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May 28, 2002

Doing Something 'Concrete' In A Third World Nation

For a burgeoning underdeveloped nation, the most widely used construction material in the world-concrete-is a valuable asset. But in Mongolia-that landlocked Asiatic country wedged between Russia and the People's Republic of China-knowledge of concrete is, at best, rudimentary.

One of the most sparsely populated nations in the world, the country is emerging from a modern history of political turmoil and looking to the west for assistance in its development. Mongolia is Asia's seventh largest country in area but with a population of less than 2.5 million.

This is why, in part, SIUE Engineering Professor Luke Snell and his wife, Billie, traveled to Mongolia-to lead the first Mongolian concrete conference in mid-May, where they served as "good will ambassadors" for concrete as they toured the country. The Snells departed for Ulaanbaatar-the Mongolian capitol-on May 14 for a 14-day visit that was packed full of activities promoting and providing information about concrete.

"Mongolia is on the verge of a construction boom," said Snell. "There is a great deal of need for the building of basic infrastructures, and the population has migrated to the cities, such as they are."

A colleague from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, who is spending a year teaching at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, invited Snell to organize the conference. As director of the Concrete Construction Resource Unit at SIUE, Snell's expertise was valuable in its formation.

"The conference covered everything from the basics of concrete to discussions of why concrete cracks, and testing of concrete quality," said Snell.

Following the one-day conference, the Snells traveled throughout Mongolia, visiting factories, government offices and schools.

"We took a supply of our 'floating concrete' kits with us to teach Mongolian teachers how to teach this learning kit to their students," said Snell. "Somewhere between toddler age and sixth grade, children appear to lose their natural curiosity about the world. By sixth grade, children view science and math as boring and too hard. We've been using the 'floating concrete' unit to demonstrate otherwise."

Established in 2001, the Concrete Construction Resource Unit (CCRU) is an extension of the Department of Construction within the School of Engineering. The CCRU unites the knowledge and experience of faculty from civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and mechanical engineering, as well as construction. One of its primary missions is to develop, promote and implement programs that create awareness of the concrete construction industry, as well as encourage children to explore the possibility of a career in construction or engineering.

The Snells travel and participation in the Mongolian concrete conference was sponsored by the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the Missouri chapter of the ACI, and SIUE's School of Engineering.

Benefits Fair Attendance Prize Winners Announced

Winners of attendance prizes at the SIUE Fitness and Benefits Fair in May have been announced. The fair is held each year in conjunction with the health Walk and the Staff Senate BBQ. The fair affords employees a chance to assess their health coverages through the university, as well as assess their health in general.

Two employees won prizes funded by Benefits Fair vendors' fees: Deanna Taylor, of the Office of Human Resources, a mountain bicycle, and Nancy Waltz, of the School of Education, a 19-inch color television set.

Other winners included:

Gloria Hartmann, of the Office of the Registrar, a birdhouse floral arrangement, and Bob Legate, of University Housing, a swim mat, both from Colonial Supplemental Insurance; Emily Coffin, of the Office of Continuing Education, Micro talk Walkie Talkies from Gallagher Byerly; and JoAnn White, of Facilities Management, a one-year Student Fitness Center membership, from Campus Recreation

Christy Simpson, of the Office of Graduate and International Admissions, and Karen Take, of Administrative Accounting, both received certificate for a free massage from Our Health Club & Spa in Glen Carbon.

'Root, Root, Root For The Cardinals' ... uh ... 'The Cubbies'

SIUE's Alumni Association has created another first ... the first SIUE Alumni Days at Wrigley Field and Busch Stadium, that is.

SIUE alumni, as well, as other members of the university community, are invited to join in the fun in both Chicago and St. Louis.

The first event kicks off Sunday, June 23, at Wrigley Field in as the Chicago Cubs do battle with the St. Louis Cardinals. The event features a pre-game reception at The Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St., across from Wrigley. The pre-game reception will begin at 4:30 p.m. and should end before game time.

Alumni association members pay a $32 event price, while non-members pay $35, which includes both the game ticket and pre-game reception buffet featuring hot dogs, bratwurst, hamburgers, cole slaw, potato salad, french fries, cookies, brownies, and soda. There is also a cash bar on location.

Then, it's "Meet me in St. Louis, Louie," as the association hosts the second part of the event on Sept. 7, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as the Cards play host to the Cubs. The second event includes a pre-game picnic in the picnic area of the stadium beginning at 5 p.m.

That pre-game picnic includes hot dogs, bratwurst, chips, pasta salad, and a cash bar and will end by the first pitch. The price for this event is also $32 for association members; non-members, $35.

Tickets for both events are available from the SIUE Alumni Association, (618) 650-2760, from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Changes Under Way In Morris University Center

Big changes are occurring in the Morris University Center as the $19.3 million renovation project progresses. The Food Court re-opened last week with limited seating in the Cougar Den, and as summer term begins we will see a number of closings, relocations and other related modifications to daily life in the MUC.

"We're minimizing inconveniences as much as we can," said Mary Robinson, director of the center. "Work will progress as quickly as possible to restore some semblance of normality, but a little patience and a little advanced knowledge will smooth things out greatly."

"With the start of the fall semester, the construction walls will come down and everyone will be able to enjoy the first phase of the new and improved seating," said Robinson. "Sometime in early fall the new food court will open in the southeast area of the dining area and the current servery will be closed to make way for additional seating."

Goshen Lounge continues to be closed until early June as renovations take place in that area. "But it's not all about things closing up," said Robinson. "June 14 will see the opening of the new and enlarged Union Station. We're also hopeful that the administrative offices and information center will be back in their locations by early June, and we're on track for an opening sometime in July of the new Starbucks Coffee café."

As Phase I renovation wraps up, work will begin on a number of other Phase II projects, including renovation of the University Restaurant's exterior patio that will eventually allow for outdoor dining, as well as renovations to the Alestle offices, Cougar Lanes, the Kimmel Leadership Center offices, the copy center, and the hair salon. "We anticipate completing Phase II by early November," said Robinson.

"The renovations reflect the types of things students told us they wanted to see in the University Center," said Robinson. More than a year's worth of focus groups and surveys were held before recommendations were made in the winter of 2000 on improving the 33-year-old building.

Completion of the improvements to the center is scheduled for the summer of 2003. For up-to-the-minute information on the project, click here.

Howard, Walden Head To Nationals

SIUE's Tamekia Howard (Florissant, Mo.) and Dan Walden (Springfield) will travel to San Angelo, Texas, as competitors at the 2002 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The national meet is a three-day event set for May 23-25 on the campus of Angelo State.

Howard qualified at 400 meters, while Walden is making his second straight appearance in the outdoor championships at 800 meters.

"Tamekia has made big leaps with her personal records this season," said SIUE Coach Darryl Frerker.

Howard was ninth on the list of twenty-three 400-meter runners with a time of 55.11 seconds in last Friday's Illini May Twilight meet in Champaign. "With that ninth spot, she should get a decent lane to run in. I think she's ready to get after it," Frerker said.

Howard will run the 400-meter preliminaries at 5:50 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. The finals for 400 meters are 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 25.

Walden's spot in the national meet was not as certain because he was 17th on the qualifying list. The NCAA committee overseeing the event selected 20 runners in the event. Walden hopes to qualify for the finals on Friday, May 24, at 7:40 p.m. The finals will be the next day at 7:50 p.m.

"Dan shouldn't be as nervous as he was last year in his first race at national," Frerker said. "This season he's been very consistent with his time and running within a few seconds of his personal best in every race." Walden's qualifying time at 800 meters was 1:51.43.

SIUE Places Third In GLVC All-Sports Trophy Race

With a softball conference championship in hand, the SIUE athletics department finished third in this season's Great Lakes Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings.

Northern Kentucky won the annual trophy, accumulating the most points based on finishes in GLVC Championships and other GLVC-sponsored events. Northern Kentucky scored 113 points, followed by Indianapolis (104.75), SIUE (95.5), Lewis (91.75), Southern Indiana (89), Bellarmine (72.5), Saint Joseph's (67), Quincy (61), Wisconsin-Parkside (60.5), Missouri-St. Louis (57) and Kentucky Wesleyan (22).

SIUE won its first GLVC Championship event in nearly three seasons when softball Coach Sandy Montgomery's team won early this month.

Northern Kentucky won the most GLVC titles with seven, followed by Indianapolis (4), Lewis (4), SIUE (1) Southern Indiana (1) and Kentucky Wesleyan (1). Indianapolis shared two of its titles with Northern Kentucky in men's golf and Lewis in women's outdoor track.

Opel Named First Team All-Region

Chad Opel (Edwardsville), who became the seventh player in NCAA Division II history to record more than 300 career hits, added another accolade to his growing list by being named All-North Central Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Opel, who batted .420 in his final season as a Cougar, was named to the first team and will appear on the national ballot for a chance to be named All-American for a second consecutive season.

The shortstop completed his career with 302 hits, making him the seventh player in NCAA Division II history to record 300 or more in a career. He also ranks fifth in the NCAA in runs scored with 229 and at bats with 850. He helped the Cougars to a 30-24 record and a third-place finish in the GLVC Tournament this past season as well as fifth-place national finish during the 2001 season.

Opel holds career records at SIUE in runs scored and doubles with 59. He also is second all-time at SIUE in hits and at bats. He also holds single season records for at bats (274) and runs scored (82) in 2001.

McCoy Named All-American

Valerie McCoy (Bethalto), who helped SIUE to its third straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Softball Championships and a record 51 wins this season, was named All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

McCoy, a senior, accepted her second All-American certificate in Salem, Va., in a ceremony at the national finals. McCoy was named an at-large third team All-American. "Val has been a steady force for this team for a long time. I'm happy she is getting well-deserved recognition," Coach Sandy Montgomery said.

The second baseman was steady in her final season as a Cougar with a .372 batting average. She completes her four-year career at SIUE among the all-time best in several offensive categories. McCoy is sixth in batting average at .357, fourth in at bats with 616, tied for second in hits with 220, eighth in runs batted in with 102, and fifth in walks with 55.

SIUE completed the 2002 season with a 51-12 record and its first Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament title.

SIUE Men's Soccer Signs Five

SIUE men's soccer Coach Ed Huneke filled his team's needs for next season with the signing of five players.

The soccer Cougars added Mike Ngonyani (Bloomington, Ind.), Pete Cacciatore (St. Louis), Brian Higgins (St. Charles, Mo.), Andrew Crider (Granite City), and Tim Velten (St. Louis). "We're still winning," Huneke said. "Last year's success has carried over into recruiting. The momentum should continue."

SIUE advanced to the Final Four last season and was eliminated by the eventual champion Tampa in the semifinals of the national championships. The Cougars finished with a record of 17-3-3.

Ngonyani enters SIUE after being named the national junior college Player of the Year at Springfield College. A two-time All-American, Ngonyani scored 46 goals in two seasons. As a forward, Ngonyani scored in every game as a senior at Bloomington North (Ind.) High School in leading his team to a 16-4-1 record. He also led his team to the school's first berth in the super sectional tournament. Ngonyani has been a part of a state title team for every year since 1995.

Huneke said Ngonyani will be a player to watch. "He's a very dangerous forward who can beat a defender in a variety of ways," Huneke said.

Cacciatore joins the list of family members who have played for the Cougars. His father, Steve, was a member of the 1972 national championship team. His uncles, Chris and Jeff, played for SIUE in the mid- to late-'70s. Pete Cacciatore helped St. Mary's High School to three straight state championships. He was honored as the Missouri Player of the Year in 2001 after earning numerous All-State and All-Conference honors. Cacciatore also competed in track where he was fourth at the state championships in the 300-meter hurdles.

"Pete has blazing speed and a flamboyant style of play," Huneke said.

Higgins led CBC High School with 12 goals last season and earned third team All-Metro honors from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A second team All-State selection his senior season, Higgins also played for the Scott Gallagher club team which won two state championships the past two seasons. "Brian is a classic playmaker who has great awareness, vision and execution," Huneke said.

Crider was a four-year letter winner at Granite City High School. An All-Southwestern Conference selection his junior season, the midfielder capped his prep career with two goals his senior season. "Andrew is a versatile player with a good sense of how to play," Huneke said.

Velten scored three goals as a back for Webster Groves (MO) High School his senior season. A second team All-State and third team All-Metro selection, Velten was the Suburban South Conference's Player of the Year in 2001 and a three-time All-Conference pick. "Tim is a superb athlete who is cool on the ball for a back," said Huneke.

Esker, Koenig Named Academic All-District

Jenny Esker (Steeleville) and Missy Koenig (Mapleton) have been named members of the Verizon/CoSIDA District V College Division softball team.

Esker, the Great Lakes Valley Conference's Player of the Year, was named to the first team as an outfielder, while Koenig was selected to the second team. The Verizon/CoSIDA District V College Division includes institutions from Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin who are NCAA Divisions II or III or NAIA.

Esker has been placed on the national ballot for consideration for Academic All-American.

A sophomore, Esker batted .395 for the Cougars, who finished the 2002 season with a 51-12 record and a No. 2 national ranking in the final USA Today/NFCA NCAA Division II regular season poll. Esker led the Cougars in several offensive categories, including hits (83), runs (56), doubles (22), home runs (12) runs batted in (48) and stolen bases (30). The hits and runs numbers broke single-season records at SIUE.

Koenig completed her second season at SIUE with a 16-4 record, one save and a 1.70 earned run average. In two seasons, Koenig has compiled a 32-11 record as an SIUE pitcher.

SIUE Women's Basketball Signs Native of Poland

Anna Wiszniewska, a 5-foot-10-inch forward from Warsaw, Poland, has signed a national letter of intent to play women's basketball for SIUE next season.

Wiszniewska played in the Polish I League last season and has previously been a member of a team which placed third at the Polish Junior Championships. "We like what we saw when we brought her in for a visit," admitted Coach Wendy Hedberg.

Coach Hedberg first learned of Wiszniewska through a compact disc the player had had sent to the women's basketball office. The CD had a video of her displaying her basketball talent. The Cougars took a chance on bringing Wiszniewska in for a visit.

Wiszniewska has been among winning teams since age 10 when she began to play in Warsaw's sports club. In 1999, her club team advanced to the Polish I/II finals. In 2001, her team won the bronze at the Polish Junior Championships as she averaged 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. "I think she is going to develop into a good player," Hedberg said.

The coaching staff may not have received an accurate view of her capabilities when she arrived for a visit since she was playing the day after flying in from Poland, said Hedberg. But the women's basketball coaching staff liked her maturity and poise after being put in a tough position.

Five Softball Cougars Named All-Region

After finishing the 2002 season with a 51-12 record, five SIUE softball players were named All-Great Lakes Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Jenny Esker (Steeleville), RyAnn Spann (Bethalto) and Valerie McCoy (Bethalto) were named to the first team. Erin Newman (Fairfield, Calif.) and Koree Claxton (Rantoul) were selected to the second team,

The members of the first team have been placed on the national ballot and will have an opportunity to be named All-American. "This is an outstanding achievement for these players," Coach Sandy Montgomery said. They have worked hard this season and deserve the reward."

SIUE finished the 2002 season this past weekend after being eliminated by Ashland in the consolation bracket of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament held in Edwardsville.

Esker, a sophomore outfielder, was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year after leading the league in several offensive categories, including hits (83), runs scored (56), runs batted in (48), and stolen bases (30). She set a single-season record for hits and runs scored as the team's leadoff hitter for most of the season.

Spann, a junior, recorded the most victories in a season (27) since Coach Montgomery set the record as a player with 30 in 1985. Spann fanned 219 batters in 247 2/3 innings and finished the season with a 1.10 earned run average.

McCoy, a senior, earned a back-to-back All-Region selection at second base. This season, McCoy hit .372 with 26 runs batted in. McCoy, an second team All-American last season, was the hardest player to strikeout with 11 in 183 at bats.

Newman, a two-time All-American, completed her collegiate career by shattering numerous offensive records, some of which she already had held after her junior season. Newman, a third baseman, batted .303 with eight home runs and 40 runs batted in this season. For her career, Newman leads SIUE in at bats (697), hits (265), walks (96), doubles (69), home runs (44), and runs batted in (185).

Claxton batted .311 in the outfield as the cleanup hitter. Claxton, a junior, recorded four home runs and 37 runs batted in, and was 11 of 11 in stolen bases.

Opel Named GLVC Player Of The Year

SIUE senior Chad Opel (Edwardsville) has been named Player of the Year by Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Opel, who needs four hits to become the seventh player in NCAA Division II history to record 300 or more hits, heads into the GLVC Tournament batting .429 with a team-best 51 runs scored, 19 doubles and 78 hits.

Opel was named first team as a shortstop for the Cougars. Wes Pickering (Springfield, Mo.) and Eric Meyer (Topeka) were named second team All-GLVC as a utility player and relief pitcher, respectively. Pickering is batting .331 with three home runs and 18 runs batted in. Meyer is 6-2 with a 3.31 earned run average and five saves.

Jarad Rettberg (Divernon) was named to Co-Freshman of the Year. Rettberg is currently 5-2 with a 3.29 ERA.

Glosser Signs With SIUE Men's Basketball

Logan Glosser, a 6-foot-5-inch forward from Mt. Zion, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for SIUE.

It is the first recruit for new Coach Marty Simmons.

In his first move as head coach, Simmons went after a scorer. "He will be a real asset to the kind of program we have here," Simmons said. "He's an all-around player."

Glosser averaged 19.4 points per game as a senior this past season at Mt. Zion High School. He shot 177 of 405 (43.7 percent) from the field. That includes hitting 51.9 percent of his shots from inside the arc. He also led his team with 70 three-pointers and was second in rebounding with 5.2 per game.

"He has had a lot of talent around him, and Mt. Zion has won a good number of games with him," Simmons said.

Glosser was a three-year starter and completed his career as a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's Class AA All-Star team.

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