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June 2010

SIUE School Of Nursing Anesthesia Specialization Given Accreditation

30 June 2010, 2:56 pm

Accreditation has been given to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing's Anesthesia Nursing Specialization for a 10-year period, the highest term available.

The accreditation decision, handed down by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), recognizes the SIUE program for providing a graduate level curriculum leading to the award of a master of science and a post-master's certificate, both in nursing anesthesia.

The COA's findings result from a comparison of the SIUE School of Nursing curriculum with outcomes for Nurse Anesthesia Specialization with the COA's Standards for Nurse Anesthesia programs. In addition, the COA interviews faculty and administrators in the SIUE School of Nursing and also interviews certified nurse anesthetists in other agencies, and surveys current nurse anesthesia students and alumni.

In making its decision about the SIUE program, the COA noted that very few programs "have achieved the maximum accreditation of 10 years." The COA directors also offered congratulations to "everyone at the (SIUE) program who has demonstrated their commitment to meeting the requirements for continued accreditation."

SIUE Alumni Association To Play Host To Networking Breakfast In Granite City

29 June 2010, 11:24 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association will play host to an Alumni Networking Breakfast from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 27, at the Community Center of the Granite City Housing Authority, 2517 Nameoki Road.

The hour-long event, which will include a presentation by noted SIUE alumnus Jonathan Ferry, will be an excellent opportunity to network with fellow SIUE alumni and enjoy a free breakfast of pastries, fruit and coffee.

With more than 1,600 SIUE alumni residing in the Granite City area, possible business opportunities could arise, so attendees are encouraged to bring business cards.

Ferry received a bachelor's in 2005 and a master's in 2008, both from the SIUE School of Business. He currently is economic development director for the city of Granite City and recently was featured by the Suburban Journals as one of 30 young people making a difference in the Metro East.

To register for this July 27 free event, visit the Web site: For other information, call Katie Bennett, assistant director of SIUE Alumni Affairs, by e-mail:, or, by phone: (618) 650-2762.

SIUE Alumni Affairs To Offer Senior Send-Offs 2010 In Springfield

24 June 2010, 9:04 am

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association, the Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) organization, the SIUE Office of Admissions and the Cougar Parent and Family Association will join forces for the SIUE Senior Send-Offs 2010, from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield.

This event invites SIUE's newest Cougars from various cities to meet other incoming students, families and local alumni. The free, two-hour reception will help incoming students form a connection with the SIUE community before they arrive on campus. "It is our hope that the connection and relationships established during these events will continue for years to come," said SIUE Admissions Director Todd Burrell.

Steve Jankowski, director of SIUE Alumni Affairs, said incoming freshman and transfer students may bring up to two guests to the event. Local alumni are invited to attend and share some of their favorite memories of SIUE. "It's a great way to get our current alumni involved in direct engagement with incoming students, who are our future alumni," Jankowski said.

The July 20 event will include a free appetizer buffet and networking opportunities. For more information or to register, please visit the SIUE Alumni Affairs website:

New Partnership Planned With ESL Charter High School

23 June 2010, 3:52 pm

Frances Karanovich, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a former school superintendent, will assume responsibilities as director of SIUE's East St. Louis Charter High School, effective July 1, according to SIUE Provost Paul Ferguson.

Reporting to SIUE School of Education Dean Bette Bergeron and to Venessa Brown, assistant provost for institutional diversity and inclusion, Karanovich's initial goals will include oversight of the charter school's use of instructional technologies to enhance learning, developing and implementing a curriculum that will prepare students to be college and career ready, and strengthening instruction in literacy.

Ferguson said the new partnership between the charter high school and the SIUE School of Education will strengthen the University's mission of furthering educational opportunities in the region and will continue SIUE's ongoing commitment to inclusiveness.

"We are very excited that Dr. Karanovich is bringing her wealth of expertise to this position of leadership at the East St. Louis Charter High School," Ferguson said. "SIUE will continue its dedication to academic excellence, which will be our focus going ahead with this new partnership, with Dr. Brown's involvement, and the School of Education, overseen by Dr. Bergeron, who has an excellent background in charter school concepts and curriculum.

"We also see this as an excellent opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with East St. Louis School District No. 189," Ferguson said. "We will continue to work closely with the district as we move forward with this educational effort. I am confident this collaboration will insure an excellent educational experience for our charter high school students."

With more than 30 years of teaching and administrative experience-ranging from elementary school to middle school, to high school and college-Karanovich will be working with charter school staff and appointed faculty scholars from the University's wide range academic disciplines to provide professional development for instructional staff as well as enrichment experiences for charter school students.

Karanovich is a recognized guest speaker presenting workshops, seminars and staff development courses on such topics as school climate, intra- and inter-school community strategies, school finance and educational leadership. She has received numerous awards including the 2005 Illinois Superintendent of the Year from the American Association of School Administrators and the 2000 "Break the Mold Award" for vision and leadership in educational excellence from the Illinois State Board of Education.

She also has served a variety of professional and community organizations including the Funding Information Accountability Committee of the Illinois State Board of Education, the state's Education Task Force and the McDonough County Housing Authority Board of Directors. She is a lifetime member of the SIUE Alumni Association and was inducted in 2008 to the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.

SIUE Hosts Global Robotics Conference

16 June 2010, 3:23 pm

The SIUE School of Engineering will be the center of attention in the Botball world July 7-11 when the Global Conference on Educational Robotics (GCER) takes the Midwest by storm.

The GCER is an annual event which draws middle school and high school students, educators, robotics enthusiasts, and professionals from around the world to connect with peers, discuss technology-related ideas, and cheer on their favorite teams during two exciting autonomous robot tournaments.

"We're expecting 50-60 teams of students for the competition portion of the GCER," said Jerry Weinberg, professor of computer science and chair of that department in the SIUE School of Engineering. "We have teams from Kuwait and Poland, along with several teams from throughout the United States. We are so excited to host this global event on the SIUE campus."

BotBall is a competition that engages middle and high school aged students in a team-oriented robotics competition based on national science education standards. Students prepare for a BotBall event by designing, programming and building robots in a hands-on project that reinforces their learning.

In addition to the GCER, the four days include:

• The International Botball Robotics Tournament-for middle and high school teams to show off their robotics expertise to the general public

• The Kiss Institute for Practical Robotics (KIPR) Open Robotics Tournament-a robotics competition for college-age competitors and beyond, also open to the public

During the four-day event, guest speakers will include:

• Pam Gay, research associate lecturer, SIUE Department of Physics

Space Exploration and the Role of Robotics

• Jeffrey Rice, application architect and a vice president at The Boeing Co.

Robotics in the Aerospace Industry / How Boeing Utilizes Robotics

• James McLurkin, assistant professor, Rice University

Developing Small Robots as Wireless Networks

Educators and students will be presenting papers at the four-day event. "The teachers will be sharing new techniques proposed for the robotics classroom but the students also are encouraged to submit papers with their own views about robotics," Weinberg said.

Robots to "Clean Up" Oil Spill

16 June 2010, 3:21 pm

"Cleaning up an oil spill is the theme of this competition," said Jerry Weinberg, professor of computer science and chair of that department in the SIUE School of Engineering. "It's a timely topic even though it was created several months ago before the disaster currently occurring in the Gulf of Mexico." He is referring to Transocean's Deepwater Horizon oil rig, leased to BP oil, which exploded April 20 and has been sending untold amounts of oil into the Gulf.

In the GCER competition, robots will be programmed to help clean up a simulated oil spill in a "lake," which also will involve wildlife clean-up. "An earthquake has occurred and the robots will be used to absorb the oil slick and help clean the 'ducks' that use the lake," he said. "The ducks will need to be moved by the robots to a cleaning area and then moved again to a 'cleaned wetlands area.'

"The robots also will move sponges to various areas of the lake," Weinberg said. "The sponges represent absorbents to be used to clean the 'oil spill.'"

Robots Go to School

16 June 2010, 3:21 pm

Teaching robotics in the middle schools and high schools caught on in the late 1990s, according to Jerry Weinberg, professor of computer science at SIUE and chair of that department. "In 1998, new smaller and inexpensive computer technology was created and that made it possible to bring that technology into the classroom." Since then, hands-on robotics projects have become useful educational tools across a variety of subjects, he said.

Robots are integrated systems comprised of interdependent electrical, mechanical and computational components. Because of their multidisciplinary nature, the study of robotics in the classroom has become a valuable tool for the practical, hands-on application of concepts in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics at the K-12 and undergraduate educational levels.

"As the technology has improved over the past 12 years, it has allowed students to learn faster and more on their own," Weinberg said. "And, we have seen a 10-percent upswing in students majoring in all types of engineering since 1998. We'd like to think robotics had a hand in that."

Weinberg has been instrumental in involving local high schools in Botball tournaments on the SIUE campus, which has grown to include regional and Midwest tournaments for the past four years and now the international tournament coming in July.

"The KISS Institute has been watching our activities over the years and they've seen how the program has grown," Weinberg said. "They've seen the potential and that's why they decided to bring the international tournament to Edwardsville."

NSF Grant Helps Make Brain Pack For Robots A Reality

15 June 2010, 3:22 pm

Jerry Weinberg, professor of computer science and chair of that department in the SIUE School of Engineering, and William Yu, an associate professor in the same department, have been creating a "Brain Pack" for walking robots. The study is being funded by a $500,000 NSF grant, and the project is now in its second phase.

The two educators are working in partnership with Kim Wheeler and Robin Knight of Road Narrows LLC to create the new "Brain Pack."

Since 1999, Weinberg and Yu have been instrumental in bringing middle school, high school and college students together from throughout the region to study robotics and participate in robotics competitions.

The NSF grant, "General Robot Controller for Legged Mobile Robots with Integrated Open Source Software," will help develop a computer backpack or "Brain Pack" for two-, four-, and six-legged robots for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses.

"The Brain Pack will provide an easy way to program a computer controller that connects sensors, such as foot touch sensors, to give a robot the 'sense' of walking and a color camera to give the robot 'eyesight,'" Weinberg said.

"It will be a general controller that can be used on any legged robot, providing it with sensors and computing power that walking robots on the market currently do not have."

Hands-on robotics projects have become useful educational tools across a variety of subjects, Weinberg pointed out.

"Robots are integrated systems comprised of interdependent electrical, mechanical, and computational components. Because of their multidisciplinary nature, the study of robotics in the classroom has become a valuable tool for the practical, hands-on application of concepts in various STEM topics at the K-12 and undergraduate educational levels.

"While there are wheeled robots that are easy to use for K-12 and undergraduate educators, there are no legged robot platforms with easy to use hardware and software," Weinberg said.

"The Brain Pack will have 'plug-and-play' sensors with straightforward software modules developed specifically for use in the classroom."

Weinberg recently conducted the Greater St. Louis Botball Tournament on the SIUE campus in April, where some 200 students, along with their teachers and parents from 20 schools throughout the Midwest, participated in the event. "This was a regional robotics competition for a national tournament conducted by the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (KIPR)," Weinberg said.

The 2010 Global Conference on Educational Robotics (GCER) will take place on the SIUE campus in July.

"Our regional tournament in April started with a student/teacher workshop on building and programming robots and ended in an exciting head-to-head tournament seven weeks later," Weinberg explained. This was the fourth regional robotics tournament held at SIUE. The GCER in July will be the first time it has been conducted at SIUE.

Kim Wheeler-Smith and Robin Knight are the co-founders of Road Narrows LCC in Loveland, Colo. They earned engineering and mathematics degrees focused on robotics and computational intelligence, which led them to create a company to provide mobile robots to educators and researchers.

"The primary mission of Road Narrows is to participate in the robotics revolution by developing, manufacturing, and offering hardware and software platforms for purchase to further technical education and to enable related research and development," Weinberg said.

"The partnership between SIUE and Road Narrows is key to the successful development of the Brain Pack innovation. The educators at SIUE have considerable experience in developing curricula and software for using robots in the classroom, and Road Narrows has similarly considerable experience in engineering and marketing robot hardware for educators.

For more information, contact Professor Weinberg, (618) 650-2368. For more information about the GCER and Botball, visit the website: or for information about SIUE's robotics program, visit the website:

Chancellor Emeritus Werner Named To Interim Post

15 June 2010, 11:41 am

David Werner, chancellor emeritus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been named interim president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, effective Aug. 1, according to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

Werner previously served as IUP's interim provost during much of the 2007-08 academic year and was interim president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania during 2005-06. In his newest position, Werner is replacing Tony Atwater, who will leave the university June 30 to assume a leadership role with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. Atwater has served as IUP president since February 2005.

"These are challenging times for PASSHE and for all of our universities," said PASSHE Board Chairman Kenneth M. Jarin. "I am confident the strong leadership in place will allow us to successfully meet all of the challenges we face as we strive to continually enhance the quality of education our students receive."

In addition to his chancellorship at SIUE, the culmination of a 38-year career at SIUE, Werner spent a semester as a visiting researcher in human resources and public policy development at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan. He served as IUP's interim provost during much of the 2007-08 academic year. At SIUE Werner was a professor of computer management and information systems, dean of the School of Business and provost for the University before being named chancellor in 1997.

Werner has been a consultant-evaluator for the North Central Association and has been active in the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business and other scholarly and professional organizations. He also has served on the boards of directors of SIUE's University Park, FOCUS St. Louis, the Southwestern Illinois Higher Education Consortium, and the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market, as well as the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Council on Economic Education.

He received a bachelor of science in industrial engineering from Saint Louis University, and both a master of science and a doctorate in industrial engineering and management science from Northwestern University.

The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

NCERC Is Key To USDA Biofuels Plan

15 June 2010, 8:28 am

The US Department of Agriculture is expecting to spend some $42 million nationally by 2011 for research in biofuel production and SIUE's National Corn-To-Ethanol Research Center plays a key role in the agency's plans, according to Larry Chandler, with the USDA's Agricultural Research division.

Chandler, who was speaking on campus to a group of NCERC supporters, said the USDA signed a five-year contract last fall with the SIUE research center to test various methods of biofuel refining developed by USDA scientists. John Caupert, director of the NCERC, says the contract is a win-win situation for both the center and the USDA. He explained that the USDA research coupled with the center's testing will ultimately lead to more efficient ways to produce ethanol, which could bring down the price and make it more available to the nation for use as a renewable fuel.

In the photo: SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift (at far left) chats with (from left) the USDA's Larry Chandler, National-Corn-To-Ethanol Research Center Director John Caupert and Tommy Schmidt of Burns and McDonnell, an engineering consulting firm. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

'The Lady Cries Murder' Opens June 23 For SIUE Summer ShowBiz 2010

15 June 2010, 8:13 am

The Lady Cries Murder

A handsome detective, a luscious secretary, a femme fatale and more twists than a pretzel are all part of the fun in John William See's comedy, The Lady Cries Murder, opening June 23 as the next offering in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Summer ShowBiz 2010 series.

The hilarious comedy, which pokes fun at the film noire genre and the hard-boiled detective novels of the 1930s and '40s, opens at 7:30 p.m. that Wednesday and continues at the same curtain time Thursday through Saturday, June 24-26, as well as at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 26, and Sunday, June 27, all in the theater in SIUE's Katherine Dunham Hall.

See cleverly brings us into a shadowy world of sexy women, hard liquor, missing persons, guns and gumshoes, and lots of funny lines in late 1930s New York City as he weaves a tale that could have come right out of a Raymond Chandler novel or John Huston's screenplay for the Humphrey Bogart classic, The Maltese Falcon.

In his description of the play's setting, director Mark Bacus, of Alton, wrote: "The story opens in New York City, 1938, in the house and mind of famous radio producer and writer, Charles Sartone. We move on to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, and back to New York City-along the way visiting private eye offices, shabby apartments, seedy nightclubs and the bottom of a bottle of Scotch. The description sets the stage for the comedy to come.

Bacus, who has directed and acted in more than 120 stage productions in the Metro East, many with the old Piasa Players in Alton, says film noire detective dramas have been his favorite for much of his life. "It's more than just the straight talk, the fast relationships, and the solutions that are commonly solved with a smoke, a drink, and by smacking somebody in the chops," Bacus said. "We all wish life were that simple."

Bacus says hard-boiled detective fiction has earned the status of "genre" today because we see ourselves in the shoes of the hero who is a complex person and who must navigate myriad characters, solve the mystery, romance the woman, and do it all while maintaining the "ethical high road" and in the end live to do it all another day.

"The genre represents an acceleration of the way we do business, a reasonable mirror of how we navigate through our own challenges. So, why does See poke fun at the genre in this delightful comedy? Because that's what we do best. It keeps us grounded and sane," Bacus asserts.

"We are a nation of folks who have learned how healthy and valuable satire can be. When pressed for a tip on how he developed the plot twists in his crime detective stories, Chandler would wink and say: 'When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.' See has filled his comedy with plenty of film noire characters," Bacus points out, "but then sets up a twist at the end that should have audience members talking for a few days after they leave the theater."

Tickets for The Lady Cries Murder are $15; students, senior citizens (65+), SIUE faculty and staff: $12; SIUE students registered for summer classes are free with valid ID. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, call (618) 650-2774.

In the photo, members of the cast include: (from left) Caroline Lawrence of Collinsville, who portrays Shanghai Sue; Emily Reutebuch of Granite City, as Miriam and Angel; Todd Moore of Evergreen Park, in the role of Phillip Diamond; and Claudia Clark of Godfrey, as Marsha and Grace. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

MFA Students Exhibit Art In Chicago

12 June 2010, 11:42 am

Eight graduate students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are making history for their department and the university this month. They will be holding their MFA exhibit in the Windy City.

Through June 27, the work of Kristen Bartel (printmaking), Ilene Berman (sculpture), Andy Magee (sculpture and mixed media), Jill Palone (metalsmithing), Katherine Perryman (painting), Amanda Pfister (digital arts), Nick Ramey (ceramics) and Evan Wagman (ceramics) will be on display at the Chicago Arts District Exhibitions Space. An opening reception of the work took place Friday, June 11.

John DenHouter, chair of the SIUE Department of Art and Design, said the exhibit is the first time SIUE students have displayed their works together in Chicago, a major art hub. The exhibit required monumental coordination to come together, he said, and is curated by Perryman.

"After much negotiation by Kate, our office staff, and the (College of Arts and Sciences) dean's office, the exhibit is finally a reality," DenHouter said. "Chicago and its greater metropolitan area is a key recruiting area for SIUE so we felt it would be a 'win-win' situation for our department as well as the University," he explained. "Kate really is to be congratulated for her efforts. Dean Al Romero has also supported the show via financial contributions and should also be specifically acknowledged in this endeavor."

SIUE's graduate studio art program has an excellent reputation and attracts students from around the country and the world. An MFA degree from SIUE requires 60 credit hours, a thesis, a final exam and exhibition of artwork which is designed, organized and installed by the graduate student. The Chicago Art District Exhibitions Space is located at 1915 S. Halsted.

SIUE Geography Students Chase Tornadoes in Oklahoma

11 June 2010, 9:20 am

Storm Chasers

Last month, there were at least nine confirmed tornadoes in the vicinity of Oklahoma City. Eleven SIUE students were eyewitnesses to the super cell associated with this tornado outbreak.

The tornado activity took place during the afternoon and evening hours as a cold front and dry line moved through central Oklahoma. The system generated baseball-size hail, intense lightning, heavy rain, and tornadoes. From a safe distance, the students saw several wall clouds, roll clouds, scud clouds and a funnel cloud.

The students, who at the time were enrolled in a Storm Chasing and Assessment class taught by Mark Hildebrandt, associate professor of geography, witnessed the development of the super cell. The field trip to Oklahoma enabled students to study first-hand the complex dynamics of the atmosphere, observe the power and beauty of nature, and apply their classroom knowledge to a successful learning adventure in the real world.

And not a single drop of hail touched any vehicles SIUE used during the more than two-hour chase.

T. Ziegler Is June Employee Of The Month

7 June 2010, 2:57 pm

Tracey Ziegler

Congratulations: Tracey Ziegler, a clerk in the Office of Campus Recreation, is the June recipient of the Employee Recognition Award. In the photo, Ziegler (second from left) received the award from Vice Chancellor for Administration Kenn Neher (center). Also shown is Human Resources Director Sherrie Senkfor (second from right); Mick Ostrander (far right), director of Campus Recreation; and Dave Hagedorn (far left), assistant director of Campus Recreation and the one who nominated Ziegler. In addition to the plaque Ziegler was presented, she was awarded a $25 gift certificate to the SIUE Bookstore, two complimentary lunch coupons to the University Restaurant or other Dining Services locations, and parking close to her office for the month. (SIUE Photo by Bill Brinson)

SIUE Student From Marion Chosen For Vanderbilt Nursing Residency

2 June 2010, 3:16 pm

Sarah Jimenez of Marion, a recent graduate of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing, has been selected for a nursing residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, Tenn., beginning July 12.

Among all of the 800 online applications VUMC received for the residency, 600 were contacted for follow-up. Some 350 of those were asked to visit the campus. During that final phase of the process, Jimenez was among the approximately 100 chosen for the VUMC residency.

Jimenez explained the nursing residency is a way for VUMC to improve retention of first-year nursing graduates. She will participate in the Adult Critical Care residency, which will allow her to rotate through five ICUs, an emergency department and a burn unit, all in her first 12 weeks. For the remaining year, she will select a work setting preference from among any of her given rotations.

Jimenez is currently with the emergency department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, which is similar to VUMC as a Level 1 Trauma Center with comparable patient volume.

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