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February 2013

SIUE Charter School Teachers Bring STEM Learning to their Alma Mater

28 February 2013, 11:39 am

When it comes to helping advance math and science learning at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School, the names of three SIUE alumni come to mind.

Matt Johnson, Barbara Lane and Johnathan Tate make up the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Department at the Charter High School. The three instructors work to help students make sense of and succeed in math and science through their teaching, as well as by utilizing the resources available through the William Frederick Graebe Sr. Learning Center, the $1 million STEM classroom at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus.

For the three instructors, the reward of working at the Charter High School is watching young minds stretch beyond what even the students themselves thought was possible.

"It's been great watching students wanting to show that they are smart, because there's something heartbreaking in hearing kids say they're not," said Johnson, who came to the East St. Louis Charter High School in 2011. Johnson graduated from SIUE in 2011 with a master's in teaching.

Lane also weighed in with her belief and hope in the Charter High School students: "We have such good minds among them. It's getting easier to convince them of their brilliance." Lane has been teaching at the charter school since 2007. From SIUE, she received a master's of business administration in 1987 and a master's in science education/secondary education in 2008.

The newest math and science teacher, Tate, is thrilled when his students are excited about learning. "My students love working in the Graebe Center," he said. "They are so enthralled when they are in there, that they lose track of time. Some even forget to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water." Tate graduated from SIUE in 2012 with a bachelor's in physics. He began teaching at the charter school in the spring of 2012.

The Graebe Center has served to better facilitate learning for the students and to provide exceptional instructional aids for instructors, the three teachers agree.

"Our STEM lab is phenomenal," Johnson said. "I'm in the lab at least once a day with various classes. There is energy to the space that is quite different than a normal classroom. It is a mixture of collegiate and professional.

"It's incredible. There is a participation level that isn't matched in a normal classroom," Johnson said. "When you walk in there, students really do feel smarter."

A benefit for teachers is the ability to display many things and use multiple systems at once, Tate said. "Our STEM Center gives our students the opportunity to become part of the future, because technology is moving everything to an electronic source."

While it is crucial to expose students to the latest technology, just as important, is convincing them of the value of learning, according to the SIUE alumni.

"I had a student who was going nowhere fast," Johnson said. "Two years later, he is one of my more studious students. We all tried to keep a good environment of learning around him. One day, he stayed after school without being asked and requested help with his geometry. That's a change in attitude, which to me means more than grades.

"Ms. Lane had noticed him two years ago," Johnson said. "She said, 'If we can get him going, then we've done something,'" he added.

Tate makes mention of a female student who started the year in Algebra II with an F grade and now the student has a B average.

"She came to understand the material," he said. "And just as exciting, she has a confidence of the material."

A thirst for learning, Lane said, is what she would wish for all of her students. But she doesn't stop there, the previously retired IT professional, also wants to remain a student of learning. To continue sharpening her skills as a teacher, Lane said she is participating in a program to improve science teaching and student learning, led by Dr. Sadegh Khazaeli, professor of analytical chemistry at SIUE.

Johnson is looking for the "Einstein" in every student. The teacher notes one of Albert Einstein's quotes: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

The Charter High School teachers say they don't believe any of their students are incapable. On the contrary, Johnson added: "Gosh, if I thought a student wouldn't grow to become better than I am, then I would have never become a teacher."

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Pictured are SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School teachers: Barbara Lane (from left to right), Johnathan Tate and Matt Johnson.

Teen Science Cafés Help Area Students Prepare for Zombie Apocalypse

27 February 2013, 5:19 pm

Area teens tackled zombies and other topics this week as part of Teen Science Cafés, hosted by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach.

Inspired by the adult Café Scientifique programs that have become popular throughout the world, these monthly programs, which are part of a national effort, were designed to engage young people and get them involved in STEM-oriented conversations. St. Louis is one of a handful of cities across the country facilitating discussions.

"This is a primarily teen-led program and was designed specifically for teens," said Sean Herberts, outreach coordinator for the SIUE STEM Center. "We will have a variety of topics-a new one each month. Each topic is presented in an interactive way by a real scientist, who also leads an informal discussion where teens are encouraged to ask questions."

With financial support from the National Science Foundation, area teens have access to nationally prominent scientists, engineers and inventors. The SIUE STEM Center is working with its collaborating partners-the Academy of Science - St. Louis and the St. Louis Science Center's Taylor Center-to make the local events possible. Events recently held at the Academy of Science, the Taylor Center and the Cahokia School of Choice in Cahokia drew a combined total of 140 area teens.

Described as a free, fun way for teens to explore the latest science and technology ideas, the program is aimed at starting the conversations with prominent leaders in their fields, while providing a non-intimidating, relaxed environment. Future program topics include bionics-which focuses on computer-brain interfaces and robotic prosthetics-slated for March, and the human mind is being discussed for April.

To learn more about the initiative, visit the Teen Café St. Louis website, or call the SIUE STEM Center, (618) 650-3065.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe Installation Set for April 19

27 February 2013, 1:04 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe will be officially installed during a ceremony Friday, April 19, at 10 a.m., in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. She became SIUE's eighth chancellor on July 2, 2012.

Along with Chancellor Furst-Bowe, featured speakers will include SIU President Glenn Poshard, SIUE Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle and Edwardsville Mayor Gary Niebur among others. The installation ceremony will involve a procession of SIUE faculty and professional staff in regalia, as well as delegates representing other universities.

The theme for the week leading up to the ceremony is "Planning for Our Global Future." A variety of activities will celebrate SIUE as a university on the move, including:

- A Visit the World with SIUE exhibit in the quad and on walkways

- An Open House at the East St. Louis Charter School, featuring the STEM Classroom

- A presentation of the United Nations Flag at SIUE

- An Emilio Sanchez Art Display, featuring the work of the Cuban artist

- A Global Library Resources Demonstrations in Lovejoy Library

- The International Initiatives Colloquium

- The unveiling of the SIUE Diversity Plan.

A schedule of events and additional details are available on the chancellor's installation website

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe..

In conjunction with Installation Week, SIUE administrators will host the second Annual Faculty/Staff Appreciation Reception from 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, in the Meridian Ballroom.

SIUE Lovejoy Library's 42nd Annual Antiques Show & Sale March 8-9

26 February 2013, 3:08 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Friends of Lovejoy Library holds its 42 nd Annual Antiques Show & Sale at the SIUE Student Fitness Center Friday and Saturday, March 8-9. Since 1970, the Friends of Lovejoy Library have conducted the show to raise funds for the purchase of books and library materials.

"For 42 years, the Antiques Show has provided great resources for our students, while offering the general public the opportunity to purchase rare and unique items," said Kyle Moore, Library and Information Services director of development.

The show opens with an "early bird" session from 3-6 p.m. on Friday with tickets at $10. General admission will run from 6-9 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. General admission tickets are $6 for adults, and children under the age of 13 are free.

The show displays antiques for sale including jewelry, toys, sports memorabilia, furniture, smalls and glassware from 31 high quality local and national dealers. Approximately 3,000 attendees annually take advantage of this event to price their antiques and shop for rare and unique items.

"Shopping for items from the past helps to inform our future leaders," said Carol Nativi, chair of the Antiques Show.

The show is sponsored by the Belleville News-Democrat and the Friends of Lovejoy Library. For more information, visit or contact Kyle Moore at (618) 650-2714.

SIUE School of Business Formally Thanks Dean's Society Members

26 February 2013, 1:41 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's School of Business held its annual Dean's Society Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 16. Held at the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis, the dinner consisted of an international theme to focus on the increasing need of teaching globalization to business students.

The evening was hosted in the historic Statler Ballroom, which was built in 1917. As each guest arrived, they were able to interact with select current and former students who participated in the School's International Program. The program enables students to study overseas in France, China, Germany, Hungary or England.

The guests who attended the function enjoyed samplings of cuisine from other countries. Luggage tags served as name cards at each individual's seat, maps were used as decor and a photo montage of students' international endeavors played in the background.

Once dinner had concluded, each student discussed their travels and what it meant to them. For senior business administration student Katie Weiler of Edwardsville, it was an honor to attend the dinner and meet the donors. "To be chosen to represent the international program and the School of Business meant a lot me," Weiler said. "I have put a great amount of work into my SIUE education and to be able to show it to people, who helped make it happen, was an honor."

Each year, the School of Business invites a former student to speak to the guests about the significance of their time in the School. This year's speaker was Yurbuds Operations and Supply Chain Manager Stephen Tungett, '08, '10.

Tungett graduated with a bachelor's in Business Administration and was working at a job that was not right for him. Unsure what to do, Tungett returned to SIUE and earned an MBA. While pursuing his master's, he traveled to Hong Kong and found the experience that landed his dream job.

"I got the job I have today, because a coworker knew that I had been to Hong Kong and had some exposure to the Far East business culture," said Tungett. "As globalization continues to grow, so will the number of international positions an employer needs to stay competitive. Programs like the travel study I did to Hong Kong are soon going to be a huge validation of someone's ability to perform on the international stage."

Among the donors that were present at the dinner were Doris Reynolds-Johnson,'83, '85 and her husband Gordon, '82, '84. "Stephen's experiences were exciting, and I hope he is presenting the same to current and possibly future students of the School of Business," said Reynolds-Johnson. "He has the passion of a recent graduate that could inspire other SIUE students."

Reynolds-Johnson, owner and CEO of Pragmatic Healthcare Solutions, found the focus of globalization to be extremely important. "Teaching globalization is imperative," she said. "Experiencing globalization by standing on foreign soil is paramount. A student needs the foundation knowledge from the classroom, but the greatest teaching moments come from the actualization of that knowledge. Exposure through travel abroad solidifies the actualization."

The Dean's Society consists of more than 70 donors located worldwide. A total of 30 attended the dinner.

"For the members who were unable to make it the dinner, I would like to say that I am incredibly thankful for what you contribute to the School of Business," said Weiler. "If it wasn't for people like you, my educational experience wouldn't be where it is today. To have a society that helps students prepare themselves to be successful in the business world is something for which I will be eternally grateful. One day, I hope to do the same for future SIUE students.

Tungett seconded Weiler's appreciation, adding, "The older I get and the more people I meet, the more I appreciate the high quality and reasonable cost of SIUE's business school, which would not be possible without your donations. I aspire to be a member of the Dean's Society myself."

"The Dean's Society is truly a celebration of the dedicated alumni and friends who have provided financial contributions across the School of Business," said Gary Giamartino, dean of the School. "It enables us to provide an excellent business education and learning experiences for our students. We are extremely grateful for their ongoing commitment."

The SIUE School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, representing the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review lists SIUE as one of the top 294 business schools in the U.S. and abroad. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in accounting, computer management and information systems, economics, finance, management and marketing. More than 20,000 alumni have earned degrees from the SIUE School of Business. For more information about the School of Business, visit:

SIUE student Stephen Tungett speaks at the School of Business' Dean's Society dinner.

Too Many Sopranos Promises to be Too Much Fun

26 February 2013, 12:12 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students Jennifer Brauer, Kyrstan Langer, Kaitlyn Ritcheson and Courtney Groennert will have a battle of the vocal-chords kind in the upcoming play, "Too Many Sopranos."

SIUE's Music Department will present the opera by composer Edwin Penhorwood at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 in Dunham Hall Theater. The opera is directed by Dr. Marc Schapman, assistant professor of voice and graduate director of music in the SIUE Music Department.

Insights about the play can be heard from the composer himself, who is a personal friend of Schapman's. Penhorwood will hold a pre-show lecture about "Too Many Sopranos" at 6:30 p.m. March 22 and 23 in the lobby of Dunhall Hall.

"It's the first time we've done this show, and I think the audiences will love it," Schapman said. "It's going to be a lot of fun. All of the stereotypical things about an opera are in this show, and we're poking fun at it."

In the play, four diva sopranos die and are met at heaven's gate by Saint Peter, the Apostle, played by Zach Snyder, a junior majoring in music education. The sopranos are told that there is only one spot left for a soprano in the heavenly choir, and they must audition for the part. Then the play moves through the individual tryouts of Brauer and Langer, both graduate students in vocal performance; Ritcheson, a junior in music performance; and Groennert, a junior in music business.

Other students and their roles in the show include: Sarah Paitz, a freshman music minor, Sandman; Tyler Green, a freshman in music performance, unnamed bass; Randy Trisler, a junior in music education, Enrico Carouser; Rachel Cange, a senior in music performance, Gabriel; Ben Rardin, a junior in music performance, Nelson Deadly; and Chris Kernan, a junior in theater and dance, Orson.

The operatic orchestra will consist of 20 players from the University, Edwardsville High School and the Edwardsville community, Schapman said.

Also helping with the production, development and publicity of the play are Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Program (URCA) students, Kourtnee Brenner, a junior in theater and dance; and Natasha Kessler, a junior in music.

The SIUE Music Department's spring 2013 season will continue with the following performances:

• March 1: Orchestra Concert, 7:30 p.m. in Dunham Hall Theater

• March 26: Jazz Band Concert, 8 p.m. in Dunham Hall Theater

General admission is $12 unless stated otherwise. The cost is $9 for seniors and persons under the age of 18. SIUE students with a valid ID card will receive one complimentary ticket per performance, compliments of the SIUE Campus Activities Board.

Dates and times are subject to change. For more information, please call the SIUE Music Department at (618) 650-3900 or for ticket information call (618) 650-2774.

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  • Rachel Cange, who plays the Angel Gabriel, sings her part in the opera "Too Many Sopranos." Other cast members behind her include from left to right: Chris Kernan (Orson), Kyrstan Langer (Madame Pompous), Tyler Green (Unnamed Bass), Jennifer Brauer (Dame Doleful) and Zachary Snyder (Saint Peter).
  • Sarah Paitz plays the part of the Sandman in the opera, while Courtney Groennert (Just Jeannette) looks on.
  • Belting out a number is the soprano Madame Pompous, played by Kyrstan Langer. Also pictured is Randy Trisler, who plays Enrico Carouser.
  • Soprano Dame Doleful, played by Jennifer Brauer, sings her line with Kaitlyn Ritcheson (Miss Titmouse) in the background.

University Housing Staff Members Win National Case Study

26 February 2013, 10:19 am

Four members of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville University Housing staff were named winners of the 2012 American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Winter Case Study Competition. The national case study competition was co-sponsored by the ACPA Standing Committee for Graduate Students and New Professionals, and the Standing Committee on Men and Masculinities.

Evergreen Hall Community Director Nate Pauley, Bluff Hall Community Director Ben Schwarz, Cougar Village Assistant Community Director Dan Rosner and Woodland Hall Assistant Community Director Jamartae Jackson submitted the winning case study. The topic was "College Men and Masculinities," an ongoing focus for them. In addition to participating in the competition, they initiated mentorships and programming efforts targeted at the development of young men.

"The four of us were thrilled with this professional development opportunity focusing on a topic that we are so passionate about," Pauley said. "Our combined efforts this past year have forged a strong professional bond, and we are honored and excited to be recognized for our efforts."

"University Housing is constantly evaluating the needs of our various student populations," said Michael Schultz, director of University Housing. "This past year, there has been a focus on meeting the unique needs of our male residents. Nate, Ben, Dan and Jamartae have participated in several professional development activities including bringing in a well-known speaker to talk to more than 350 students.

"This case study award demonstrates University Housing staff putting their knowledge into practice. I am proud of their work, and that it is being recognized at the national level."

For additional information on ACPA or the case study competition, contact Kathleen Gardner at or (618) 650-4251.

La Familia Valera Miranda is Cancelled for April 4 Concert at SIUE

25 February 2013, 4:03 pm

The Arts & Issues concert, La Familia Valera Miranda, which was scheduled for Thursday, April 4, at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been cancelled.

The University cancelled the show due to circumstances beyond its control. Letters were sent February 15 to all ticket buyers describing the procedure for a reimbursement. For more information, please call (618) 650-5774 or (618) 650-5194 or email Arts & Issues at

The Arts & Issues series brings artistic excellence to the SIUE campus through an eclectic blend of speakers and performers. For 28 years, SIUE's Arts & Issues series has showcased some of the world's finest artists. Each season, thought-provoking speakers inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. Thanks to the underwriting of SIUE, corporations, foundations and individual donors, tickets are often discounted by as much as 75 percent.

Arts & Issues is tied to the academic mission of the University and offers unique opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and the community, to engage with performers and speakers through master classes and special sessions.

SIUE Police Continue Cougar Village Investigation

25 February 2013, 3:01 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police are continuing their investigation into the armed robbery that occurred today at approximately 1 a.m. in Cougar Village. As stated in prior media reports, the incident does not appear to be a random crime of opportunity, but appears that there was a prearranged meeting between the victim and the two assailants .

It appears that there is more to the story than was believed, and SIUE Police are continuing the investigation.

The suspects were last seen leaving campus. They were described as two 20-year-old, slender, 6-foot, African-American males.

If you have any additional information that could assist the Police Department with their investigation, please call (618) 650-3324.

The University remains committed to providing a safe environment for its students, faculty and staff. Incidents of this nature are rare.

Karla Bonoff, Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter, Performs at SIUE

25 February 2013, 2:41 pm

Karla Bonoff, an American singer and songwriter whose career spans more than four decades and who has written hit songs for other well-known artists, will appear on stage at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Bonoff will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom as part of SIUE's Arts & Issues 2012-2013 Season. Bonoff's more popular songs include "Someone to Lay Down Beside Me," "Home," "I Can't Hold On" and "Tell Me Why."

The artist has been writing songs since she was 15 years old and several of her lyrics were made famous by other singers, including Bonnie Raitt's rendition of "Home" and Wynonna Judd's version of "Tell Me Why." Linda Ronstadt successfully recorded the following Bonoff's songs: "Someone To Lay Down Beside Me," "Trouble Again," "All My Life" and "Goodbye My Friend."

"I've had Karla Bonoff on my list of potential performers for Arts & Issues for a number of years," said Grant Andree, assistant director in the College of Arts and Sciences. "And I've also had a number of people mention her name to me as someone they would like to see.

"She continues to be one of the most respected singer/songwriters in the music business," Andree said. Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, and Wynonna Judd have all covered her songs, but Bonoff has a beautiful voice and career in her own right and a strong following."

For tickets and information, visit the SIUE Dunham Hall Arts & Issues Box Office, the SIUE Morris University Center Information Booth, or call (618) 650-5774

The Arts & Issues series brings artistic excellence to the SIUE campus through an eclectic blend of speakers and performers. For more than 28 years, SIUE's Arts & Issues series has showcased some of the world's finest artists. Each season, thought-provoking speakers inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. Thanks to the underwriting of SIUE, corporations, foundations and individual donors, tickets are often discounted by as much as 75 percent.

Arts & Issues is tied to the academic mission of the University and offers unique opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and the community, to engage with performers and speakers through master classes and special sessions.

SIUE Alum Featured in Syfy's Robot Combat League

22 February 2013, 2:49 pm

Ross Mead Video

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alum Ross Mead will be among the competitors in Syfy Channel's Robot Combat League that premieres at 9 p.m. (CT) Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Robot Combat League will feature tournament-style battles between eight-feet tall, state-of-the-art humanoid robots controlled by human "robo-jockeys." This extraordinary new series will feature 12 teams consisting of a fighter (a robo-jockey) and a robotics engineer (a robo-tech) from various backgrounds.

Mead is the robo-tech for Team A.X.E. He is paired with Andrew Montanez, a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter known as "The Squid."

Each team is paired with its own unique robot and will fight in a first-of-its kind competition using a high-tech exo-suit that translates the robo-jockey's movements to its robot. Each fight consists of three rounds of intense action with the winning team advancing in the competition.

Mead graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's in computer science from SIUE's School of Engineering. The Edwardsville native is currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Southern California.

SIUE's Dr. Jerry Weinberg, who was then chair of the Department of Computer Science and is now dean of the Graduate School, introduced Mead to robotics when he was still a junior in high school. Weinberg recruited him to a robotics competition. Mead eventually was named SIUE Student Laureate of the 2007 Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The award recognized an SIUE senior for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Nursing, Pharmacy and Speech Communications Collaborate

21 February 2013, 11:24 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy and Department of Speech Communication have been working collaboratively on a program to address interprofessionalism and cultural competency in health care patient communication. The program was funded through the SIUE Excellence in Undergraduate Education (EUE) grant program.

The program was organized in response to the lack of cultural competence in health care delivery that was addressed in Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion designed to increase the quality and years of healthy life of Americans. In order to help correct the problem, accreditation organizations for nursing and pharmacy expect higher education programs to produce practitioners who are prepared to serve diverse populations.

After months of collaboration in design, a two-day interprofessional education (IPE) program on culturally competent communication was held on February 5 and 12 in the SIUE Morris University Center. The approximate 160 participants in the two-day course were second year pharmacy students enrolled in health promotion literacy and sophomore nursing students enrolled in health assessment.

"We hope to create a sustainable IPE experience that will benefit future cohorts of nursing and pharmacy students," said Dr. Min Liu, one of the four awardees of the grant and a speech communication instructor. "The project took an interdisciplinary approach to the content design, delivery and assessment processes of creating an effective IPE experience."

"The faculty members involved will implement this program in future semesters," said Liu. "We also hope to see more IPE initiatives involving the health professional programs at SIUE. Cultural competency and diversity initiatives have been well supported in both schools, and personally, I am hopeful that we will see more innovative programs like this in the future."

Faculty team members involved with the program include: Dr. Min Liu, assistant professor from the department of Speech Communication, Dr. Rhonda Comrie, associate professor of primary care/health systems nursing in the School of Nursing, and Drs. Lakesha Butler and Terri Poirier, faculty members from the School of Pharmacy.

Pre-School and High School Students Illustrate Black Heritage at SIUE

20 February 2013, 5:25 pm

Songs, poems and dance set the stage on Wednesday for an appreciation of "Celebrating Black Heritage Month…Through the Eyes of a Child" in the Morris University Center Goshen Lounge at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Pre-school students from the SIUE Helen Davis Head Start Center, under the direction of Center Director Wanda Brown, captivated the audience with several numbers. The children sang various songs, including "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (The National Black Anthem) and the "The Star-Spangled Banner." Also assisting in directing the children were SIUE Helen Head Davis Head Start Center staff: Jacqueline Young, Marilyn McCanton, Amanda Armon and Fahmida Ravvi.

The Head Start children also depicted certain African-American figures from history. Students from the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School performed a series of poems, songs, speeches and dances for their part of recognizing Black History "Through the Eyes of a Child." The students were directed by Charter High School staff that included: Kimberly Allen, Jamila Ajanaku, Jack Williams and E.L. Wilkes.

Also attending the performances were SIUE School of Education Dean Bette Bergeron and Dr. Venessa Brown, associate provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

The next Black Heritage Month event scheduled is Africa Night, from 6-10 p.m. Saturday in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. The evening will include food, dance and entertainment. The cost is $10 for students, $12 for faculty and staff, and $13 for the general public. To purchase tickets call the MUC Information Center at 650-5555.

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Pictured are:

• William Molton as George Washington Carver, American scientist, educator and inventor;

• Ryan Chandler as Jackie Robinson, first African American to play major league baseball;

• Jehda Williams as Madam C.J. Walker, entrepreneur who is considered the first self-made female millionaire;

  • SIUE Helen Davis Head Start students perform.

Charter High School students pictured and their presentations included:

• T'Yon Leach, freshman,"I Was in My Own Land" reading by an unknown author;

• Taylor Luster, junior, "The N Word" poem by an unknown author;

• Amber Johnson, sophomore, "The Dream" poem by an unknown author;

• Angelica Howard, junior, dancing to Aretha Franklin's "Young, Gifted and Black;"

• James Washington, senior, and Aaliah Beverly, junior, dancing to Beyonce's "I Was Here;"

• Anthony Wilmington, junior, singing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come;"

• Dameon Denzmore and Brandon Rice, both seniors, reading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

Upcoming Events in the SIUE Music Department

20 February 2013, 2:15 pm

Several musical presentations are scheduled for the next few weeks by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Music Department.

The SIUE Music Department's spring 2013 season will continue with the following performances:

• Feb. 24: SIUE Choirs, 3 p.m. at St. John's Methodist Church in Edwardsville

• Feb. 25: Jazz Band Concert, 8 p.m. in Dunham Hall Theater

• Feb. 26: Concert Band & Women's Glee, 7:30 p.m. in Dunham Hall Theater

• Feb. 27: Wind Symphony & St. Louis Brass Band, 7:30 p.m. in Dunham Hall Theater

• March 1: Orchestra Concert, 7:30 p.m. in Dunham Hall Theater

General admission is $12 unless stated otherwise. The cost is $9 for seniors and persons under the age of 18. SIUE students with a valid ID card will receive one complimentary ticket per performance, compliments of the SIUE Campus Activities Board.

Dates and times are subject to change. For more information, please call the SIUE Music Department at (618) 650-3900 or for ticket information call (618) 650-2774.

SIUE Art & Design Addition Ribbon Cutting Set for March 21

19 February 2013, 4:11 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will christen its $15.3 million addition to the Art and Design Building Thursday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m. The event will be open to the public until 6:30 p.m.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Interim Provost Ann Boyle and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aldemaro Romero will be in attendance and preside over the ribbon cutting.

SIUE's international flavor will be featured as artist Gonz Jove will return from Bolivia to display his work and make a presentation. Pieces by the late Cuban artist Emilio Sanchez also will be on display.

The renovation and addition to SIUE's Art and Design Building is, in itself, a work of art. The joining of the renovated existing building, built in 1991, and the new addition bring the studio arts together with art history, art education and art therapy under one roof. Faculty, staff, students and community members will have the chance to experience the University's artistic culture in a modern, sustainable space.

"This addition provides a safe, modern and inspirational environment for faculty and students to do their work and express their creativity," Romero said. "It also gives the public the opportunity to admire exceptional pieces of art."

"The art and design department is active and alive," said Barbara Nwacha, associate professor of Art and Design and chair of the department. "The creative atmosphere can only escalate with the new facilities."

The project adds 29,000-square-feet of space including a new art gallery, additional office space, graduate student studio space and classrooms. The addition is located to the west of the existing Art and Design Building An enclosed bridge joins the existing building and the addition.

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

Exterior of the SIUE Art & Design addition.

SIUE Professor Wins St. Louis American's Salute to Young Leaders Award

18 February 2013, 3:37 pm

Lakesha Butler, clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at SIUE, takes the blood pressure of a student at a health fair last week.

The committed and compassionate leadership of Dr. Lakesha Butler, clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has impacted her community and earned her an award from the St. Louis American Foundation.

Butler is one of 20 young professionals under the age of 40 who was chosen to receive the Salute to Young Leaders Award. The young professionals, who were selected by a group of their peers, will be honored at the 3rd Annual Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Starlight Room at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.

All winners will be featured in an upcoming commemorative special section in the St. Louis American newspaper.

"It is definitely an honor and humbling to be recognized," said Butler. "I feel strongly about helping my community and giving back."

Cathy Santanello, associate professor in the SIUE School of Pharmacy, nominated Butler because of her hard work and collegiality.

"Lakesha is able to balance the many roles that she has to fill, such as teacher, clinician, researcher, mother and wife," Santanello said. "She juggles all of her responsibilities and does so very well."

Butler's leadership and community work has entailed various projects and programs. Previously, Butler has served as an expert health literacy consultant for Health Literacy Missouri and also as a volunteer providing health screenings for the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP).

Currently, some of Butler's involvement includes serving as the coordinator of the SIUE School of Pharmacy's Diversity Summer Camp. The goal of the camp-to increase minority student enrollment at the University's School of Pharmacy and other schools of pharmacy in the country-is one of Butler's passions. Butler is also on the board of directors for RX Outreach, Inc. and volunteers in Medicine Clinic, as well as serves on the Speaker's Bureau for the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

The young leader is vice-president of the Christian Women Walking in Victory Board of Directors and is an active member at her church, the Ark of Safety Christian Church in St. Charles.

Butler and her husband, Dr. Issac Butler, a licensed pharmacist, head the Teen Ministry at their church and meet twice a week with the teens.

"Our goal is develop them naturally and spiritually," Butler said. "We listen and try to help with their concerns. We also teach them how to handle conflict properly, how to be humble and how to build good character."

One important quality of a good leader is to listen to others and have compassion, said Butler.

"A good leader will also be able to positively influence others to improve themselves, while also seeking opportunities for self-improvement," she said. "You can't be a good leader and not be willing to hear from others about how you can grow and improve."

Some of Butler's career highlights include teaching precepts, who are graduate level pharmacy students, at the SIUE School of Pharmacy. She also practices as a clinical pharmacist providing medication management and diabetes education to uninsured patients at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in St. Charles. She is an advocate for increasing cultural competency among healthcare professionals, decreasing health disparities among minorities and underserved patients, improving health literacy and incorporating innovative, active learning strategies in the classroom.

"Although they are under age 40, this group of young leaders has already demonstrated a deep commitment to making a positive impact in our community by helping to make our community a better place," said Donald M. Suggs, president of the St. Louis American Foundation. "They are highly-motivated and aspirational, and are a vital force for change in the St. Louis region."

Ticket cost for the 3rd Annual Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception is $25. For more information about the reception and to purchase tickets, visit the St. Louis American.

SIUE CAB Presents Upcoming Cougar Kid Activities

18 February 2013, 11:17 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Campus Activities Board will present fun activities for children as part of its Cougar Kid program.

This Friday, children and their parents can attend the free pre-home release screening of the film, "Wreck-It Ralph," during a swim in the Vadalabene Center's indoor pool. The event is part of the CAB's popular Dive-In Movie events. Snacks will be provided and those who do not want to swim can sit in the bleachers in the pool area.

On Saturday at 10 a.m., faculty, staff and students are invited to bring their children to Cougar Kid Saturday: The Solar System for a morning of creative learning and fun. The event will take place in the Morris University Center-Mississippi/Illinois Room, on the building's upper level. Kids will learn about the planets that surround Earth and the solar system. Children of SIUE students (up to three children) can attend for free. Admission is $3 each for children of SIUE faculty and staff. The event is being presented by The Children's Museum in Edwardsville.

Events scheduled for March and April include Cougar Kid Saturday: Hide a Butterfly at 10 a.m. March 23 and Cougar Kid Saturday: Bicycle Bash, which will take place at 10 a.m. April 13. The same pricing schedule applies. During the March event children will learn to identify parts of a flower and create a natural-scene mural. Then they will examine how butterflies blend with their surroundings. The April activity will teach children the proper way to wear a helmet and other important, useful bike-riding rules. Children are encouraged to bring their bicycles to the event so they can tackle an obstacle course. Participants will receive a free bike helmet.

Also for faculty, staff and students, and their families, discount tickets are available through the CAB for "Disney on Ice: Rockin' Ever After." Tickets are $14 each or family four-packs are available for $48. The tickets are for the 1 p.m. showing at Scott Trade Center on Sunday, March 24. Tickets are on sale now at the MUC Information Desk.

For more information, contact the Kimmel Leadership Center, (618) 650-2689.

SIUE Hosts Record Numbers Prepping for 2013 Botball Tournament

18 February 2013, 8:35 am

Botball Workshop Video

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a record 36 teams during the Botball Workshop in the Morris University Center (MUC) Conference Center during the weekend.

The teams are preparing for the seventh annual Greater St. Louis Botball Tournament to be held April 20 in the MUC's Meridian Ballroom. The workshop was an opportunity for the teams to discuss the rules of this year's tournament, and to learn tips on programming their robots to achieve goals.

Gary Mayer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of computer science in the SIUE School of Engineering and one of the event organizers, was encouraged by the record participation. "Getting young people engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities such as the Botball program is important, because it helps develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to any career field," Mayer said. "Botball puts the focus on the student as the students need to devise solutions and implement them through the building of the robots and programming the robot's behaviors.

Saturday's program revolved around teaching the basics of programming and the use of sensors by the teams. The Sunday session was more of a free-form play day as teams experimented with their robots' capabilities.

The theme of this year's tournament is the Mars Sample Return Mission (MSR). The students are building autonomous robots that will travel around the board game with four goals:

  • Retrieve samples cached by the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity
  • Gather, sort, and separate unusual and interesting samples detected from orbit
  • Load the samples into return containers
  • Assemble the return vehicle (rocket) and prep it for launch

Mayer described the tasks in the tournament challenge as never having a single solution. The teams receive a kit with hundreds of parts such as sensors, motors and structural pieces. Students are free to be as inventive with the kit components as possible. The result is a fleet of unique robots that allow the students to see the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, especially in head-to-head competition.

"While the Botball Education Robotics Program is a great tool for STEM education, it is also a lot of fun for the students," Mayer said. "It's an outlet for creative minds, an opportunity to meet others with similar interests in science and engineering, and a way for the community to get involved with the students' successes. The students get a task, a robot kit and about eight weeks of time. With those resources, they build an autonomous robot that they take great pride in."

Edwardsville High School is the defending champion.

Tessa Beckman works on her robot at the Botball Workshop Saturday at SIUE.

Year of the Snake Celebrated at SIUE's Early Childhood Center

15 February 2013, 5:26 pm

Children participated in the "Parade of the Snake" at SIUE's Early Childhood Center today.

In celebration of the Year of the Snake, some of the children from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Early Childhood Center prepared costumes and wore them proudly during the "Parade of the Snake," which took place Friday afternoon.

SIUE School of Nursing faculty receives The DAISY Award

15 February 2013, 1:36 pm

Ozzie Hunter, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing instructor, recently received The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award presented by The DAISY Foundation. The award is given to extraordinary nurses in appreciation for their work within the medical center.

Hunter is a flight nurse with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis and is a 23-year veteran of pediatric work. SSM Cardinal Glennon Transport Team director Karen Zahn, RN, MSN nominated Hunter for the award. She shared an experience in which he took extraordinary measures to help the mother of a dying child get to the hospital to be with her son. She said this behavior is a small glimpse of the compassion that Hunter gives to his patients and their families.

The DAISY Foundation was established in January 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes. Through The DAISY Award, the foundation recognizes patient care contributions made by nurses.

The SSM Cardinal Glennon Foundation presented Hunter with a DAISY Award certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a bouquet of daisy flowers.

Black Heritage Celebration Continues at SIUE with Health Fair

14 February 2013, 3:53 pm

Carolita Holmes, a junior majoring in nursing, takes the blood pressure of Tonja Spires, a sophomore nursing student.

A wide range of information, health screenings and evaluations were available Thursday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's 2013 Black Heritage Month Health Fair.

Twelve healthcare representatives, including agencies and student organizations, set up booths in Morris University Center's Goshen Lounge as part of SIUE's Black Heritage Committee's, "A Celebration of Health." Also there to entertain the crowd was Sylvester "Sunshine" Lee and the East St. Louis Community Performance Ensemble.

"It's important that African Americans become proactive about their health," said Yasmyn Knight, a sophomore from the College of Arts and Sciences planning to enter the School of Pharmacy. "Also, early detection is a critical factor in health care."

Some of the agencies and student organizations at the fair included: the East Side Health District in East St. Louis, the American Diabetes Association in St. Louis, Madison County Health Department in Wood River, SIUE School of Nursing, SIUE School of Dental Medicine, SIUE Pre-Optometry Association and SIUE Student National Pharmaceutical Association.

A health fair was first made part of SIUE's Black Heritage Month in 2008 and has been an annual event ever since, said Steve Sperotto, committee advisor and director of the Kimmel Leadership Center. The Black Heritage Month Committee was motivated to host the fair because of the health concerns that Africans American face as a group, he said.

According to statistics, the leading causes of death among African Americans are heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

"Blacks should not only be concerned with diabetes," said Danna Hammers, registered nurse and volunteer with the American Diabetes Association, "but also everything that can come with it or can lead to it like heart disease, kidney disease, heart attacks, strokes and neuropathy."

Diet and exercise are key factors in helping to fight diabetes, said Hammers.

"I'm concerned about diabetes," said Recie Wilson, a junior studying history and anthropology with a minor in black studies, who stopped to pick up pamphlets about the disease. "I have an uncle who was diagnosed with diabetes, and I want to be more aware about it for myself and others."

As it relates to HIV statistics, African Americans are at a higher risk than whites. The prevalence rate for blacks is almost eight times higher than that of whites. A 2010 statistical study showed that about 1 in 4 of all new HIV infections were among those ages 13 to 24 and nearly 60 percent of those occur in African Americans.

The East Side Health District offered confidential HIV testing on the second floor of the MUC, said Tremayne Coleman, director. A total of 10 people were tested and received results within 20 minutes. The East Side Health District was one of several agencies at the fair that supplied sexual health information.

"It's important to know the right information before you make a mistake with sex," said India Khan, a sophomore majoring in dance. "That's better than trying to figure out how to fix an issue afterwards."

Black Heritage Month: "Embracing the Dream: Rebuilding Our Community" will continue Tuesday, Feb. 19. "Stepping in Our Roots" is scheduled from noon-1 p.m. in the MUC Goshen Lounge. A history of "stepping," an exhibition on "stepping" and a "stepping" dance lesson will be provided.

ADD Experts Host Public Panel Prior to Distracted Production

14 February 2013, 1:21 pm

Four Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) experts will host a public panel at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Dunham Hall next week prior to the production of the play Distracted.

Admission to the panels is free. The one-hour sessions are set for 6 p.m. on both Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23 in Dunham Hall. The panelists will include:

  • Dr. Gregory Everett, an associate professor in the SIUE Department of Psychology and licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois. He is the director of the SIUE Attention and Behavior Clinic.
  • Dr. Jennifer Gapin, an assistant professor of Sport and Exercise Behavior in SIUE's Kinesiology and Health Education Department. Her primary research includes investigating the effects of exercise on cognitive function, specifically in children, adolescents and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Jean LaFollette, MSN, RN, a pediatric nurse with 28 years of experience at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center. She is an instructor in the SIUE School of Nursing and has two sons diagnosed with ADD.
  • Karen Marie Dishauzi, an associate professor at Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis. She has 26 years of experience in education including 11 years concentrating in special education teaching children with learning difficulties.

The panelists will address a variety of topics including:

  • What is ADD and ADHD?
  • What are the panelists' individual focus and/or treatment regarding ADD and/or ADHD?
  • How are these conditions treated now as compared to the past?
  • How are these conditions viewed and treated in Europe or Asia as compared to the U.S.?
  • What is on the horizon for treatment?

The panels are a unique lead-in to Distracted, the story of a mother searching for answers as she deals with the medical establishment and just who determines whether her child has ADD?

Distracted opens in SIUE's Dunham Hall Theater on Wednesday, Feb. 20 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m.

Show Tickets are $12 for adults (18-and-older) and $10 for seniors (65-and-older) and students (with a valid school I.D.). SIUE students with a valid I.D. get in free. Discounted tickets are available for groups of ten or more. All seats are general admission. This play is recommended for mature audiences only. For tickets or more information call the Fine Arts box office at (618) 650-2774 or toll free at 1-888-328-5168, ext. 2774.

SIUE's Department of Theater and Dance presents four plays and one dance concert during its October through April season. The Department of Theater and Dance is within the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit their website.

SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School Mourns Loss of Alexander Johnson

13 February 2013, 9:59 am

Alexander Johnson, of East St. Louis, died Saturday, Feb. 9 in a house fire. He was 16.

An East St. Louis native, Johnson was a sophomore at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Charter High School. Johnson is survived by his parents, Owida Johnson and Eric Vaughn, and a brother, Eric Johnson.

The Charter High School will hold a vigil on its campus in Johnson's memory on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 3:30 p.m. The vigil will take place at the silver sculpture titled Of the Rivers, Mounds, and Bridges in the Charter High School quad.

The wake is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, followed by funeral services at noon at Serenity Funeral Home, 3416 W. Main St., Belleville.

For more information, visit the funeral home at

SIUE Women Engineers Host Open House March 23rd

13 February 2013, 8:28 am

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit the SIUE SWE website.

SIUE School of Nursing Invites Prospective Students to Explore Academic Excellence Days

12 February 2013, 5:14 pm

A rite of Spring is Explore Academic Excellence Days at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. It begins Saturday, Feb. 16, with the School of Nursing's annual event. The SIUE Schools of Business and Education will follow with their programs on March 16 and April 6, respectively.

The School of Nursing program will take place from 8 a.m.-noon and is for prospective students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Registration in the Morris University Center (MUC) begins at 8 a.m., and the welcome session begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Meridian Ballroom. For registration information and the finalized agenda, visit

"We already know that more than 200 prospective students and more than 125 guests will be in attendance," said Marcia Maurer, dean of the School of Nursing. "That demonstrates not only the continued interest in the nursing profession, but also the quality of SIUE and the nursing program."

The Traditional Option presentation, which is a program for licensure designed for first-degree-seeking students with no college experience, follows and reviews admission requirements and curriculum information for high school and transfer students.

All remaining School of Nursing activities will take place in Alumni Hall beginning at 10 a.m. Sessions will be presented on SIUE's variety of nursing programs. Prospective students may visit the School of Nursing's Simulated Learning Center, learn about student organizations, and visit with administrators, faculty, academic advisors and current students. Representatives from regional hospitals and financial aid counselors also will be on hand to answer questions.

"Our Explore Academic Excellence Days are a great opportunity to learn more about individual academic programs of choice," said Scott Belobrajdic, assistant vice chancellor for Enrollment Management. "Students and their families can tour the SIUE campus, see a residence hall, and speak with representatives from the Offices of Admissions and Student Financial Aid."

Light breakfast foods will be available for purchase. Campus tours depart from the MUC at noon. Free parking will be available in Lot B (next to the MUC) and in Lot A (behind Alumni Hall).

For more information on the Schools of Business and Education programs, visit

STEM Center Launches Online Directory of Classroom Resources

12 February 2013, 4:19 pm

The Center for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Research Education and Outreach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this week launched a new resource for area educators.

An online searchable database featuring 300 of more than 2,500 items available through its Resource Center lending library is available at

This new inventory system was made possible in part by funding provided through a $9,000 donation from USTRANSCOM at Scott Air Force Base. The Resource Center began loaning materials to local educators more than a decade ago. The system centrally locates items that might be used once during the school year, but are needed by multiple educational systems. SIUE's STEM Center has been able to lower equipment costs for schools, while ensuring better educational experiences for students throughout the Southern Illinois region.

According to the STEM Center Director, Sharon Locke, "With this new digital inventory, we hope that it will become even easier for educators to utilize our equipment. While we can't answer a late night phone call about available materials, our website can be there 24/7 to help. We know that educators have limited time and shrinking funding, and we are here to do what we can to save them time and money through our resource lending system."

Materials within the Resource Center range from curriculum packets to robotics kits, such as Lego Windstorms, to sophisticated digital sensors like Vernier LabQuest systems. These resources have been collected with funding through grants and donations from USTRANSCOM, Vernier, the Illinois State Board of Education and the National Science Foundation.

"The STEM Resource Center has been incredible in supplementing our school's science equipment," said Matt Johnson, a teacher at the East St. Louis Charter High School. "They are great at helping you create lessons and assist with finding the equipment that's right for you. They've helped immensely with my earth science and engineering, and even my geometry classes."

Educators are able to borrow equipment for up to two weeks at a time. Recognizing that education doesn't only happen in the classroom, the STEM Resource Center makes its materials available to community organizations, such as the Girl Scouts and the Edwardsville Children's Museum.

"In the course of teaching physics, it is important to demonstrate physical phenomena," said Assistant Professor of Physics Eddie Ackad from the SIUE Department of Physics. "The STEM Center's resources significantly increase the range of demonstrations that may be performed with the assurance that the material is in perfect working condition. My job is educating, and the STEM Center is an invaluable tool for the job."

To learn more about the STEM Center, visit

Teams to Compete Saturday during Science Olympiad at SIUE

12 February 2013, 3:55 pm

More than 400 students in 22 teams from area middle, junior and senior high schools will compete in the Regional Science Olympiad from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. The event is held annually on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.

Science and engineering-related activities will take place across campus throughout the day in the Vadalabene Center, the Peck and Science buildings, and the Biotechnology Lab in University Park. An awards ceremony honoring top performers in a wide range of categories will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Science Building auditoriums.

Hosted by the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education and Outreach, the event engages the participants in hands-on science activities. Science Olympiad is a team-based competition for students encompassing all areas of science, including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics and more.

"The students who participate in the day's activities utilize science concepts and inquiry skills, as well as engineering processes and technology through a range of tests, which include everything from paper tests to lab investigations to construction and design," said Sean Herberts, outreach coordinator for the STEM Center. "Much like the Olympics the event is named for gold, silver and bronze medals that are awarded to students. The teams with the best overall scores are awarded trophies and sent to represent the region at the state competition."

The state competition will take place April 20 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The national competition will follow May 18 at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

For more information about the Edwardsville Regional Olympiad visit or contact Sean Herberts at the STEM Resource Center, (618) 650-3065, or For details and a list of competing institutions check out

Jeremy Jewell's RSVP Program Highlighted in The Intelligencer

11 February 2013, 4:57 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Professor Jeremy Jewell has written an article featured in this month's Criminal Justice and Behavior, a national monthly magazine targeted for correctional officials. Read about Jewell's work in the Edwardsville Intelligencer .

" An Investigation of the Effectiveness of the Relaxation Skills Violence Prevention (RSVP) Program with Juvenile Detainees," is written by Jewell. He is the graduate program director in the Clinical Child and School Psychology Program in the SIUE School of Education's Department of Psychology. His co-author is Scott Elliff, program coordinator for the Madison County Probation and Court Services Juvenile Detention Center.

Their topic - RSVP - is a five-session group therapy program that teaches juveniles ways to identify and cope with anger.

Iconic Journalist Toure' Defines American Political Landscape at SIUE

7 February 2013, 3:48 pm

Iconic Journalist and Culture Critic Toure'

Four years ago, America elected "Superman" to be president of the United States. This time around, people voted in Clark Kent, according to author and journalist Toure', who spoke last night at Southern University Edwardsville Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom.

"An Evening with Toure': Iconic Journalist, Culture Critic and Television Host" was part of SIUE's 2013 Black Heritage Month. Toure' authored "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to be Black Now." Toure's novel was named one of the Most Notable Books of 2011 by the New York Times and the Washington Post, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Non-Fiction.

Toure' also co-hosts MSNBC's "The Cycle," which airs at 2 p.m. CST weekdays. He is a columnist for and is currently writing a book on musical artist Prince, and co-writing the autobiography of legendary rapper Nas.

"What was amazing to me was that a black man could get re-elected after showing that he was human," Toure' said. "This past election also showed that the white percentage vote has dropped. The browning of America is here."

The culture critic and journalist gave his assessment of the state of politics and some politicians in the country. His critique of the Republican Party was mostly blunt and less than favorable.

"The GOP cannot win elections being hostile to black and brown people," Toure' said.

Toure' said it has been the practice of the Republican Party to stir up and feed into fear and resentment of some voters. For instance, the extending of power can be seen as an encroachment on other people's power.

"But giving power and advantages to blacks, women and others do not take away from whites," said Toure.' "And letting Bob and Fred get married doesn't take away anything from my marriage."

The reality of having an African-American president has had a profound spiritual affect for Black America, but it hasn't changed everyday life for blacks, Toure' said.

"There were blacks who, for the first time in this country, felt at home and fully a part of America with the election of Obama," he said. "But the problems of day-to-day life for Black America are far greater than Obama or any president can fix singularly."

And as long as the republicans have control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the democrats maintain a slim majority in the U.S. Senate, things will remain gridlocked, Toure' said.

He also gave his opinion about the next president, "It's going to be Hillary Clinton. I truly believe that."

At the end of Toure's presentation, he responded to several questions. Among them was a query about his position on gun control.

"I'm a huge gun control supporter," Toure' said. "The NRA (National Rifle Association) is such a bad faith actor. The NRA is one of the most vile organizations. They represent gun and bullet manufacturers."

Toure's presentation was sponsored by the University's 2013 Black Heritage Month Committee and its Campus Activities Board.

Retired Ambassador Moussawi is International Speaker at SIUE

7 February 2013, 2:17 pm

etired Lebanese Ambassador Hussein Moussawi attended a luncheon on campus at SIUE, entertaining questions from faculty, staff and students.

Former Lebanese Ambassador Hussein Moussawi Video

During an informal luncheon Wednesday held at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, retired Lebanese Ambassador Hussein Moussawi spoke frankly in the Morris University Center Restaurant about the challenges facing the northern African continent, the Middle East and Arab nations.

Offering his invaluable insights about politics, religion, money, power and influence, and what has been coined the Arab Spring, Moussawi talked about the effectiveness of the Lebanese government, framed on democratic principles and known as confessionalism. He reasoned that the success of a government structure, such as is the case in Lebanon, is based on tolerance of and respect for divergent views.

"This formula is working for us," he said of the Lebanese government. "We've managed since our independence in 1943 to keep this working."

SIUE's Center for International Programs holds luncheon events such as this nearly every month to allow faculty, staff and students the opportunity to ask foreign leaders questions about historical and current affairs.

Ron Schaefer, director of International Programs, was particularly pleased at the emphasis Moussawi placed on sustained diplomatic negotiation and compromise.

"Our students need to hear about the importance of diplomacy in today's world, especially from one whose country is directly affected by the Syrian conflict," he said.

Moussawi expressed genuine concerns about the Syrian civil war that began in March 2011. As Syria borders Lebanon, he said it poses serious questions for the region's future. So far the civil war has resulted in nearly 120,000 casualties on both sides.

Also called the Syrian uprising, the conflict involves two sides: loyal supporters of the Ba'ath party government and President Bashar al-Assad, as well as those who are demanding the president's resignation. The insurgency has been described by the Syrian government as armed terrorist factions. The Arab Spring began in December 2010 and has involved torrents of protests, demonstrations and civil uprisings. Such activities have led to overthrown governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

"If this extremist faction wins the war and takes power, it will affect us," he said. "We will have a great problem. So far, the Lebanese government has taken a neutral position. We hope for a negotiated solution with more democratic rule in Syria."

Fighting in Syria has led to many challenges for the Lebanese government. Because Lebanon sits next to Syria, it is faced with a refugee population and limited funds to offer assistance. Moussawi called for intervention by wealthier nations to offer aid.

Moussawi served as Lebanon's ambassador to Bulgaria from 1986-1990 and again from 1994-1999. He also served as the ambassador to Hungary from 2000-2007. He was decorated for his distinguished service, receiving the Chevalier Madara and the Stara Planina from the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as the Commander's Cross with the Star Order of Merit from the Republic of Hungary.

Prior to these exploits, he had a storied career with the Lebanese Foreign Service, also serving as attaché with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beirut, as well as head of the Arab League Division or director of International Affairs-Political Division. As embassy counselor, he served in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; London, United Kingdom; and Beijing, China.

Moussawi distinguished himself in the Lebanese delegations to the Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in Accra, Ghana, for which he served as head, and to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He also was first secretary for a term at the Lebanese Embassy in Bejing, China.

He is a graduate of the Lebanese University in Beirut with a degree in political and administrative sciences and is a married father of three.

Photo: Retired Lebanese Ambassador Hussein Moussawi attended a luncheon on campus at SIUE, entertaining questions from faculty, staff and students.

University Housing Recognizes Residents on Dean's List

7 February 2013, 2:12 pm

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe addresses students at University Housing's annual Dean's List Reception. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Housing honored nearly 150 Dean's List recipients Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Evergreen Hall. The annual Dean's List Reception recognizes University Housing residents who made the fall semester Dean's List.

The ceremony included remarks from Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and Associate Provost Sue Thomas. Students' families joined campus administrators, faculty members, and housing staff members to support the students' academic achievements.

"This is an exciting opportunity for University Housing to recognize the high academic achievements of our residents," said Vicky Dean, assistant director of Residential Education. "It is a priority to support the academic success of our residents, and we are thrilled to honor those who have made a commitment to their academics and have excelled in the classroom."

In the fall 2012 semester, 811 University Housing residents (23 percent of the on-campus housing population) made the Dean's List. The criterion for making the Dean's List is a 3.5 or higher grade point average (GPA). Additionally, 271 of those students earned a 4.0 GPA during the fall semester. The number of on-campus residents achieving the Dean's List has continued to rise over the past four years.

For more information on the Dean's List or other academic initiatives in University Housing, please contact Vicky Dean at 650-5296 or

NCERC at SIUE Elevates Breckenridge and Ward

6 February 2013, 3:27 pm

The NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville announced the promotion of Center staff members Courtney Breckenridge and Steve Ward to newly created positions. The hires are part of a long-term plan to expand the Center's grant-funded and private client research capabilities.

Breckenridge, a graduate of SIUE's mass communications undergraduate program and a master's candidate at the University, is the Center's assistant director of communications and client relations. Ward, a nine-year veteran of the Center as a research engineer, was promoted to assistant director of pilot plant projects.

"2013 is shaping up to be a great year for the Center as a long-term vision for our organizational structure comes to reality," Caupert said. "These positions enable us to offer first class client services to the private sector without compromising our ability to take advantage of grant-funded research and development opportunities.

"With these new additions to the Center's management team, we will be able to more aggressively pursue both grant funding opportunities and relationships with new private clients, while simultaneously expanding our outreach and public awareness efforts."

Breckenridge began at the Center in 2011 as a graduate assistant and served in the role of marketing and policy assistant. After earning her bachelor's from SIUE, she began her career as a professional writer and later worked for State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) as a legislative assistant, focusing on communications for his district office.

"Courtney's education, complimented by her years of experience and working knowledge of social media, web content, public policy and fundraising will be an invaluable resource," Caupert said. "We look forward to raising our profile within the industry and among prospective clients as we continue rolling out our new brand identity through a comprehensive public relations campaign."

After joining the Center in 2004, Ward earned his Professional Engineer (P.E.) license in 2011. He earned a bachelor's in chemical engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He previously worked as a pilot plant engineer at Monsanto.

"Steve has been a dedicated and loyal employee throughout his tenure," Caupert said. "His leadership and initiative are exactly the qualities needed to oversee pilot plant trials for the Center's private clients. We are excited to entrust this important aspect of our mission to such competent hands."

About the Center
The NCERC at SIUE is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to the development and commercialization of bio fuels, specialty chemicals and other renewable compounds. Established through federal and state initiatives, with support from the Illinois and National Corn Growers Associations, the Center promotes rural development and economic stimulus and is providing tomorrow's workforce with the skills needed to meet the challenges of a changing energy environment. Designated as a Bio refining Center of Excellence, the Center assists in developing the technologies needed to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil and provide consumers with economically sound and environmentally responsible fuel options. Research initiatives in renewable energy at the Center are supported through grants, contracts and donor contributions. For more information, contact Courtney Breckenridge, (618) 401-9218,, or visit

School of Nursing Senior Project to Help Save Lives

6 February 2013, 2:44 pm

Brittany Buesking, a senior Southern Illinois University Edwardsville nursing major from Edwardsville, is using her final senior project to make a difference in thousands of peoples' lives.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, February 11, Buesking will be hosting an Organ Donor Registry Drive in SIUE's Morris University Center. This Drive will give participants the opportunity to receive answers to their questions about organ donation, win prizes and register on-site to be organ donors.

With the support of Mid-America Transplant Services of St. Louis and the SIUE Student Nurse Association, Buesking is hoping to reach at least 100 participants who are willing to become registered organ donors at the Organ Donor Registry Drive.

"Throughout my experiences, I have come to realize that organ transplantation is not only successful in saving individuals' lives, but also in impacting their quality of life," she said. "Over 116,000 men, women and children need life-saving organ transplants. One donor can save over 50 lives. Registering as an organ donor can make a huge difference in the lives of others."

This event is open to the public. For more information, visit .

SIUE Dean Marcia Maurer elected to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Board

6 February 2013, 9:13 am

Dr. Marcia Maurer, dean of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing, has been elected to serve a two-year term as an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) board member at large. Maurer will begin her term of service following the AACN Spring Annual Meeting on March 18.

Deans and directors from the nation's schools of nursing with baccalaureate and higher degree programs choose nursing leaders that they think best embody their interests and will help advance AACN's mission. Maurer has proven to be one of Illinois' most visible nursing advocates through her service as a governor appointee on the Illinois Center for Nursing Advisory Board, on the Southern Illinois Healthcare System Board of Trustees, on the Illinois State Genetics Planning Services Committee and on the Governing Board for the Washington University Institute for Clinical & Translational Sciences. She has served on the government affairs committee for AACN and on several conference planning committees over the past six years. Maurer is one of seven deans filling seats on the AACN Board of Directors and nominating committee.

Jane Kirschling, AACN president, announced the results of the 2013 election. "On behalf of AACN's member deans, faculty, and students, I applaud this distinguished group of nursing leaders for their strong commitment to advancing the goals of professional nursing education and research," she said. "As the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, AACN is at the forefront of transforming how nurses are being educated and how patient care is being delivered. We welcome the new and returning members to the Board who will help to steer this important work and provide the leadership needed to take the organization to new heights."

SIUE Celebrates Great Humanitarian at Annual MLK Luncheon

5 February 2013, 4:06 pm

MLK Luncheon Video

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Morris University Center's Meridian Ballroom was buzzing with activity as a crowd of nearly 250 gathered today to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Humanitarian awards and scholarships were distributed, and the program recounted the icon's contributions to the cause for equality, diversity and justice.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe provided welcoming remarks. Dr. Ed Hightower, serving as the guest speaker, delivered an inspiring account of King's life and the worldwide issues still confronting society 40 years after his death. Hightower serves on the SIU Board of Trustees as vice president and is the superintendent of Edwardsville schools.

"We must have concern for the least and most vulnerable," Hightower said, denoting that King's vision was "guided by love instead of hatred." He added, "The same issues he faced then, we face now."

Expressing concern about the obstacles facing the country, and the world today, Hightower spoke in a somber tone conveying the spirit of King, "We all have a responsibility to reach out and help each other. Have we defaulted on our promise to care for the vulnerable?"

Some of the challenges he emphasized include a depressed job market, the mounting student loan debt younger generations face upon college graduation, inequality experienced by women and the gay population, and families constantly struggling to merely survive in the onslaught of crippling financial conditions.

Members of the SIUE Black Theater Workshop performed on stage as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration on campus. SIUE Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Venessa Brown introduced the awardees, while Furst-Bowe and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Narbeth Emmanuel distributed individual plaques.

Demetrius L. Coleman, an SIUE senior from East St. Louis majoring in English language and literature, was the MLK Scholarship and Humanitarian Award recipient. Charlotte E. Johnson of Alton, a retired educator known as "the keeper of stories," received the MLK Community Humanitarian Award. SIUE's Dr. Aminata Cairo, an assistant professor of anthropology, received the MLK Faculty/Staff Humanitarian Award.

Clayton High School (St. Louis) senior Sophia Rotman, Villa Duchesne High School (St. Louis) junior Allison Federer, and Belleville (Ill.) West High School senior Andrew Bruce were awarded the essay, poetry and visual arts awards, respectively.

The event concluded with remarks from international student Magdalena Sustere, an SIUE freshman majoring in music performance. The Latvian native talked about the plight of her home country and how the principles espoused by the late King were applicable. She referenced a human chain of more than 2 million people holding hands that stretched over miles known as The Baltic Way. This nonviolent approach to social change made a difference, leading to the eventual freedom of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia from Russia in 1991.

"A lot of international students come to America to find freedom," she said. "But there are many people who live here who are not free."

She also referenced the prominence of slavery and human trafficking across the globe, and how King's ideals are ever relevant and necessary today to bring about a global atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance.

Also enhancing the event were performances by the SIUE Black Theater Workshop, the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School and the SIUE Flute Choir.

SIUE Begins Celebration of Black Heritage Month, Embracing the Dream: Rebuilding Our Community

5 February 2013, 10:55 am

Members of the East St. Louis Community Performance Ensemble delight their audience with a dance routine.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville held its opening celebration on Monday of the 2013 Black Heritage Month, Embracing the Dream: Rebuilding Our Community.

Females from the audience do their part in the dance challenge against male audience members.

SIUE's 2013 Black Heritage Month Planning Committee and SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe participated in the opening program in the Goshen Lounge of the Morris University Center.

Those on the program included: Sylvester "Sunshine" Lee and the East St. Louis Community Performance Ensemble, God's Anointed Mime Ministry and the SIUE Gospel Choir. The choir led the audience in the singing of the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing."

Several other events are scheduled during Black Heritage Month. Some of the activities planned include: the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom, today; An Evening with Toure': Iconic Journalist, Culture Critic and TV Host, 7 p.m. Feb. 6; a panel discussion: Liberty and Justice for All? Social Justice in the 21st Century. . . Where to Now?, at noon Feb. 12; Comedian Ni'am Lynn, 7 p.m. Feb. 12; a health fair, 10 a.m. Feb. 14; Celebrating Black Heritage Month. . . Through the Eyes of a Child, at noon Feb. 20; Africa Night, 6 p.m. Feb. 23; and A Salute to the Stars, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28.

For more information, as well as locations, visit SIUE Black Heritage Month.

School of Nursing's Gaehle to Serve American Cancer Society

4 February 2013, 4:04 pm

Dr. Kay Gaehle, associate professor in the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing, has been elected to serve as the second vice-president of the Illinois Division Board of the American Cancer Society.

"I have been interested in cancer support efforts for a long time, between experiencing it on a personal level with my mother, and also working with cancer patients in my nursing practice," said Gaehle. "In my new position, I am eager to help make decisions and work toward the betterment of our division and the programs we host. Our ultimate goal is to play a vital role in serving the cancer patients in our area."

As second vice-president, Gaehle is responsible for running the division in the circumstance that the president and vice-president are unable to do so. She also will continue to play an integral role in the advancement of the division.

Gaehle has been working with the American Cancer Society for seven years. She began serving on the Metro-East board of directors. For the past four years, she has served on the Illinois Division Board. In addition, she has served as the faculty chair for the SIUE division of American Cancer Society Colleges Against Cancer during its inaugural year.

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based organization that is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. The organization is eager to help those with cancer get well, find cures and fight back.

SIUE Solar Car Racing Team Finds a Home

4 February 2013, 10:08 am

Wicks Aircraft and Motorsports owner Scott Wick is working to help Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Solar Car Racing Team's project see the light of day.

Two months ago, the team's project director, Amy Sunderlin, was looking for a place to build a car, because not much space was available on the SIUE campus. It was around that time that team member and task leader Zach Crawford reached out to Wick, whose company operates out of Highland. Wick shared an interest with Crawford and was intrigued by the group's undertaking.

SIUE's Black Theater Workshop Brings Stories to Life on Stage

1 February 2013, 4:33 pm

The Black Theater Workshop of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Department of Theater and Dance is presenting "The Stories We Weave" through Sunday, Feb. 3.

Tonight's and Saturday's performances are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday's performance is at 2 p.m. All shows are free admission and will take place in the Metcalf Theater located on the northwest side of the campus behind the Student Fitness Center.

"The Stories We Weave" is a collection of student created scenes and vignettes. The stories highlighted are a black perspective of the highs-lows, joys-sorrows of the complexities of life. The play is directed by Ashley Bland and co-directed by Kristina Cirone. Judy Gasser is the stage manager.

Student actors and dancers in the production include: Ashley Miller, Recie Wilson, Lee Edwards, Teryl Thurman, Aaron Evan, Ashley Melton, Melissa Riley, Rico Velazques, Brian Cooper, Domonique Armstrong and Tatiana McDonald.

The scene writers include: Ashley Bland, Tyson Cole, George C. Wolf, Evan Willmore and Wes Robinson.

Because seating is limited, it is recommended to obtain an admittance ticket from the SIUE box office located in Dunham Hall, Room 1042B in advance or at the Metcalf Theater box office prior to the show. Free parking for the event is in Lot E. For directions see .

SIUE Set to Compete in 2013 RecycleMania Tournament

1 February 2013, 2:02 pm

While the nationwide competition is a friendly one, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Sustainability Officer Kevin Adkins is hoping that the University will bulk up on its recycling efforts, while slimming down on trash disposal, especially during the 2013 Tournament of RecycleMania.

"In a nutshell, we want to recycle more and consume less," said Adkins. "RecycleMania is a benchmark tool for colleges and universities that have waste reduction programs. This will be the third year that SIUE has participated."

RecycleMania begins Feb. 3 and ends March 30. Colleges and universities across North America report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week, for eight weeks, according to Amy Gardiner, treasurer of SIUE's Student Organization for Sustainability. Schools are ranked according to who recycles the most, based on a per-capita basis.

The competition started in 2001 as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami (Ohio) University. The two schools were looking for ways to encourage their student bodies to recycle more. For more information, visit

For the previous years, SIUE has been involved as a benchmark participant, where the school estimated the weight of its trash and recycle items, Adkins said. However this past July, SIUE began weighing its trash and recycling waste. When the school participates in the 2014 RecycleMania Tournament, it will be able to do so as a competitor.

SIUE has made significant inroads in its waste reduction efforts, said Adkins. The University is also well on its way to serving as a model on how to incorporate sustainability into the life, practice and culture of an institution. The sustainability officer referenced two SIUE initiatives: the One Less Cup program, and utilizing refurbished inkjets and toner cartridges. The One Less program is the Morris University Center's way to encourage everyone to use less waste and part of the UC Green Campaign, said Joseph Pearson, MUC director. Reusable cups, priced at $6 each, are available in the University Book Store. The hot/cold cups may be used at any SIUE coffee and fountain beverage locations, and the cup holder pays only 75 cents for refills. Starbucks and Kaldi's offer the discount only on their "coffees of the day" and not any specialty drinks.

The other initiative is a State of Illinois contract for refurbished inkjet and toner cartridges. The contract is with TRI Industries, who provides the state with refurbished printer cartridges. By using TRI Industries products, the University community has an opportunity to save money, according to Nancy Ufert Fairless, SIUE director of purchases. For instance, the purchasing department's bill for a color toner cartridge was 64 percent less than what the department had previously paid to their office supply vendor.

Fairless learned of TRI during a diversity fair at the University. The company is a "State Use Program Workshop," which employs Illinoisans with significant disabilities.

"These two initiatives illustrate how SIUE is making significant strides in sustainability," Adkins said. "In addition, Steve Brandenburg (assistant director of Facilities Management) has been very instrumental in the promotion of recycling on campus."

For more information on the University's waste reduction efforts, visit

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