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April 2012

A Bevy of Hats on Parade At The Meridian Derby

30 April 2012, 1:23 pm

Purple, red, fuchsia, yellow, blue and white were the colors of some of the hats that adorned the heads of more than 65 women who came out to support the philanthropic efforts of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Meridian Society at Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville.

"This has been fun, and it gives us an opportunity to show our style and creativity," said Sue Vandegrift, Meridian Society member and wife of SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. "But more importantly, it gives the Meridian Society an opportunity to continue its good work of supporting important projects at SIUE." Mrs. Vandegrift sported a white straw flop hat to which she attached a red and black SIUE pompom and a University scarf.

The Meridian Society, a women's philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting SIUE programs, recently held its first "Meridian Derby" during its annual Spring Social at the Fairmount Park's post club, Top of the Turf.

"We wanted to bring people together, meet new faces, increase the awareness of The Meridian Society and build relationships with the backdrop of an event that was fun," said Dr. Mary Sumner, Meridian Society president and professor of CMIS in the School of Business.

Since the organization was founded in October 2003, it has awarded more than $181,000 to 72 SIUE community based projects, according to Julie Babington, Meridian Society staff liaison and director of Annual Giving for the SIUE Foundation. Some of the awards given so far this year include: SIUE Department of Speech and Communication for a public relations campaign on raising awareness about human trafficking and a communication competency workshop for healthcare professionals working with deaf patients; SIUE School of Pharmacy Class of 2015 for Bridging the Hospice Volunteerism and the Millennial Generation; and SIUE Intercollegiate Athletics for the Special Olympics Southwest Illinois Spring Events.

A SIUE alumnus enjoyed hearing about the various ways that the Meridian Society is helping her alma mater and is planning to join the philanthropic group.

"I enjoy being part of things that promote and help SIUE to grow," said Deborah Hunt, who graduated from the University in 1976 with a bachelor's in Elementary and Special Education and in 1980 with a Master's in Special Education.

Hunt, dressed in a brown and crème colored straw hat, said she was appreciative of the Meridian Society's venue because it was her first horse racing experience. She also enjoyed looking at the beautiful hats and picking out her favorite ones.

Evon Udoh, an SIUE graduate with a bachelor's in Speech & Language, agreed that the array of hats made the spring event festive. Udoh, who wore a black flop hat, said she is looking forward to the next event.

The coveted "Best Hat" award went to the daughter of alum, Shonda Justice of Edwardsville. Justice, daughter of Gloria Justice who graduated in 1973, won for her vintage fuchsia netted pill box hat. Winning the "Biggest Hat" award in an apricot wide brim hat was Dr. Laura Perkins of Glen Carbon, an SIUE retiree.

"I think this event was very successful," Babington said. "We were able to secure some donations and even a few new members. We were delighted to see participants all decked out in Derby style."

Spotlight On SIUE Senior Standout Shines in Largest City in Vietnam

30 April 2012, 1:11 pm

A few years ago, Jenna Schneider's interests led her to the Master's Cup coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City, where the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student would talk with about 75 Vietnamese students a day as a means of tutoring them in English and American culture.

"The main goal was to give these individuals an avenue to practice English conversationally," said Schneider, a SIUE 2012 Senior Standout Award recipient. "I worked with Vietnamese students and adults on the meaning and pronunciation of words. I also spent a lot of time explaining popular phrases and slang."

Schneider is one of 30 SIUE graduating seniors who were recently recognized in an awards ceremony for their achievements in academics and commitment to leadership and service. Requirements for the winning the award included having a minimum accumulative grade point average of 3.75. Schneider has a 4.0 GPA and is getting a dual degree in Political Science and Economics and Finance. She wants to become a lawyer.

The SIUE student traveled to the largest city in Vietnam, formerly known as Saigon, in July 2009, where she lived for one month with her Vietnamese friends who had invited her. Many Vietnamese people, who Schneider talked to, thought all Americans were wealthy because of the glamorized lifestyles portrayed in American entertainment and media.

"Almost everyone I encountered was so appreciative of any insight I could provide regarding the American way of life and the English language," Schneider said.

But the senior learned some things about the Vietnamese culture as well. Many Vietnamese are forthright in speaking the truth. They are also family centered and it's common for many to live with their parents and grandparents. Schneider also said she found them overly eager to learn and educate themselves.

"I honestly was most challenged by the Vietnamese students as they made me realize I should take my education and opportunities more seriously," she said. "They spent countless hours studying every day and many of them frequented the coffee shop daily to practice their


Some of Schneider's other college accomplishments include: president of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Student Employee Development Committee president, treasurer of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. She also trained and supervised more than 100 students through Campus Recreation. She has received numerous awards including the Meridian Scholarship, Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, College of Arts and Sciences STELLAR Student, Sarah Sullivan Management Science Award and Campus Recreation 2010 Student Employee Honor Award.

"The one thing I plan to take away from my college experience is the lesson to focus first on my character instead of my goals," Schneider said, "as my professional goals and endeavors should flow out of who I am as a person."

Poshard Introduces Julie Furst-Bowe as SIUE Chancellor

26 April 2012, 11:00 am

Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard today introduced Julie A. Furst-Bowe (BO-vee) as the eighth chancellor in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's history. The announcement was made in the Morris University Center's Meridian Ballroom. The selection is pending formal SIU Board of Trustees' approval at its May 10 meeting, and Bowe would officially assume her duties July 2.

"Dr. Furst-Bowe has the right combination of skills and experience to continue the momentum that SIUE has built during the past decade," Poshard said. "I am confident that she will bring the required leadership necessary to keep this growing campus community moving in a positive direction."

Furst-Bowe succeeds Dr. Vaughn Vandegrift, who is retiring effective July 1, after highly successful eight-year tenure. Search Advisory Committee Chairman John Navin, Ph.D., a professor of economics and finance in the SIUE School of Business, led the 16-person committee through the four-month national search that began with 37 candidates. The committee was comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni. SIU System Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Sarvela assisted the search committee in representing the president in the search.

"I want to compliment the search committee on their dedication to the task of selecting a new chancellor who fits SIUE's mission, vision and values," Navin said. "We had an impressive candidate pool that was fully vetted, and the committee proved their commitment to excellence with the recommendation of

Julie Furst-Bowe."

Furst-Bowe has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis., since 2005. In her role as the chief academic officer for the campus, she has supervised the academic colleges and the following units: Enrollment Services, Student Services, International Education, Stout Online and the Discovery Center: Applied Research, Economic Development and Technology Transfer.

Since joining UWS as a faculty member in 1990, Furst-Bowe progressed through the administrative ranks as chair of the department of communications, education and training; associate vice chancellor, academic and student affairs; and assistant chancellor, assessment and continuous improvement.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for me professionally and personally," said Furst-Bowe. "SIUE is a vibrant, growing campus with unlimited potential as a premier metropolitan university. During the process, I was particularly impressed with the faculty and staff's collegiality and collaborative nature. I know that I am stepping into some large shoes, but the challenge of keeping this institution moving upward in the ranks of higher education is one that I willingly and enthusiastically accept."

She has provided leadership to the nationally-recognized quality improvement program at UW-Stout and has served as a senior examiner for the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program. UW-Stout was the first higher education institution to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She currently serves as higher education chair for the American Society for Quality and is providing leadership to STEM education initiatives on a nation-wide basis.

Furst-Bowe is recognized nationally and internationally for her expertise in quality higher education and has authored several articles and a book on this topic, Quality and Performance Excellence in Higher Education. She recently edited a book on advancing STEM education and is an editor of the International Journal of Excellence in Education. She is a founding board member of the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education and also serves on the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence and Sacred Heart Hospital Board of Directors.

She has served as a quality improvement consultant for numerous colleges and universities and is currently under contract to provide consulting services to Singapore's Ministry of Education, Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University in Dubai and Ahlia University in Bahrain. She was recently selected as a Fulbright Scholar and assigned to work with a new university in Azerbaijan through the Fulbright program.

Furst-Bowe earned an Ed.D. in work, family and community education in 1995 from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she also achieved a professional certificate in human resource development during the same year. She earned a master's of science in media technology from UW-Stout in 1986. The Chippewa Falls, Wis., native graduated magna cum laude from UW-Eau Claire in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism.

AMA Takes Top Award at International Conference

25 April 2012, 2:49 pm

photo of exhibit The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's American Marketing Association (AMA) recently was honored at the 2012 AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.

This year's conference theme was "always evolving." The group won first place in the AMA Exhibit Competition for Best Use of Conference Theme for its exhibit titled "The Evolution of a Cougar." The exhibit featured the evolution of a cougar into a business professional along with statistics about the SIUE School of Business and professional development. Around 40 chapters participated in the competition, and SIUE out-shined them all.

"This is a prestigious award and it is particularly notable since the strategic focus was clearly oriented towards this award. The students captured the importance of blending creativity with strategy by tying the conference theme to their exhibit and their work paid off with top honors," said Edmund Hershberger, associate professor of marketing and faculty adviser to the SIUE AMA chapter.

Students also competed in several business competitions, attended professional development sessions, engaged in networking and learned from some of today's top marketers. Conference and Exhibit participants included: Sophomore Adam Arras; A. Matthew Gamez, president-elect of the student chapter and a junior majoring in business with a concentrating in marketing; Katlyn Holm, a senior majoring in business administration with concentrations in management and marketing; John Honnen, president of the chapter and a senior business administration major with a concentration in marketing; Senior John Kmetz who is majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing; Junior Yasmina Seifeldin, a business administration major with a concentration in marketing; and Allie Sutton, a senior business administration major with a concentration in marketing.

SIUE To Introduce New Chancellor Tomorrow

25 April 2012, 12:59 pm

Southern Illinois University president Glenn Poshard will introduce the eighth chancellor in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's history tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in the Morris University Center's Meridian Ballroom. The selection is pending formal board of trustees approval at their May 10 meeting.

The new chancellor will succeed Dr. Vaughn Vandegrift, who is retiring effective July 1, after highly successful eight-year tenure.

The event is open to the public. For those unable to attend, the event will be streamed live at or

Edwardsville High School Wins Sixth Annual Greater St. Louis Botball Tournament

24 April 2012, 4:27 pm

Edwardsville High School won the sixth annual Greater St. Louis Botball Tournament held Saturday, April 21, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Meridian Ballroom in the Morris University Center.

Triad High School was the runner-up with the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois finishing third and Bond County Unit 2 Greenville High School placing fourth.

Seventeen teams competed from Illinois, Indiana and Missouri middle and high schools. The autonomous (no remote control) robot competition focused on reef renewal this year. The robots scored points by building reef walls, placing coral polyps in reef starters, collecting kelp and building a fish farm.

Gary Mayer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of computer science in the SIUE School of Engineering and one of the event organizers, enjoyed the spirit and positive attitudes of the competing teams.

"Teams took the wins and losses as good sports and went about fixing problems as best as they could," he said. "I saw teams congratulating their competition and offering words of support. It made for an enjoyable tournament as you could focus on all of the positive accomplishments made by each team."

Botball scores are based on the double-elimination tournament, the seeding round scores and documentation scores. Edwardsville High School took first overall, although it did not win the double-elimination. EHS had a strong showing in the seeding rounds and documentation, and did well enough in double-elimination to take the top spot.

Belleville East High School won the double elimination with the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois finishing as runner-up. In this competition, robots from two different teams simultaneously compete on a game board not only in an effort to score as many points as possible, but also to keep their opponent from scoring. Double elimination placement makes up about one-third of the overall Botball score.

Mayer had particularly high praise for the Girl Scouts' team.

"The Girl Scouts' mentors and team members had little building and coding experience prior to our February workshop," he said. "They also didn't have much confidence in their skills and ability to meet the challenges of the tournament at that time. But what they managed to do was give a great presentation and build two robots that performed consistently.

"One of the robots typically scored points by dropping the fish farm in the correct location to allow a team member to easily load it with tilapia via the chute. The other thing they managed to do was adapt that robot to score more points by zipping over to the opponent's side after dropping off the fish farm. The Girl Scouts entered the final four in fourth place, with one loss against them, but they couldn't quite get past Belleville East."

Mayer noted that the staff working the event enjoyed it immensely, because of how much the competition seemed to positively impact the students.

"We are always amazed by what these students in sixth through 12th grade accomplish," he said. "The way they communicate and delegate responsibility, their approach to problem-solving and what they actually implement is impressive. There were mechanisms to stack blocks, rotating sweepers to pick up items and scissor-devices to reach up for tall objects.

"People need to remember that when the tournament starts, there are no non-staff adults allowed in the pit area. On their own, the students must keep their team functioning, fix problems with the robots and counter other teams' strategies."

Nearly 200 enthusiastic spectators filled the ballroom throughout the event.

"The crowd was awesome," Mayer said. "All audience members offered positive encouragement to the teams throughout the tournament. They also stayed until the end of the awards ceremony, which further reinforces the accomplishments of the teams receiving the awards."

The East St. Louis Charter High School received a Judges' Choice Certificate for Outstanding Programming.

For more information, visit

SIUE School of Business Hosts Free Etiquette Seminar

23 April 2012, 3:19 pm

Etiquette St. Louis will be hosting a business etiquette seminar for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business students from 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday April 24 in the Morris University Center's University Restaurant.

The seminar is free for School of Business students, but registration is required.

The purpose of the seminar is to help business students learn business etiquette skills for events such as receptions and business meals. Additionally, the School hopes this seminar will help students gain the confidence necessary to be successful in any social situation.

Business attire is required for this event. Men should wear suits, jackets and ties, and women should wear suits or the equivalent.

If you are a School of Business student and would like to attend this event please register by sending Kelsey Norris,, an email with your name, telephone number, email, student class standing, and major.

Services Set for Petersen and Siddall

23 April 2012, 8:56 am

Updated April 24, 2012

The families of SIUE students Lauren D. Petersen and Lacy V. Siddall are planning a joint service. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Greater Alton Church at 506 East Airline Drive in Rosewood Heights, with a funeral service following.

Both were fatally injured in an early Sunday morning off-campus apartment fire. Siddall passed away early Sunday morning, and Petersen passed away a few hours later.

"The loss of these two young women is a very sad occurrence for every member of the SIUE family," said Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. "Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with the Petersen and Siddall families."

April 23, 2012

UPDATE 10:23 am: Two SIUE Students Passed Away

We are mourning the death of another member of the SIUE family. Lauren Petersen has just passed away as a result of the injuries she incurred at an early Sunday morning off-campus apartment fire. The family has not announced arrangements.

Lacy V. Siddall passed away earlier this morning from her injuries incurred in the fire.

"The loss of these two young women is a very sad occurrence for every member of the SIUE family," said Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. "Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with the Petersen and Siddall families."

Update, 4-23-12, 8:56am:
It is with great sadness that we are reporting an update. The university has just been advised that Lacy V. Siddall, 21, passed away early this morning as a result of the injuries she incurred at an early Sunday morning off-campus apartment fire. The family has not announced arrangements.

Lauren D. Petersen remains in critical condition at St. Luke's Hospital.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Lauren and both families.

Please remind your students and other members of the campus community that counseling is available through Counseling Services at 618-650-2197 and 618-650-2842.


update: 4-22-12, 7:45 am

Two Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students were critically injured following an early Sunday morning fire in an off-campus residence. Their families have been notified. The students are identified as: Lauren D. Petersen, age 19, Timberwood Drive, Bethalto, Illinois, and Lacy V. Siddall, age 21, Briarwood Drive, Bethalto, Illinois.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Petersen and Siddall families," said SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. "Any time a member of the SIUE family is involved in a tragedy such as this it affects us all."

The City of Edwardsville Fire Department has issued an update to their press release to include the names of the students. The updated press release is listed below.

Counseling is available to students by calling Counseling Services at 618-650-2197 or 618-650-2842. After hours students should call the SIUE Police Department at 618-650-3324 to reach the counselor on call.

Updated press release:



APRIL 22, 2012

Edwardsville - Two Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students were critically injured following an early-Sunday morning fire in an off-campus residence at 648 Hillsboro Avenue. The address is an older, two-story home.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 3:42 am following receipt of a 9-1-1 call placed by a next-door neighbor who observed the blaze. Upon arrival, firefighters found moderate smoke coming from the second floor of the residence that had been renovated for apartments. Once inside, firefighters found an active fire in one of the bedrooms and quickly located two female victims in another room.

The students are identified as:

  • Lauren D. Petersen, age 19, Timberwood Drive, Bethalto, Illinois
  • Lacy V. Siddall, age 21, Briarwood Drive, Bethalto, Illinois

The victims, who remain in critical condition, are life-long friends, according to what their parents told officials. Due to name similarities with that of others, authorities had difficulty ascertaining the exact identification of Ms. Petersen and required the assistance and cooperation of university officials and law enforcement.

Both women were removed by firefighters and transferred to paramedic units from the Edwardsville and Glen Carbon fire departments. The victims were conveyed by ambulance to Anderson Hospital in Maryville and later airlifted by ARCH Helicopters to a St. Louis County Hospital. The fire was extinguished 20 minutes after the time of alarm.

While the investigation continues and reports are not finalized, it initially appears that the cause of the fire was accidental and absent of any suspicious activity

A representative of the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) joined Edwardsville investigators to determine the cause of the fire. Preliminary results indicate a laptop computer sitting on the bed was plugged into a power strip along with other electrical devices at or near the point of origin. It must be stressed that these are only preliminary findings and not necessarily conclusive. Firefighters, building inspectors and the OSFM representative are also checking the presence of and the operational capabilities, where applicable, of required safety devices including smoke detectors.

It is anticipated that further details may be available within the next week.

The Edwardsville Fire Department was assisted by mutual aid companies from Wood River, Glen Carbon, Holiday Shores and Collinsville.

Original press release:

SIUE's SIAM Center Important In Metro-East's Green Technology Push

20 April 2012, 3:56 pm

In an article that appeared April 17 in the Belleville News-Democrat, it stated that manufacturing isn't a dying industry and referenced that the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering's Southwest Illinois Advanced Manufacturing (SIAM) Center is helping bring manufacturing back to the Metro-East through a "green" technology push.

In the article titled, "'Manufacturing is back': Metro-east businesses focus on 'green' technology, employee training," it stated: "Contrary to popular belief, these experts say that although the manufacturing sector here and across the country has shed jobs, the industry is not dying. There are challenges, but embracing technology, especially the 'green' kind, has proven results in St. Clair and Madison counties." The article further stated that SIUE's SIAM Center has been credited with helping "instruct clients to tap into technology," noting the center has assisted its clientele in gaining an average of $16 return for every dollar invested.

The article provides details about some of the clients and projects assisted by the SIAM Center.

SIUE's Senior Assignment Program Referenced In New York Times Article

20 April 2012, 3:08 pm

A piece that appeared this week on the opinion pages of the New York Times referenced Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Senior Assignment program as an example of a value-added assessment-proof that an institution is educating and preparing its students for life in the real world.

The article, titled "Testing the Teachers" stated: "Colleges and universities have to be able to provide prospective parents with data that will give them some sense of how much their students learn." It cited SIUE's program, along with a program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, stating both "use capstone assessment, creating a culminating project in which the students display their skills in a way that can be compared and measured."

The item can be viewed online or in today's print version of the New York Times, page A23.

SIUE Nursing Holds Annual Health Fair For The East St. Louis Community

20 April 2012, 8:38 am

Lashay Wood, a sophomore at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School, remembers having a bad episode with allergies and believing she could do nothing about it. But after attending the recent Third Annual SIUE Community Nursing Services Health Fair, the 15-year-old now realizes her allergies were worsened because she had been exposed to freshly cut grass.

"Our goal is to provide participants with information on community resources and education about health issues that affect the East St. Louis Community," said Kathi Thimsen, director of SIUE Community Nursing Services and Public Health Nursing Faculty.

The health fair was held in the Multipurpose Room in Building D at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus in East St. Louis. Approximately 350 people attended the fair, which featured 25 vendors. Some of the agencies participating included the Illinois Department of Children Family Services, St. Clair County Health Department, East Side Health District, Bethany Place, Alzheimer's Association, Wellspring Mental Health Services, Southern Illinois Health Foundation, University of Illinois Air Quality Project and SIUE Student Nurse Advancement Program.

The agencies that were at the fair deal with the challenges facing East St. Louis residents such as heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, poor air quality and poor nutrition and lacking access to healthy, fresh food, said Thimsen.

Besides receiving information, fair participants were able to take part in blood pressure checks and glucose screenings, hemoglobin testing, fire safety and more.

Charter School student, Lashay, added that she learned valuable information about sexually transmitted diseases during the health fair.

"I didn't know that one out of every four people will get an STD in their lifetime," Lashay said.

What 16-year-old Angelica Howard found interesting was how to interact with infants at various stages of their development.

"My mother babysits for people, and I'm around babies a lot," the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School sophomore said. "I took one of the pamphlets because the information will be good to have."

Lashay and Angelica also had never heard the term "food deserts" before, though they realized that their community had limited access to healthy food options.

"East St. Louis is a food desert by national standards," said Thimsen. "Food deserts are those cities that have limited access to grocery stores and health food choices. In East St. Louis, there are three grocery stores for 27,000 people and 173 liquor/convenience stores."

The objectives of the health fair, according to Thimsen, were to empower people to take control of their destiny in terms of health care and lifestyle, empower them to find resources to help them in educational training for employment and to create a sense of trust among community agencies and SIUE.

"It's important that the community see SIUE giving something back, because we, as a University, are committed and invested in this community," Thimsen said.

SIUE Women Win Back-to-Back Club Basketball Titles

19 April 2012, 5:04 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Women's Club Basketball team won its second consecutive National Intercollegiate Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) championship last weekend by defeating Penn State 47-31 in the National Campus Championship Series (NCCS) at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. SIUE finished its title run with a 42-2 record.

The Cougars defeated Columbus State handily before beating University of California San Diego and Penn State in pool play to move on to the Sunday championship bracket.

"UC San Diego was a quick team that pressed us, but we handled the pressure well and controlled the game," said head coach Stewart Ringer, a senior business administration major from Virden, Ill. "We jumped out on Penn State early and built a 20-point first half lead, but they cut the lead to two in the second half. We pulled together and managed to get the win."

The Cougars had their toughest game against Ohio State in the semi-finals, but survived 49-45 as sophomore Kelly Korza poured in 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while graduate student Georgia Mueller added 15 points and six boards. "We built a rivalry with OSU over the past two years, and they pushed us to the limit," Ringer stated. "We cut down on our mistakes and that led to the win."

In a rematch from pool play, SIUE ran away from Penn State in the championship game by expanding a four-point halftime edge into a rout. "I just thought we wanted it more," Ringer said. Mueller contributed 14 points and six boards, while Korza tossed in 15 points and team captain Jenny Bealmear added 11.

"We had a nucleus of girls who played well together," Ringer explained. "With four starters back from last year, we had that experience that made this championship run a little easier the second time around. We had a talented group to start, and then we added some new people who we could trust coming off the bench."

SIUE relied on its pressure defense to force their opponents into errors and used a versatile offensive style at the other end. The Cougars ran when the opportunity was presented, but were able to execute effective halfcourt sets when opponents attempted to slow them down.

Mueller was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after averaging 12.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. Korza earned a berth on the All-Tournament team by averaging 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

SIUE Research Professor Honored With Prestigious Award

19 April 2012, 2:52 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Research Assistant Professor Pamela Gay is the recipient of one of two St Louis Academy of Science 2012 Science Educator awards. She will be honored Thursday at the 18th Outstanding St Louis Scientists Awards Dinner. She shares the award with Michael W. Friedlander, Ph.D., professor emeritus from Washington University in St. Louis.

The Science Educator Award recognizes individuals and organizations in the St Louis area responsible for making outstanding contributions to science education or to the public understanding of science, engineering and technology. Gay receives this award for contributions to online science education through podcasting, citizen science projects and the effective use of social media.

Gay has been on the SIUE faculty since 2006 and currently works in the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach. She is project director for the CosmoQuest online citizen science community (, and cohost of the Astronomy Cast podcast (

The Science Educator award and several other regional awards will be presented at the 18th Outstanding St Louis Scientists Awards Dinner, which is being hosted by the Academy of Science - St. Louis. Gay will join representatives from Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University and other institutions being recognized during the event.

"The evening is a unique opportunity for an interdisciplinary celebration of the public, private and academic STEM leaders in our region," stated Mary Burke, CEO of the Academy of Science - St. Louis in a release.

The event will take place in the Starlight Ballroom of the Chase Park Plaza Hotel and also will serve as a salute to the Academy of Fellows, a prestigious association of St. Louis area scientists and engineers of national note.

The Academy has sought nominations for the last 18 years to recognize men and women who are outstanding in the fields of science, technology and engineering. Those recognized are individuals and institutions "known worldwide for their scientific contributions to research, industry and quality of life," the release stated. "In keeping with the academy's 156 year-old mission of promoting the understanding and appreciation of science, those recognized also have a record of excellence in communicating with the public and/or mentoring colleagues."

For more information, visit

SIUE Hosts 6th Annual Greater St. Louis Botball Tournament

19 April 2012, 2:48 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Morris University Center is the site for the 6th annual Greater St. Louis Botball Tournament on Saturday, April 21.

Seventeen teams from Illinois, Indiana and Missouri middle and high schools are registered to compete. Doors at the Meridian Ballroom will open at 8 a.m. and admission is free.

This is an autonomous (no remote control) robot competition. This year's competition is focused on reef renewal. Robots score points by building reef walls, placing coral polyps in reef starters, collecting kelp and building a fish farm.

Seeding rounds begin at 10 a.m. Double-elimination (i.e., robot-to-robot) rounds begin at roughly 1:30 p.m. The tournament is expected to conclude by 5 p.m.

Public parking is available in Lot B on the SIUE campus. For a campus map and directions, visit

Martinson Family Foundation Supports SIUE Entrepreneurial Program

19 April 2012, 1:43 pm

A $120,000 contribution during the next three years from the Martinson Family Foundation of Lawrenceville, N.J. to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business will assist in strengthening the academic and co-curricular entrepreneurship specialization in business administration.

The gift to the School of Business' entrepreneurship program reflects the Martinson family's personal and professional interests. John Martinson is the director of the foundation, and founder and managing partner of Edison Ventures in Lawrenceville. Eileen Martinson is chief executive officer of Sparta Systems in Holmdel, N.J., which is a leading provider of enterprise quality management software.

"Job growth is the result of entrepreneurs who build innovative businesses," said John Martinson. "I firmly believe that the secret to ending recession is increased entrepreneurship."

Edison Ventures has been instrumental in enabling business creators to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. The company has financed and guided 185 information technology businesses, including 44 growth companies in Pennsylvania, helping companies grow from $5 million to between $25 and 100 million in five to eight years.

School of Business Dean Gary Giamartino said he believes the partnership with John and Eileen Martinson will enable the school to capitalize on the interest of students who plan to start their own businesses. Entrepreneurship is a burgeoning area of emphasis in all majors University wide.

"Our entrepreneurship specialization focuses on the special challenges of new venture development," Giamartino said. "The generous gift from the Martinsons will enable SIUE's School of Business to truly act as a catalyst for entrepreneurship in the region."

The Martinson's gift contributes to Defining Excellence-the Campaign for SIUE toward reaching its goal to raise $50 million by garnering alumni and community support. To date, $32 million has been raised. Publically launched in March 2011, the major gifts campaign is about taking SIUE to a new level of prominence and performance. For more information, visit

The SIUE School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (ASCB), representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review has ranked the SIUE School of Business as one of the best MBA programs in the country for the past six years. Annually, the School of Business serves 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students.

For more information on the SIUE School of Business, visit

SIUE School of Engineering Professor Awarded the 2012 Distinguished Research Professor Award

19 April 2012, 1:38 pm

Keqin Gu, chairman and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering, recently was named the 2012 recipient of the Distinguished Research Professor Award.

The award is an academic rank rewarding faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding and sustained contributions to research and creative activities. Gu will be recognized with the rank of SIUE Distinguished Research Professor for the duration of his tenure at SIUE.

"I find Keqin highly qualified and deserving of this award; not only for his excellence in scholarship, but also for his teaching, service, collegiality and overall intellectual capacity," said School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim.

Gu was promoted to professor in 2002 and has made consistent contributions to the engineering field of control systems, particularly as it applies to the topic of time delay systems. He has earned an international reputation as one of the top experts in the stability of time delay systems. Additionally, he has published one monograph, one edited volume, eight book chapters, four book reviews, 20 journal papers and 23 conference papers since 2002. Gu's reputation has resulted in editorial positions in two prestigious control systems journals. He regularly serves as an invited keynote or plenary speaker, and has served on the program committee for several national and international conferences.

Gu developed a method to discretize Lyapunov-Krasovskii functionals, which are used for the stability analysis of time-delay systems. The system is known worldwide as Gu's discretization.

SIUE Associate Professor Appeared On Regional Cable Program

18 April 2012, 1:37 pm

Andy Lozowski, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering, recently discussed solar energy and battery technology on local cable Conversation with Lee Presser.

During the half-hour segment, Lozowski discussed the development of alternative energy systems, the equipment needed for a home to utilize solar power, and how neighborhoods can share captured energy thus becoming less dependent on the utility's power grid.

Conversation with Lee Presser is a half-hour television interview program that has been aired in St. Louis and southwestern Illinois for eleven years. Lozowski's interview aired April 9 at 7 p.m. on Charter channel 18.

The episode with Lozowski is available for viewing through YouTube.

SIUE Women's Philanthropy Group Hosts Spring Social At Fairmount Park

18 April 2012, 10:33 am

Women from the region are encouraged to attend a derby party hosted by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Meridian Society and IMPACTpr from noon-3 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Fairmount Park Racetrack's Top of the Turf in Collinsville.

The Meridian Society is a women's philanthropic organization dedicated to promoting the cultivation of community groups and the initiatives they support. The event is the organization's annual spring social and all money raised through new memberships will be used to support local projects.

Past projects that have received assistance have included the SIUE Early Childhood Center and the SIUE School of Engineering's Engineers Without Border program.

The spring social is an opportunity for society members to gather and celebrate the organization's accomplishments and activities throughout the year, as well as a chance to reach out to potential new members who are committed to SIUE and the enhancement of the region.

Those planning to attend this year's event are encouraged to don their Kentucky Derby best for the function. To learn more, visit

Glen Carbon Resident Wins Kimmel Award For Special Populations

13 April 2012, 2:55 pm

Marc E. Mitchell, of Glen Carbon, is the recipient of the 2012 Kimmel Community Service Award for Special Populations.

The awards are sponsored by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the Belleville News-Democrat.

Mitchell describes his work with the Special Olympics and Great Destinies Cooperative, and as the president of the Riverbend Down Syndrome Association, as a rewarding opportunity.

"My service to the special needs community has made a positive impact on many lives," he said. "This is really the motivating factor that keeps me going. I get great pleasure in giving my time, gifts and talents that God has given me to help others strive and do more than they thought they could do."

Not only has Mitchell served as a coach for Special Olympics teams for basketball, soccer and golf, he has volunteered many countless hours helping to chaperone and mentor athletes, said Linda Wunder, Southern Regional Area Supervisor, Special Olympics.

"Marc gives of himself, teaching by doing, showing others the power that caring individuals can make in the lives of many," said Sue Brown, chair of Great Destinies, Inc., which is an organization committed to enhancing future opportunities for youth with developmental disabilities.

The award recipients will be recognized at a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Wednesday, April 25, in the SIUE Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. Light refreshments will be served following the event. For more information or to RSVP, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686. While the event is free, an RSVP is requested.

Collinsville, East St. Louis & O'Fallon Residents To Receive Kimmel Awards

13 April 2012, 2:51 pm

Terry "Bones" Allan, of Collinsville, Roderick Keith Willis, of East St. Louis, and Raymond E. Marbury, of O'Fallon, are recipients of 2012 Kimmel Community Service awards.

The awards are sponsored by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the Belleville News-Democrat.

Allan has said "you can never give back too much to your community. My goal is to help those less fortunate in our community have a better life." He is the recipient of a Kimmel Agency/Organizational Concerns award.

Rosemarie Brown, executive director of The Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Madison County, described Allan as "a true champion for the Hospice movement." "Terry took a real chance the first time I called him in 1983 asking for his help with the first Hospice event in this area," she said. "(He) is a valuable and tireless volunteer who has earned the deepest respect of the people he works with and is an invaluable asset to his community."

For his dedication to volunteerism, Allan has received numerous awards, including the 2010 Spirit of Excellence Award from the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce. For more than 20 years he has served as an active member of the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob Chamber of Commerce. He volunteers in many ways-as Santa Claus or an auctioneer-for a variety of causes, including cancer research, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, lupus, injured pets and more.

As a community servant, Willis has been a member of the East St. Louis Community Board of Directors since 1990. The recipient of a Kimmel Award for Social Service/Social Welfare, he has organized regular youth and community activities, including roller skating parties, laser tag outings and YMCA swimming classes, wrote and secured grants to strengthen and improve the community, and led a neighborhood housing demolition project. He is a recipient of the Mallory Jerome Cross Humanitarian Award and the National Council of Negro Women Dorothy Height Award.

"Roderick works diligently at volunteering his service to anyone," said Dorothy M. Smith, vice president of banking service at Cass Commercial Bank. "I can't think of a more deserving person to receive the (award.)"

Also as a recipient of a Kimmel award for Social Service/Social Welfare, Marbury, who is a retired U.S. Air Force major, said his philosophy for life is "to provide hope, nourishment and encouragement to others in need." He added, "I have tried to make a difference in the lives of people in the local community-young and old-in which I live, work and recreate."

As a member of non-profit organizations, including Call for Help, Inc., which helps people in crisis situations, and Delta Economic Development Center, Inc., committed to furthering regional economic prosperity, and through the East St. Louis Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Marbury has been actively involved in promoting many events that benefit the community, including the Komen Race for the Cure, the Prostate Cancer Awareness annual walk in St. Louis and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

"I can attest to the fact that Raymond's involvement in organizations, community activities and programs is not (a) 'token,'" said Charles Q. Brown, retired U.S. Army Colonel. "If he commits, he is 'all in.' He is an excellent example of selfless service."

The award recipients will be recognized at a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Wednesday, April 25, in the SIUE Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. Light refreshments will be served following the event. For more information or to RSVP, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686. While the event is free, an RSVP is requested.

Former Judge Receives Kimmel Community Service Award

13 April 2012, 2:48 pm

The Hon. Ellar Duff, former associate judge for Illinois' Third Judicial Circuit, is the recipient of the 2012 Kimmel Community Service Award in the area of agency/organizational concerns.

The awards are sponsored by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the Belleville News-Democrat.

Duff, of Alton, who was a judge for more than 20 years, is a member of many organizations, including the National Council of Negro Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Riverbend Rotary, the Alton Education Foundation, the Madison County Urban League and the YWCA of Alton Board of Directors. For more than 30 years she has contributed her time and resources to area volunteer initiatives.

"The quality of a community turns on its citizens' willingness to freely provide their talents, knowledge, expertise and time to enhance and encourage its residents to be the best they can be," Duff said of her volunteer efforts. "The opportunity to provide a service for someone; address a critical need; or give a voice to someone who otherwise would go unnoticed and unheard is an honor and a privilege. I believe that time is our most precious resource. Giving of one's time and resources to serve others presents one of life's greatest rewards."

Duff said she believes her volunteer service has made a difference by helping set a solid example of leadership for younger people in the community, providing resources to those in need and creating opportunities for others, when possible.

Minister Joyce Y. Elliott, president of the Alton section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. described Duff as a "drum major for justice" and stated that she has been "a positive influence to many who accept her wisdom and knowledge from 'the school of hard knocks.'"

Duff will be recognized at a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Wednesday, April 25, in the SIUE Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. Light refreshments will be served following the event. For more information or to RSVP, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686. While the event is free, an RSVP is requested.

SIUE Historical Studies/Education Major Wins Kimmel Scholarship

13 April 2012, 2:45 pm

Katelynn Alexander, of Carrollton, a junior majoring in historical studies and secondary education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been named recipient of the university's 2012 Carol Kimmel Scholarship. The scholarship program is co-sponsored by the Belleville News-Democrat.

The annual scholarship was established to recognize students for their outstanding leadership and community volunteer service contributions, in addition to academic excellence. It is named for Kimmel, a former member of the SIU Board of Trustees, who for many years donated freely of her time and talent to volunteerism.

Criteria for winning the scholarship includes maintaining a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and demonstrating volunteer contributions within the last two years in leadership, service, and/or citizenship, including leadership in a student organization or at least one elected office; and more than 30 hours of nonpaid service to a community agency or community organization. The scholarship provides one full year of tuition at the SIUE in-state rate.

An active volunteer through the Kimmel Student Leadership Development Program on campus, Alexander has devoted many hours working through the SIUE Homeless Program/Alliance of Students Against Poverty (ASAP), serving on the organization's executive board, and as a medical advocate for Call for Help, Inc., which is an organization that assists sexual assault victims in neighboring communities. She also has provided assistance through the University's Holy Angels Shelter Project and by taking part in the 2011 Alternative Spring Break Trip to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

During her tenure at the University, she has been employed as a resident assistant in Cougar Village. Her academic achievement-maintaining a 4.0 GPA-has led to her selection as a member of the SIUE School of Education's Dean's Dozen, which recognizes the school's top student academic achievers.

"Kate has held many leadership positions during her time at SIUE," said Sarah Laux, SIUE's assistant director for Civic Engagement. "(She) is a model student and community member-always seeking different and exciting ways to raise awareness on the many issues of social justice. She is always eager to serve others, regardless of her needs and demanding schedule. She is certainly deserving of this honorable award."

Alexander will be recognized at a 4:30 p.m. ceremony Wednesday, April 25, in the SIUE Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. Light refreshments will be served following the event. For more information or to RSVP, call the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2686. While the event is free, an RSVP is requested.

SIUE Alumnus Retires After 26 Years in the Alton School System

12 April 2012, 3:18 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumnus Brenda Vernatti will retire in June after working in the Alton School District for 26 years. The Alton native earned her bachelor's in elementary education and her master's in education administration from SIUE in 1986 and 1996, respectively. She became an elementary school teacher in Alton for Eunice Smith Elementary in 1986. She taught fifth grade for 10 years before accepting a position as principal for Eunice Smith Elementary in 1996. She became principal of the North Elementary school in 2006.

More information about Vernatti is available in an April 5, article titled "Education Excellence" at

SIUE Alumnus Is Named New Richmond Heights Police Chief

12 April 2012, 12:09 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumnus Roy Wright has been named the new police chief of Richmond Heights. Wright earned his master's in public administration from SIUE in 1992. After receiving his master's, Wright studied at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and has taught criminal justice courses at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.

Wright has been with the Richmond Heights Police Force since 1973, where he was a sergeant, captain of the patrol division and assistant chief. Before accepting his title as police chief, Wright served as interim chief since January 2012.

More information is available about Wright in an April 4 article titled "Richmond Heights Names New Police Chief" in STLToday , the online component of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

SIUE 2012 Student Employee of the Year Recognized

11 April 2012, 5:00 pm

Jennifer Bealmear, of Aledo, was named the 2012 Student Employee of the Year at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for her outstanding work in Campus Recreation during her tenure with the University.

"When you find a student employee like this, it elevates the entire University," said Kim Durr, executive assistant to SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. Durr presented Bealmear with an award certificate, a $75 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, a coffee mug and a T-shirt. She noted that SIUE strives for excellence and that Bealmear is an example of that.

Bealmear was recognized for her role as an intramural sports supervisor during a reception today in the Student Fitness Center to celebrate National Student Employee Week, as designated by the National Student Employment Association. Campus recreation specialist Nathan Scott nominated Bealmear and described her as a leader among the student staff, as well as someone who possesses a "self-starter attitude and dedication to success."

Bealmear has been nationally recognized as an outstanding student through the prestigious Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, and at the University as an Emerging Student Leader and an Outstanding Student Leader. She also has received recognition for her contributions through athletics. She has served as president and vice president of the Women's Basketball Club, president of the Sports Club Executive Council and vice president of the Recreational Sports Advisory Council at SIUE.

"In these positions she has played an integral role in the planning, development and growth of the department and led the Women's Club Basketball Team to a National Championship title during the 2010-2011 Season," Scott said.

Bealmear possesses a 3.5 cumulative grade point average as a senior majoring in elementary education in the SIUE School of Education.

"On behalf of campus recreation, thank you for being exemplary," Mick Ostrander, director of Campus Recreation, told Bealmear in front of a conference room full of her coworkers at the SIUE Student Fitness Center.

Bealmear has been instrumental in speaking to donors as part of Defining Excellence-The Campaign for SIUE, the University's current major gifts campaign. She has served as an important voice among her peers, taking part in speaking with legislators during the annual Rally Day activities in Springfield.

This year's first and second runners-up for the prestigious award were Emily Heikes, of Columbia, who works in Intercollegiate Athletics and is a graduate student working on a master's in education, specializing in kinesiology, and Victoria Lyons, of Joliet, who works in SIUE's Department of Marketing and Communications and is a senior majoring in English.

SIUE's Haydon Featured In HEC-TV Jazz Program

11 April 2012, 3:42 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Professor of Music Rick Haydon is featured in a segment of Higher Education Channel Television's (HEC-TV) "I Love Jazz" program, which is being aired this month.

Haydon, who, in addition to teaching at SIUE also is the head of the University's guitar program and manages the recording studio, talks about jazz and performs with a quartet during the piece. It can be viewed at the link:

Haydon, who is one of the first SIUE jazz program graduates, said he has been pleased with its evolution since its inception in 1982.

As St. Louis' leading producer of education, arts and cultural television programming, HEC-TV, which, according to its website reaches an audience of 630,000 subscribers each minute of each day, is the only television station in the metro area with the mission statement "to strengthen and promote the education, arts and cultural communities in the St. Louis Metropolitan area." Major funding for the station comes from the St. Louis County Commission for Educational Media. It is programmed by the Higher Education Consortium, which is a compilation of the 12 colleges and universities and 62 cooperating school districts in Greater St. Louis. The HEC-TV Board of Directors is comprised of the presidents, chancellors and leaders of member colleges and universities.

For more information, visit For show times, click on the "TV Schedule" tab.

SIUE Renaissance Musical Fest Postponed; Free Musical Event Offered In Its Place Sunday

11 April 2012, 1:33 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's first Renaissance Musical Fest and Feast, which was slated to take place from 2:30-5 p.m. Sunday, April 15 at the Holiday Shores Clubhouse and Grounds, 1 Holiday Point Parkway in Edwardsville has been postponed. In its place, the SIUE Department of Music will offer a free concert featuring beautiful voices at 4:30 p.m. on campus in Dunham Hall, room 1109.

Light refreshments will be served following the performance.

The original event will be rescheduled at a later date. Details will be forthcoming.

For more information, please call the Department of Music, (618) 650-3900.

Leadership Council Honors SIUE Chancellor Vandegrift

9 April 2012, 11:21 am

In an evening that was devoted to honoring the career of U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello, the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois also presented Southern Illinois University Edwardsville chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift with a meritorious service award last Thursday night at the council's annual awards dinner at the Four Points Sheraton in Fairview Heights.

St. Louis Public Radio General Manager and master of ceremonies Tim Eby said that the executive council attempted to surprise the Chancellor with the award; he then went on to highlight Vandegrift's many achievements during his eight-year tenure. Vandegrift is a member of the Leadership Council's executive board. "Vaughn has been a tremendous asset to not only SIUE, but also this region," Eby said. "We will miss working with him, but wish Vaughn and his wife, Sue, all the best in his retirement."

"I am surprised, but I'm never speechless," Vandegrift said. "The reason SIUE is a great university is because of your sons and daughters, and your brothers' and sisters' children, who comprise our student body. We would not have been able to make all the progress that we have during my tenure without your help. The possibilities for SIUE are limitless because of the support of the people in this room and our region."

The evening was a tribute to Congressman Costello's lengthy and successful service to the region. Nevertheless, he still took a moment to acknowledge Vandegrift. "Although my career has been recognized tonight, I want to say that it's a privilege to share the podium with Vaughn," Costello said. "He deserves every accolade that comes his way for SIUE's successes."

Among Vandegrift's many achievements at SIUE, the following were noted during the ceremony: bringing SIUE to a place of national recognition; moving Intercollegiate Athletics to NCAA Division I in the Ohio Valley Conference; overseeing the completion of nearly $300 million in construction and infrastructure improvement; raising SIUE's regional economic impact to $471 million per year in 2010; and steadily improving enrollment to a record 14,235 students for fall 2011.

AADR President To Speak At SIU/SDM April 10

6 April 2012, 10:35 am

Dr. Jeffrey L. Ebersole, president of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the associate dean for Research at the University of Kentucky (UK), College of Dentistry, will be the guest speaker at the 2012 Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU/SDM) Research Day and Table Clinic Competition on Tuesday, April 10, on the Alton campus.

Speaking about "Salivary Biodiagnostics in Oral and Systemic Diseases," Dr. Ebersole will appear at 1:15 p.m. that day in the auditorium of the SIU/SDM Center for Professional Advancement in Building 280.

Prior to his afternoon talk, Ebersole will present "Ontogeny of the Innate Immune System in the Oral Cavity" from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Roller Hall on the Alton campus.

Along with being an associate dean, Ebersole is an Alvin L. Morris Professor of Oral Health Research and director of the Center for Oral Research at UK. His laboratory focuses on the immunobiology of oral infections emphasizing in vitro and in vivo studies of host-pathogen interactions.

Ebersole earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh and developed an interest in dental research during his postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Immunology at The Forsyth Institute. He was a faculty member at Forsyth and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine until 1985 when he became a professor in the Department of Periodontics and Microbiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

He oversees the UK College of Dentistry Outreach and Engagement Program, which includes the operation of multiple mobile dental vans, the Head Start and elementary school-based dental service, and research programs. Through the Kentucky Oral Health Network, the program partners with public health departments, community health centers and primary care centers across the state providing dental care to nearly 12,000 students in 2011.

He has authored more than 250 publications, reviews and book chapters in microbiology and the immunology of oral diseases. Ebersole also has achieved major National Institute of Health grant support for the Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases. His work supports a broad range of oral-systemic disease studies, including HIV, pregnancy, gestational diabetes, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as genetic and environmental challenges that increase the risk for other diseases.

Klein Named Teaching Excellence Award Winner; Teaching Distinction Award Winners Named

4 April 2012, 3:47 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Office of the Provost today announced that Nicole Klein, Ph.D., is the recipient of the annual Teaching Excellence Award for tenure-track faculty. Klein is an assistant professor of kinesiology and health education in the School of Education. It is the most prestigious teaching award that a faculty member can receive at SIUE.

Klein received a $2,000 prize as part of the award. She will be recognized during SIUE's May commencement ceremony and will speak at the December commencement exercise. She will be nominated for the Advancement and Support of Education for the National Professor of the Year Award.

Chair of the Teaching Excellence Awards committee Denise DeGarmo, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, cited Klein's ability to help students to become critical thinkers, to be able to reflect upon their own performances and to develop their understanding of important course concepts. The committee also noted Klein's deep respect for her students and ability to provide constructive feedback that guided students to continuous improvement. The committee complimented Klein's curriculum development, classroom instruction and scholarly publications on effective pedagogy.

Klein earned both her bachelor's and master's of science in health education from SIU Carbondale in 1989 and 1991, respectively. She achieved a Ph.D. in health education from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. She was both a teaching assistant and graduate assistant at UT before arriving on the SIUE campus in August 1995.

Recipients of Teaching Distinction Awards for tenure-track faculty included Serdar Celik, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering in the School of Engineering; Jennifer Miller, assistant professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Jessica DeSpain, assistant professor of English language and literature in the College of Arts and Sciences. All received $500 prizes. School of Nursing lecturer Virginia Eason received a Teaching Distinction Award for non-tenure track faculty that also carried a $500 prize.

The committee acknowledged Celik's ability to break down complex concepts into clear, simple explanations by using real world examples to illustrate course content. Students highlighted his clear, enthusiastic communication skills along with an approachable nature. Celik also was highlighted for his variety of assessment tools to elicit feedback and then acting upon those comments to improve course presentation.

Celik earned a bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering in 2001 from Yıldız Technical University in Turkey. He achieved a master's of science in mechanical engineering in 2003 from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from SIU Carbondale in 2007. He joined SIUE as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in August 2007.

The committee pointed to Miller's passion and enthusiasm as her greatest strengths. Her students are actively engaged in the materials and activities which she presents utilizing a wide variety of multi-media tools. Her teaching philosophy is clearly articulated through her course design and student interactions. Her colleagues highlighted her integrity, work ethic and genuine interest in her students.

Miller earned a bachelor's of science in German with a minor in gender studies in 1998 from Davidson College in North Carolina. She achieved her master's of science in women's and gender studies in 2002 from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where she also earned a Ph.D. in history in 2008. She joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in August 2008.

DeSpain's articulate, creative, enthusiastic and engaging classroom approach impressed the committee, which also noted her tremendous energy and commitment to student learning. Students actively participate in her rigorous classes that incorporate various disciplinary approaches. Her students are on an educational journey through DeSpain's clear, thoughtful classroom examples.

DeSpain earned a bachelor's of arts in liberal arts with a concentration in language arts in 2001 from Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, Iowa. She achieved a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 2008. She also joined the College of Arts and Sciences faculty in August 2008.

The committee spotlighted Eason for being a knowledgeable educator who encourages students to view the world through the multiple lenses of nursing and patient care. Her ability to engage students both inside and outside the classroom is particularly effective in her clinical work with students. She has earned high praise for providing an engaging learning environment, while serving as an outstanding mentor and role model to nursing students.

Eason earned a bachelor's of science in nursing in 1982 from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. She achieved a master's of science in the nursing care of children in 1987 from Saint Louis University. She has always taught part-time and currently teaches the clinical portion of the course nursing care of children and adolescents at SIUE where she joined the faculty in January 2003. She also has worked as a registered nurse for SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center since 1982.

Topic For SIUE CSS Symposium: "Awakening The Dreamer, Changing The Dream"

2 April 2012, 5:09 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Friends of the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability (CSS) and La Vista Ecological Learning Center will present a symposium-"Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream"-from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 14.

The event, which will examine environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment, will take place in the CSS on the SIUE campus. Questions about what might happen in the future will be explored and addressed through video clips and group participation. The Awakening the Dreamer organization hosts events aimed at changing the world.

The symposium will be presented by an international network of "Awakening the Dreamer" members, including Rockhaven Ecozoic Center co-directors -Jan Stocking, who is a member of the religious institute of Catholic women, the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM), and Diza Velasco; Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee for the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) staff member Paulette Zimmerman; and director of La Vista Ecological Learning Center Maxine Pohlman, SSND.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The event is free for SIUE students with a current student ID. A fee of $15 is encouraged for non-student participants. Advanced registration is possible online at or via mail to: La Vista Ecological Learning Center, 4300 Levis Lane, Godfrey, IL 62035. Free parking is available in visitor lot B, located west of SIUE's Morris University Center.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information call La Vista Ecological Learning Center at (618) 466-5004 or email

The Graduate School Presents the 16th Annual Spring Symposium

2 April 2012, 4:52 pm

The daylong 2012 Graduate School Spring Symposium featuring speakers, award presentations, a tour of East St. Louis and receptions will take place April 9 on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus and at the SIUE East St. Louis Center.

A tour group led by Dr. Andrew Theising, SIUE's director of the Institute for Urban Research and associate professor of political science, will leave the Edwardsville campus bound for East St. Louis at 9 a.m. from Hairpin Drive, under the flagpoles. Those participating in the tour will see significant economic, political and cultural landmarks of East St. Louis, and have a better understanding of what happened in this "All American City." Reservations are required for the group and can be made at or by calling (618) 650-5262. The group will return to Edwardsville at noon.

The symposium's keynote address: "Pilgrim's Progress: The True Story of How the SIUE Initiative to Articulate a Teacher-Scholar Model Lost Its Way and Why Its Redemption is Needed Now More than Ever," will begin at 9 a.m. in SIUE's Morris University Center Maple/Dogwood Room. Dr. Stephen Hansen, professor of historical studies and former dean of the SIUE Graduate School, is the keynote speaker.

Hansen will discuss the challenges that SIUE faculty have faced since the innovative Teacher-Scholar Model for learning was first introduced on campus in 2006. He contends that now is the time to re-introduce that model. The presentation will be held in the Maple/Dogwood Room of the MUC at 9:00 a.m., and is open to the University Community. Those interested in attending should contact to make reservations.

At 10 a.m., the Graduate School will offer a Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) workshop titled "Protecting Human Subjects in Research," presented by Ann Dirks-Linhorst, professor of sociology and criminal justice studies and chair of the University's Institutional Review Board (IRB). The workshop will partially satisfy the RCR requirements for instruction for students who are employed on a research grant. Students are encouraged to attend. To register for the workshop, individuals should email

Scholarly and creative publications by SIUE faculty will be displayed during the Symposium. University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Stephen Kerber will be on-hand to answer questions about the collection. Bibliographies of the works on display will be available. For information on having your works displayed and donating them to University Archives, Kerber can be contacted at

The Paul Simon Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award Luncheon will feature a presentation titled "Synergies between Teaching and Research: Adventures in Chemistry" by Michael J. Shaw, professor of chemistry. Shaw is the 2011 recipient of the Paul Simon Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award. The 2012 Paul Simon Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award recipient, George L. Engel, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be acknowledged at the luncheon. Those wishing to attend the luncheon are asked to contact to reserve a meal/seat.

The Graduate Student Research Symposium will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the MUC's Goshen Lounge and on the building's second floor. The event will feature paper presentations and poster exhibits by graduate students and students in the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) Program. A reception to honor student presenters, and to announce Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi and URCA awards, will be held at 4 p.m. in the MUC's Maple/Dogwood Room. The event is open to the public and instructors are welcome to bring their classes.

The Chancellor's Researcher's Reception, honoring faculty and staff who submitted external grants from March 1, 2011-February 29, 2012, will begin at 4:30. The event is by invitation only.

For more information about Spring Symposium events, contact, or visit

SIUE's Kate Eckert Receives Fulbright Award

2 April 2012, 3:09 pm

Kate Eckert, a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Germany. She was notified recently by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The Belleville native has a double-major in German and history and a minor in European studies.

Eckert is the second SIUE student to be selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She is one of more than 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2012-2013 academic year through the program. A firm departure date has not yet been determined.

The German academic year runs from late September through June. Eckert will serve as a teaching assistant, educating English-to-German students at a variety of educational levels.

"My goal is to become perfectly fluent in German," said Eckert, who is planning her eighth trip to Germany. She first studied abroad in 2006 as an undergraduate at Murray State University where she studied for two years before transferring to SIUE. In a sister cities program with Belleville, she was located in Paderborn and hopes to be close to her previous host family.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Kate and a signal that she has done good work in the past," said Ronald Schaefer, director of the SIUE Center for International Programs. "Kate had strong support from faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages as her experiences in learning German will be beneficial to German students learning English. We hope that her success will encourage other students to apply and take advantage of the opportunity to be funded."

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the federal government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries, and in the United States, also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright recipients are among more than 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. For more than 60 years, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has funded and supported these programs. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

For more information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit or contact James A. Lawrence, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, (202) 632-3241 or e-mail

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