE students joined her during the discussion to recount their own experiences studying and visiting the chaotic region.

“People here don’t know anything about this and they should,” said T.J. Pearson, a junior with a double major in political science and philosophy. “They’re not going to get this on Fox News or CNN.”

DeGarmo talked about Israeli occupation, and specifically the government’s practices regarding the usurping Palestinian lands. She noted experiencing this first hand while staying with a longtime friend during a trip to Palestine last Christmas. She awoke to find about 10 of 13 acres that had been in her friend’s family for many years had been claimed during a “land grab” by the Israeli government.

“Imagine you have a home in your family and someone just comes in and takes it over,” DeGarmo said. “This is not leading to a state of great human security.”

She added the Israeli government not only takes the land, but often tags buildings on the property as not meeting code requirements. Adding insult to injury, the government then bills individuals for demolition. In the case of her friend, DeGarmo said she demolished her own buildings to avoid penalties.

People who are subjected to land grabs often need to reside in refugee camps or flee the country. Some of the countries taking in displaced Palestinians are Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Ireland. DeGarmo shared maps of the region showing Palestinian loss of land from 1946, 1947, 1967 and 2005.

“It’s been progressively worse as more and more demolitions have been taking place,” she said. The once densely Palestinian populated region now only has smatterings of Palestinian residents in non-contiguous properties in the West Bank and the overall region.

DeGarmo said the current state of Israeli occupation in formerly Palestinian lands has meant total economic control, meaning the types of jobs and financial security Palestinian individuals can get is dictated by the Israeli government. Israel also determines access to health care, schools, water, housing and sanitation, as well as predicates the cultural norms and the location of refugee camps.

“There are a lot of Palestinians who profit from this occupation,” DeGarmo said. “Palestinians are employed by Israelis in service jobs, stores, government and non-government agencies. But overall there is rampant unemployment.

“Economic development is so important to human security. If people feel like they are safe and they have dignity, they can mobilize politically. They have to be provided the proper safety net to mobilize. If they sit passive, nothing will change. It’s just a passive resistance at this point.”

For details about upcoming programs, contact Cheryl Brunsmann, assistant director of Educational Outreach, (618) 650-3209.


SIUE’s Karnes Receives Distinguished Service Award

9 September 2013, 9:22 am


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Kelly Jo Karnes will receive the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) at its annual December meeting.

Karnes joined SIUE in July as its director for student involvement in the Kimmel Leadership Center. She  shares the award with Florida State University alum Andre Fuller Cooper. The duo will be honored in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Dec. 7.

Prior to arriving at SIUE, Karnes held positions in Greek life at the University of Iowa, Old Dominion University and her alma mater, the University of Kansas. She served as the AFA president in 2012 and the AFA annual meeting chair in 2006.

In 1999, Karnes began volunteering with AFA. She is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and currently serves as member of its National Panhellenic Conference delegation.

A Lawrence, Kan., native, Karnes has been a lead facilitator for LeaderShape Institute, Inc., since 2005. She has volunteered with the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) since 2000. She has held the role as a National Black Greek Leadership Conference logistics coordinator since 2007.

Karnes came to SIUE from the University of Iowa where she served as the associate director for Student Involvement and Leadership.

ICHP Taps SIUE’s Bergman for Leadership Award

9 September 2013, 8:59 am

Pharmacy Faculty Scott Bergman 7-19-13

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Dr. Scott Bergman will receive the New Practitioner Leadership Award from the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP). Bergman will be honored at the ICHP annual meeting Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Drury Lane Theatre and Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace.

The ICHP award recognizes an individual whose early accomplishments distinguish them as future leaders in the profession. The candidates are individuals whose performance demonstrates a high degree of professionalism, leadership and innovation.

“This award provides well deserved recognition for Scott’s efforts with ICHP, as well as his efforts to increase local pharmacist participation in this state organization,” said Dr. Mark Ruscin, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “It is critically important for the profession and for the School of Pharmacy to have faculty members, like Scott, develop as leaders within professional organizations.”

Bergman joined SIUE School of Pharmacy in 2006. He has developed his own clinical practice in collaboration with infectious disease physicians at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He has been providing patient care at local hospitals and at an international travel clinic. He has conducted research to improve antibiotic use and patient outcomes.

Additionally, Bergman has received praise from his nominators for innovative teaching methods involving infectious diseases pharmacotherapy, which is a challenging topic for students. He helps students become proficient healthcare providers. In 2012, the Springfield resident developed a postgraduate training program in infectious diseases pharmacy.

At the organizational level, Bergman is a leader by example as he stays actively involved in state and national pharmacy organizations. He has served ICHP in many capacities and worked with the ICHP office to develop monthly continuing education programs for local pharmacists. Drawing upon the local pharmacy residents and preceptors, Bergman has been able to deliver timely and interesting educational offerings.

It’s the second-consecutive year that ICHP has honored Bergman. He received the Excellence in Innovation award in fall 2012.

A Slayton, Minn., native, Bergman earned a doctorate in pharmacy from South Dakota State University in 2004. He completed residencies in Pharmacy Practice and Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy at West Virginia University Hospitals and School of Pharmacy.

Photo: SIUE’s Dr. Scott Bergman.

SIUE Students Learn Business Customs in Germany

6 September 2013, 5:06 pm

Students from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business will learn first-hand about the culture of doing business in Germany.

For the first time, SIUE business majors, traveled to Germany for a fall session. The SIUE School of Business has been sending students to Germany in the spring and summer for more than seven years, said SIUE School of Business Interim Dean John Navin.

The trips are part of SIUE’s annual student exchange with Hochschule Hanover University. Two SIUE students, Eric Allard and Megan Melliere, recently left for Europe for their German experience.

“Part of their education is cultural awareness, as it relates to Germany,” said Navin. “They get to learn a different kind of business practice.”

It’s important to learn the culture, so that students don’t make mistakes that could cost them business, Navin added. The dean, who speaks German, is a product of a German school exchange. Navin attended a semester at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

“I enjoy visiting Germany and return often,” he said.

This past summer, a total of 10 students traveled to Munich, Berlin and Hanover. Accompanying them were Navin, James Klenke, dean of Students and associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs, Henning Austmann, a professor from Hochschule Hanover, and five German students. The German members of the group served as hosts and trip planners.

While in Germany, the students visited such sites as various businesses, factories, museums, the Berlin Wall and Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Among the many benefits of the trip for SIUE students, according to Dean Klenke was “Engaging the German students and making friends with them. They have continued this friendship technologically and two students are returning to study full time at the Hochschule Hanover.”


Louisiana Engineers Study SIUE’s ERTC as Potential Model

6 September 2013, 4:57 pm

ERTC tour Baton Rouge delegation 9-6-13

ERTC tour Baton Rouge delegation 9-6-13

A delegation from Louisiana visited the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Environmental Resources Training Center (ERTC) on Friday in hopes of duplicating the unique Center’s successes in Baton Rouge.

“It’s hard to find places that train people in this field, which is surprising as everybody needs waste water and water treatment,” said David R. Gullory, public works director for the Department of Public Works for the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge.

Gullory was one of four engineers who traveled to the University to tour the ERTC, the SIUE School of Engineering and the campus. Others accompanying Gullory included: Dr. Patrick Carriere, associate dean and professor at Southern University College of Engineering in Baton Rouge; Joshua R. Crowe, program manager at CH2M HILL in Baton Rouge; and Dr. Joshua Joseph, senior technologist at CH2M HILL. CH2M HILL is a consulting, design, design-build, operations and program management firm with offices in Baton Rouge. The company’s world headquarters is located in Englewood, Colo.

Paul Shetley, ERTC director, explained the purposes and functions of the Center to the Louisiana contingent. Leading the tour were Shetley and three of his staff members: Kim Bateman, operations manager; Rick Lallish, program director for Waste Water Operations; and Kurt Neuhaus, ERTC instructor.

Two sump pumps pull water from the SIUE Waste Water Treatment Plant to ERTC, where it goes through water and waste water training scale treatment plant. Then it is sent back down the hill to the treatment plant, according to Bateman.

“It’s a perfect teaching tool,” said Shetley. “We don’t discharge any waste water. Everything goes right back to the SIUE Waste Water Treatment Plant. It’s a closed loop.

“No one drinks the drinking water that we treat,” he said. “This is one of the greatest teaching tools. We’re the most unique training center in the nation.”

The Center does two things, according to Shetley. The first is to offer a one-year program for students, who work eight hours a day, four days per week and learn everything about drinking water, treatment and waste water operations. The class of 27 full time students will graduate in July 2014. Secondly, the ERTC trains those people who are already in the field and provides them with continuing education to keep abreast of new technology.

The ERTC building was constructed in 1978 and will graduate its 32nd class in July 2014. The training center is equipped to enroll 25-30 students a year.

“I’m really interested in the hands on aspect of it, and how much the students learn” said Crowe. “I also like how ERTC has worked with the community and formed partnerships. It’s really progressive. I don’t know of any other place like this. Hopefully, we’ll have a center like this one day.”

The City of Baton Rouge and Southern University College of Engineering are collaborating to create a center similar to ERTC, said Carriere. “It’s a first-class training center,” he said. “After one year of training, I understand that a very high percentage of students go on to become certified.”

“ERTC continues to be a tremendous opportunity for students to enter a thriving and necessary water/waste water profession,” said Joseph. He came to SIUE early on Thursday to make a presentation to those students interested in engineering and sustainability. Joseph discussed projects his company, CH2M HILL, is working on.

“We’re thankful to be here,” said Joseph, who first visited the ERTC in 2010 on a fact-finding mission. “We’re thankful for Baton Rouge to be able to learn and grow from this experience.”

“We’re happy they’re here,” Shetley said. “We think they’ll be able to learn from the best.”

Photo Information:

Rick Lallish, program director for Waste Water Operations, explains one of the facets of the water treatment process to David R. Gullory, public works director for the Department of Public Works for the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge; and Joshua R. Crowe, program manager at CH2M HILL in Baton Rouge.

Kurt Neuhaus, ERTC instructor, gives more details about SIUE’s Environmental Resources Training Center (ERTC) to the engineers from Louisiana.


SIUE Schools of Engineering, Nursing and Pharmacy Set Record Enrollments

6 September 2013, 4:35 pm

Freshman class photo 2017 8-16-13

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s 2013 fall semester is highlighted by record total enrollments in the Schools of Engineering (1,462 students), Nursing (1,062 students) and Pharmacy (325 students). Undergraduate programs in the Schools of Education (4.7 percent), Business (4.5 percent) and Nursing (11.8 percent) all are enjoying enrollment increases.

”We expect to continue to grow and adapt to successfully compete in an evolving educational environment, so that we serve the needs of both our current and prospective students,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “The awareness of SIUE’s academic programs and services is growing regionally, nationally and internationally. Our intent is to expand the SIUE brand and capitalize on new opportunities.”

The School of Engineering’s undergraduate enrollment has climbed 11.8 percent (128 students) since last fall and 44 percent during the past five years. Dean Hasan Sevim has overseen steady growth from 1,054 total students in 2008. The School also is experiencing a rise in the ACT scores. This year’s 143 freshmen directly admitted into the School had average math and composite ACT scores of 28.5 and 27.5, respectively.

“Ultimately, we have faculty dedicated to teaching excellence and mentoring,” Sevim stated. “Our reputation in teaching and research is spreading fast, and our 2+2 agreements with regional community colleges are providing highly qualified students. Plus, we have a growing international reputation with exemplary cooperation from our overseas partners.”

Scott Belobrajdic, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management said, “With our Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy and Dental Medicine at capacity, the interest in our professional schools reflects that prospective students are making decisions based upon career aspirations.” He pointed to online programs bolstering Nursing.

The new freshman class average ACT (23.0) increased two-tenths of a point over last year and is the highest in University history. The increase is six-tenths of a point better than 2011.

“Our new direct entry options in business, engineering, nursing and pharmacy attracted 170 first time freshmen entering the University, which had a direct impact on the average ACT,” Belobrajdic said. “Their mean ACT is 28. Direct entry allows us to compete for high achieving students who were opting for direct admit options with private and public competitors in previous years.”

The School of Education also is developing early-entry options for students interested in its undergraduate programs.

New transfers are up to 1,252 students, an increase of 31, which is the highest since 2006.

“An increase in transfer students is a trend that we expect to see continue as families consider financing a college education,” Belobrajdic said. “The debt accrued to attend college is a highly visible issue, and families are analyzing options to minimize their cost. So, attending a community college to obtain transferable credits and then transferring into a four-year university is a viable option. SIUE’s positive relationships with local and area community colleges benefit all parties in those situations.”

SIUE Fall 2013 Enrollment Facts & Figures

  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 11.8 percent (128 students) in the School of Engineering
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 4.7 percent (51 students) in the School of Education
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 4.5 percent (41 students) in the School of Business
  • Undergraduate enrollment is up 11.8 percent (84 students) in the School of Nursing
  • Schools of Engineering (1,462 students), Nursing (1,062 students) and Pharmacy (325 students) all have record total enrollments
  • New transfer students are up 2.5 percent (31 students)
  • Total of new transfer students is 1,252, largest since 2006
  • Total international enrollment is up 6 percent (19 students)
  • New graduate international enrollment is up 66 percent (36 students)
  • Total new students (freshmen, transfers and international) exceeds 3,000 for 11th consecutive year
  • Freshman Enrollment: 1,966, fourth largest freshman class in SIUE history
  • Total undergraduate enrollment is down 1 percent (112 students)
  • Total graduate and professional enrollment is down 4.6 percent (101 students)
  • Total 2013-14 Enrollment: 13,850, which ranks fifth all-time at SIUE

Belobrajdic pointed to a decline in high school populations in Illinois and throughout SIUE’s recruiting base as a critical factor for the smaller freshman class this year.

The School of Education’s graduate program accounts for the majority of the decrease in graduate enrollment. Three online programs – master’s in education instructional technology; post-baccalaureate certificate in web-based learning; and master’s in education in kinesiology with a specialization in physical education and sport pedagogy – were added in late August to help the graduate program.

Belobrajdic acknowledged that one of the most challenging aspects of this year’s enrollment trends has been reflected in graduate programs specific to K-12 audiences. These challenges are due in large part to the state’s current economic climate resulting in school budget cutbacks and decreases in professional funding for teachers.

Also impacting graduate enrollments are new state requirements regarding the preparation of school-based administrators, which have been implemented to increase quality and reduce the number of licensed principals in the state through legislated higher program admission requirements and rigorous program standards.

SIUE’s School of Education is proactively meeting the current needs of districts and teachers by offering endorsements in high need specializations, as well as providing flexible scheduling options including online and hybrid courses and programs taught off campus to enhance access.

Photo:  SIUE Class of 2017.

NCERC Biofuels Team Takes Advocacy Message on the Road

6 September 2013, 9:47 am

NCERC 10th aniversary 6-13-13

The NCERC at SIUE team will crisscross the country next week, presenting research findings and advocating for federal biofuels policy as staff members participate in national conferences in St. Louis, Omaha, Neb. and Washington, D.C.

“Advocacy, education and research are core elements of the Center’s mission,” said NCERC Director John Caupert. “Whether meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill, presenting research breakthroughs or learning about the latest industry innovations, these efforts extend the NCERC’s influence, allowing us to better meet market demands and stay on the forefront of biofuels research.”

In Washington, Caupert and Director of Communications Courtney Breckenridge will educate lawmakers on the positive impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) during the Growth Energy Advocacy Conference from Sept. 8-11. Caupert and Breckenridge will join ethanol and advanced biofuels producers, technology innovators, and other industry leaders in meetings with White House staff and members of the Illinois delegation. The focus of these conversations will include the effects of the RFS on the NCERC’s research and other recent breakthroughs at the Center.

At the National Advanced Biofuels Conference in Omaha, Research Director Dr. Sabrina Trupia will again take the stage to present her groundbreaking work on advanced biofuels feedstocks. Trupia’s presentations are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 10 and 11. Focusing on her breakthrough work on corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol, she also will present her sweet sorghum research in collaboration with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.

Trupia’s 2012 breakthrough conversion of corn kernel fiber to cellulosic ethanol established her leadership in the fermentation of cellulosic feedstocks. She most recently addressed an international audience of plant breeders, agronomists and scientists during a U.S. Department of Agriculture Workshop on Sweet Sorghum for Biofuels and Chemicals.

The NCERC also will take part in the Agriculture Innovation Showcase in St. Louis from Sept. 9 -11. Director of Operations Frank Romano will represent the Center as he meets with potential clients and learns about the latest industry ideas and agriculture innovations.

Photo: NCERC Director John Caupert addresses at tour group at the Center.

SIUE School of Engineering to Work with USTRANSCOM

5 September 2013, 8:07 am


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle has signed a three-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) for the School of Engineering to work with the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) at Scott Air Force Base.

The collaboration will facilitate investigation of innovative technologies and techniques in multiple disciplines to provide new opportunities and understand potential solutions to address USTRANSCOM information technology capabilities and supply chain needs, while providing SIUE with diverse and complex research problems facing the management of worldwide logistics.

USTRANSCOM is a unified, functional combatant command of the Department of Defense which provides support to the eight other U.S. combatant commands, the military services, defense agencies and other government organizations.  It provides full-spectrum global mobility solutions and related enabling capabilities as required.

SIUE’s expertise in information technology and supply chain management practices was attractive to USTRANSCOM.  The relationship will provide opportunities for USTRANSCOM to understand the feasibility, utility, and risk of new concepts and logistics techniques as applied to its missions.

“This will initiate, challenge and advance SIUE research to benefit faculty and students toward reaching their academic goals,” said Hasan Sevim, dean of the School of Engineering. “Faculty and student research will be enhanced by the introduction of new topics and challenges aided by government subject matter expertise and data.”

SIUE faculty and students will have access to selected information on USTRANSCOM and federally operated information and logistics systems. They will learn about USTRANSCOM architectures, business processes, operational and security challenges, and emerging government information technology and logistics techniques.

“This information will expand our understanding of current federal information and logistics practices,” said Cem Karacal, associate dean and professor in the School of Engineering. “It also will promote creation of innovative approaches to future supply chain management capabilities and, ideally, realize reduced costs.”

USTRANSCOM uses the same “Technology Transfer” authorities as federal laboratories to partner with industry and academia, collaboratively exploring future concepts and technologies and sharing expertise for mutual benefit. The outside party obtains access to government expertise and techniques and possibly technology or special facilities, while the government achieves deeper understanding of the potential benefits, risks and feasibility of new concepts and systems.

Both parties thereby advance their ideas and innovations and may use the information gained for their own benefit and future planning purposes.  USTRANSCOM cannot pay the non-federal party, but otherwise either partner can contribute resources of their own choosing to make the teamed research possible.

Rob Beutel, USTRANSCOM chief technology officer, promoted the use of the CRADA and is the government’s principal investigator for the effort.  “The CRADA is initially investigating some new techniques in information security,” Beutel said. “Improving that is key to so many aspects of logistics.

“However, the agreement is actually a flexible relationship for study of any aspect of logistics from information management to economic considerations and even energy conservation.  Both sides benefit from these voluntary partnerships, and we can easily choose to work on new and promising concepts together as we go forward, as our shared expertise and teamwork reveals.”

Photo: SIUE School of Engineering Associate Dean Cem Karacal.


SIUE Educational Outreach Offers Programs, Opportunities for All

4 September 2013, 12:38 pm

September is alive with engaging programs through Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Office of Educational Outreach.

There is still time to sign up for two Leisure Learning Activities:

• “Wedding Photography 201,” led by Mike Nichols, master photographer and craftsman, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 5-26 in SIUE’s Peck Hall, room 0307. The class is $214.

For more information or to register for Leisure Learning Activities, contact Educational Outreach, (618) 650-3210, or visit

Also through Educational Outreach, Lifelong Learning Programs have returned with four remaining topics for the month:

• “The Quest for Human Security: The Case of the Occupied Palestinian State” will take place from 7-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. SIUE Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science Denise DeGarmo will discuss the model of human security set forth by the United Nations Development Programme in 1994 and offer an assessment of the status of human security in the occupied Palestinian state. The event is free and will take place at the Main Street Community Center, 1003 N. Main Street, in Edwardsville.

• “Confessions of a Broadcast Journalist” will be held from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Meridian Village, 27 Auerbach Place in Glen Carbon. The event speaker will be Stephen Jankowski, director of SIUE’s Alumni Affairs and executive director of the Alumni Association. Jankowski spent more than 35 years as a broadcast journalist.

• “Healing Oils of Ancient Scripture” will be presented by Don Clair, “Young Living” business owner and health and wellness coach, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 200 University Park, room 1127. The program will focus on the use of essential oils and herbs in scriptures, and how these ancient remedies work on a scientific level. The cost to attend is $2 for SIUE Lifelong Learning members and $5 for general admission.

• “The Food & Culture of Travel: A Taste of the World,” presented by Cathy Passananti, assistant director of the Morris University Center, will take attendees on a discovery of the tastes of Italy, Ireland and places in between. Passananti offers to teach travelers how to skip tourist traps and become authentic travelers. The event will take place at 200 University Park, room 1127 from 1:15-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11. The cost to attend is $2 for Lifelong Learning members and $5 for others.

Half year memberships to the Lifelong Learning program are available for $15 per person. Membership benefits include reduced program fees, opportunities to meet SIUE faculty and staff, a special joining gift and more. For details or to become a member, contact Cheryl Brunsmann, assistant director of Educational Outreach, (618) 650-3209.

SIUE Art & Design Building Receives LEED Gold Rating

3 September 2013, 3:42 pm

Art and Design Building addition  13-19-13

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has certified Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Art and Design Building as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold building. It is the first building on the SIUE campus to achieve that distinction.

LEED certification is an official recognition that a project complies with the requirements prescribed within the LEED rating systems as created and maintained by the USGBC. The LEED certification program is administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

“SIUE is committed to environmental stability both inside and outside the classroom, and the Art and Design building is testament to that,” said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. “Providing state-of-the-art facilities supports our mission to provide an excellent educational experience for faculty and students.”

SIUE’s Art and Design LEED construction review submission scored 63 points out of a possible 110. The following categories were scored:

  • Sustainable sites
  • Water efficiency
  • Materials and resources
  • Energy and atmosphere
  • Innovation and design
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Regional priority credits

This will make SIUE fourth in the number of LEED buildings on University campuses in Illinois and Missouri. The three ahead of SIUE are University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“The Trivers team was committed to the collaboration, helping to manifest the University’s goals and approach to a sustainable environment,” said Joel Fuoss, lead architect on the project from Trivers Associates in St. Louis.  “The building design itself celebrates the wonderful and extensive natural environment that surrounds the campus, reminding the occupants within of the surrounding beauty.

“With buildings consuming nearly 40% of the U.S. primary energy use, we must be prudent in our approach to how we plan, construct, and utilize all of our structures for the long-term, and the Art and Design building embodies that process.  This building consumes nearly 28% less energy than a comparable building not held to these standards.

Fuoss pointed out that nearly 95% of all waste generated during construction on-site was recycled or reused. Most importantly, the building’s systems technology is able to safely exhaust, in an energy efficient manner, the many potential hazardous off-gasses integral during art creation. That allows for an enhanced interior environment for all University users.

The grand opening of the $9 million addition to the Art and Design Building was held earlier this year on March 21. The project added 29,000-square-feet of space including a new art gallery, additional office space, graduate student studio space and classrooms. The addition is located to the west of the existing Art and Design Building. An enclosed bridge joins the existing building and the addition.

When all on-going construction is complete, SIUE will have seven LEED certified buildings:

  • Art and Design Building
  • The Lucas Athletics Annex
  • The new Science Building
  • Existing Science Building renovation
  • The School of Engineering addition
  • The Cougar Village apartment building
  • The School of Dental Medicine simulation lab in Alton

LEED silver is mandatory for all Illinois State buildings over 10,000 square feet.

Photo:  SIUE Art and Design Building.

SIUE School of Pharmacy Annual Golf Fundraiser is Hugely Successful

3 September 2013, 11:52 am

Dr. Bill Wuller_Dr. Cindy Wuller_John Gloss_Dr. Mark Luer

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy raised more than $20,000 at its 7th annual golf scramble on Friday, Aug. 23. The event at Stonebridge Golf Course in Maryville raised funds for student scholarships.

“Pharmacy board members, corporate donors and recruiters, faculty, staff and students came together to make this year’s event our most successful ever,” said School of Pharmacy Dean Gireesh Gupchup. “The event’s success is directly related to the collective efforts of our golf committee and the generous support of the entire School of Pharmacy community.”

Matt Lewis, School of Pharmacy alum and pharmacy advisory board member, teamed with Gupchup as golf committee co-chairs. The committee recruited more than 120 golfers and 24 hole sponsors, who were treated to a sunny, fun-filled day complete with great food and an evening program.

Event sponsors included:

  • Walgreens
  • H.D. Smith
  • CVS Caremark
  • Metro-East Pharmacists Association
  • Catered Affair
  • Enclave
  • Shop ’n Save
  • Gateway East Pharmacy Association

More than 30 community businesses and individuals contributed contest prizes, goodie bag items, sponsorships and raffle prizes.

Photo: Dr. Bill Wuller, Dr. Cindy Wuller, John Gloss and Dr. Mark Luer celebrate a great shot at the SIUE School of Pharmacy’s 7th annual golf fund raiser.

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