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June 2013

High School Students Enjoy SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp

24 June 2013, 4:45 pm

SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp 6-19-13

SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp 6-19-13

Holding a baby mannequin in both arms like a pro, high school student Taylor Robinson takes in all the sights and sounds of the simulated nursing lab on Tuesday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Robinson, a 16year-old student at Edwardsville High School, was one of 19 high school students who participated in the weeklong SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp, which was held June 17-21.

Area high school juniors and seniors with an interest in health care came to the University on June 16 to get exposure to SIUE's Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Dental Medicine. The health care professional schools targeted minority students because they understand the need for more diversity in these fields, said Dr. Lakesha Butler, clinical associate professor in the School of Pharmacy and current coordinator of the diversity summer camp.

In 2009, the SIUE School of Pharmacy established a three-day, non-residential summer camp for high school seniors interested in pursuing a pharmacy degree. Recognizing the value of increased diversity in the Doctor of Pharmacy student body, the School created the camp as an opportunity to expose students to careers in pharmacy and guide them along their journey to pharmacy school. Four years later, the program has seen great success and has expanded into a six-day, inter-professional program.

Thanks to funding from Walgreens, Express Scripts and Target, high school minority students have the opportunity to live in the residence halls and learn about the professions of pharmacy, nursing and dental medicine at no charge to the students' families. "Without this partnership, the opportunities provided to these students through the health care diversity camp would never have happened," said Dr. Mark S. Luer, associate dean of professional and student affairs in the School of Pharmacy.

Students spent their first day at camp touring the SIUE campus and learning about student resources available at the University. On Tuesday, students spent the day in the School of Nursing, including the Simulated Learning Center for Health Sciences Laboratory. Sheila Pietroburgo, coordinator of the Skills/Simulation Lab, explained how SIUE nursing students learn needed information and gain valuable experience from work in the laboratory and with the simulators. They also learned about careers in nursing and met with key faculty members.

Students visited the School of Dental Medicine in Alton on Wednesday. They toured the campus and participated in hands-on anatomy and physiology activities, including inspection of their own cheek cells under a microscope, an x-ray review of cavities and electronic cadaver simulation. Students also created impressions of teeth models in the School's Multidisciplinary Lab. Dr. Cornell Thomas, assistant dean for admissions and student services, led a discussion about dentistry as a career and the School's admissions requirements.

Thursday was spent learning about careers in pharmacy. Activities in the School of Pharmacy included touring the School and hearing about memorable patient moments and sharing lunch with faculty members. Students had the opportunity to try their hand at various assessment skills in the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Lab including blood pressure, pulse, glucose, heel scan, cholesterol and inhalers. They also attended community pharmacy site visits at Maryville Pharmacy, Walgreens and Schnucks Pharmacy.

The last day of the camp was focused on helping students prepare to take the ACT. "Not only do we recognize the value of increasing the diversity in our student body, we also recognize the need to help prepare minority students to get to the finish line," Butler said.

The opportunity to explore careers in health care and experience life on a college campus was inspiring for the students. "The students are so motivated and driven," Butler said. "I've been impressed with their interest and the types of questions they have asked."

Tracee Williams, a 17-year-old student at Belleville West High School, said she is considering attending SIUE to major in nursing or pharmacy. "I didn't think I wanted to go to SIUE because it was close and my mother graduated from here," Williams said. "But I've found out that it's a really good school." Williams' mother, Yvette Sanders, graduated from SIUE with a bachelor's in business.

Christian Watts, a 17-year-old at Hazelwood Central High School in St. Louis, is considering a career as a pharmacist. "Ever since I was young, I wondered how a small pill could make someone healthy."

Robinson is considering three areas of study: optometry, dermatology and oncology. "I think the eye is an intriguing thing," he said. "The skin is a beautiful thing to me, and oncology research is interesting."

Winston Jackson, however, is interested in becoming a neurologist. The 17-year-old Edwardsville High School student said the weeklong workshop has proven to be important and useful.

According to Luer, the camp was designed to encourage minority students to explore all types of professional careers. "This was a university-wide, interprofessional effort," he said. "If we can inspire these students and equip them with the confidence they need to pursue a professional education and a career in a health care field, then the camp was a success."

Photo Information:

Winston Jackson of Edwardsville High School checks the "patient Gary" as Destany Ulmer of Parkway South High School observes. In the background, Taylor Robinson from Edwardsville High School peers over their shoulder.

Rhyiannon Ike, 17-year-old Belleville East High School student, holds the mannequin baby she named "Niguel" with the help of Tracee Williams, 17-year-old student at Belleville West High School.

SIUE Engineering Camp Provides High School Students with Engineering Insight

20 June 2013, 5:57 pm

Engineering Summer Camp 2013, 2

Engineering Summer Camp 2013

The SIUE School of Engineering is hosting its annual Engineering Summer Camp for high school students interested in learning more about engineering and the career options within that field. This summer, the camp held its first session June 9-14. The second session began on June 16 and will close on Friday, June 21. Watch the SIUE Engineering Summer Camp news video.

Students at the camp are scheduled for various hands-on activities that introduce them to the fields within the engineering discipline. Activities during the camp encompass principles of mechanical, industrial, electrical and civil engineering, as well as construction management and computer science.

"We provide an overview of all the programs offered by the School of Engineering," said Dr. Chris Gordon, associate dean of the School of Engineering, and coordinator of the engineering camp. "The campers get a feel for what these programs entail and the incredible range of rewarding opportunities available in these fields."

In the course of the camp, students participate in several projects, including building fuel cell cars, rockets and robots. Before embarking on their own projects, they get to see demonstrations of projects built by SIUE engineering students to inspire their work.

This year, students from various parts of the nation as well as from the Metro East and St. Louis-area have participated in the camp. Gordon says the camp has reached a record number of 56 total students enrolled. Each year, the camp attracts students from Illinois and neighboring states, including Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. This year's camps also included applicants from as far away as Alaska and Idaho.

Sisters Casey Beard, 14, and Reese Beard, 12, travelled from Howser, Idaho, to attend the Engineering Camp. They are home-schooled students who attend the Idaho Virtual Academy, which is an online home schooling program. Despite their ages, they are at high school academic levels, and they both have come to the camp to explore their career and college options.

"I know I want to go into engineering," Casey said, "but I don't know if I want to be an electrical engineer or an industrial engineer. This program has the best survey of all the different fields of engineering."

Chris Couch, 16, of O'Fallon (Ill.) Township High School came to the camp knowing he wanted to be an engineer but unsure of which field he wanted to focus on.

"I didn't know what field of engineering I wanted to go into, but after coming here, I think I have a better idea," Couch said. "The camp has done a good job of separating the fields and saying how they're different and how they also can be related."

Brent Ellis, 16, of Bloomfield (Ind.) Junior-Senior High School, finds the several fields of engineering each fascinating in different ways. He has also found that having knowledge in all of the fields can be helpful in starting a career.

"I have already found more fields that I'm interested in," said Ellis. "I've learned that sometimes you can get one degree in engineering but then still go into a different field because the fields can overlap."

Gordon believes that bringing together promising young students with varying engineering interests and showing them the diversity within the broader field has garnered enthusiasm among SIUE engineering faculty and students.

"Our campers bring incredible dynamism to the school," Gordon said. "We get to work with them as they learn what they are most excited about and which direction they might want to go. It's a great opportunity for us as faculty members to work with future engineers and learn about their ambitions and their approaches to the various challenges they experience during the week."

SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master's degrees and a cooperative doctoral program, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.

Photo Information:

Pictured on left is Wesley Neal (16) of Peoria High school with Dan Kornell (16) of Edwardsville High School.

SIUE School of Engineering faculty member Steve Muren (in the middle) explains a point to Amber Holt (17) of Edwardsville High School and John Wicks (16) of the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School.

Cultural and Historical Study in Havana, Cuba Enlightens Students and Faculty

19 June 2013, 5:58 pm

Cuba Trip, 6.19.13

From June 5-14, four students and three faculty members from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville gained an enriching cultural experience in Cuba. The students who traveled to Cuba took coursework in Cuban History and Culture, and will interact with an additional 17 students who are taking a tandem online course. The trip provided first steps for SIUE faculty and students to take part in the Cuban Academic Exchange program, which was established between University of Havana and SIU in late September 2012.

The four students who attended the trip were an undergraduate geography major; Allys Diaz, an undergraduate special education major; Dean Gunderson, a geography graduate student; and Roberto Saenz, an undergraduate historical studies major.

In Havana, these students were led by Drs. Larry LaFond and Wendy Shaw, who are instructors for the course. LaFond is the associate dean for student development and general education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Shaw is the associate dean for academic programs and faculty development in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Andrew Theising, political science associate professor and director of the Institute for Urban Research, also attended the trip to enrich his own cultural experience.

During the trip, the faculty and students followed a rigorous itinerary that allowed them to view historical and cultural landmarks with a knowledgeable guide. In Havana, the group visited sites of key importance such as the Museum of the Revolution and the Morro Fortress. In addition to field-work in Havana, students were able to visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum near Santa Clara, as well as the city of Matanzas and the Bay of Pigs. In addition to this busy itinerary of site visit students also attended lectures and meetings at the University of Havana.

The faculty and students were all enthusiastic to gain insights into Cuban culture and history, as well as the everyday life of Cubans. LaFond found that the students who attended the trip were especially keen to learn and discuss the culture they were eagerly absorbing. He felt that the "extended conversations" students were having with him during their free time about the places they had seen, the people they had met, and the information they had learned was an especially rewarding aspect of the trip.

"This was the special kind of experience that travel study makes possible, and it is that kind of interaction that can lead to deep, memorable learning that goes far beyond the traditional classroom," said LaFond.

The object of the trip was to gain a view of the political and economic culture of Havana, which the students and faculty gained from both their scheduled activities and the interactions they were able to have with Cuban people. The people in Havana were very open to their questions and willing to provide a more detailed glimpse into Cuban culture.

"We certainly moved through our itinerary," said Shaw, "but students were also able to ask the people we interacted with and our guide questions about specific topics they were studying. They were able to tailor their questions to their academic focus, and we had some excellent people in Cuba who were able to support that."

Some of the topics students studied while on the trip were agriculture, architecture and education. Upon their return to SIUE, the students are continuing with the course, which ends with an all-day meeting on July 20. In the meeting, students who went to Cuba will share their experiences with those who were not able go.

Saenz, who visited Havana with an interest in architecture, is working on a paper about the restoration of buildings in Old Havana. Although Saenz is not a stranger to traveling overseas-he participated in a study abroad program that took him to Spain, Italy and Germany in 2010-he feels enlightened by his experience with Cuban culture. Like the other students, he was excited to gain new information, but he feels that this visit to Havana encouraged him to broaden his perspective on politics, economy and life in general.

"I was able to get a European perspective when I studied abroad, and now I also was able to find out more about the Cuban perspective," Saenz said. "The more we travel, the more we interact with people around the world. The more interaction we experience, the more understanding we gain, and with this understanding between cultures, we can really benefit from each other."

Having been to Cuba, Shaw, LaFond and the four students have much to share with the other 17 students in the course. With their insights, LaFond and Shaw are both enriching their curriculum to reflect their experiences and to include the information they gained. At the end of the course, a website detailing the Cuban experience will be developed for the campus community and public to explore.

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.

Photo Information: The travel group standing at the Centro de Estudios Hemisféricos y sobre Estados Unidos (CEHSEU) of the University of Havana. Back row from left to right: Roberto Saenz, undergraduate student in Art and Design; Dean Gunderson, graduate student in geography; and Dr. Andrew Theising, faculty participant in political science. Front row from left to right: Dr. Larry LaFond, co-instructor in English Language and Literature; Dr. Wendy Shaw, co-instructor in geography; Allys Diaz, undergraduate student in special education; Raul Rodriguez, director at CEHSEU University of Havana.

IERC Study Focuses on State Charter Schools' HR Management

17 June 2013, 11:59 am

Nearly $160,000 was awarded to the Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville by The Joyce Foundation for a two-year project studying how charter schools organize teaching differently than other public schools.

The Joyce Foundation is an organization that supports the development of policies aimed at improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country. It serves as a model for the rest of the country.

Established in 1948 by the late Beatrice Joyce Kean of Chicago, the organization provides grant opportunities to focus on policy development in the areas of education, employment, the environment, gun violence, money and politics and culture.

Human resources management policies and practices in Illinois charter schools will be the primary area of focus for the study. This will allow researchers to learn more about the extent and consequences of teacher-focused school reform in charter schools and help address gaps in the research literature. The IERC plans to examine learning conditions, school staffing and spending data, and teacher mobility patterns in Illinois charter schools, and explore the relationships between these factors.

The research team also hopes to conduct in-depth investigations of teacher hiring, evaluation, compensation, and retention policies and practices in sites that have been identified as innovators in these fields.

"It is our hope that these analyses yield findings that can help guide personnel policies in both the charter and traditional public school sectors, where appropriate, as well as demonstrate the degree to which Illinois charter schools are leveraging the flexibility allowed by the state's charter law to drive more strategic management of their human capital," said Brad White, senior researcher for the IERC.

The study will conclude in May 2015. White added, "Charter schools are public schools of choice that are open to all students and operate under a performance contract, or charter, whereby they are granted increased autonomy with regard to inputs-such as human resource management-in exchange for increased accountability with regard to outcomes, such as student achievement."

For charter school operators, one advantage of this autonomy is the freedom from "the numerous reporting requirements from their local and state education agencies," White said. "For researchers however, the flexibility granted to charter schools means that there is often little data available with regard to inputs to these schools."

So, while charter schools often are described as being more innovative and flexible than traditional public schools, especially when it comes to the management of human resources, very little is known about their actual practices, at scale or longitudinally, White said. He added even less is known about the impact of these practices on student achievement.

According to White, potential future studies could focus on teaching and school climate for charter school teachers; how much autonomy the teachers themselves have; how the career path or career ladder differs between charter and public schools; opportunities for advancement in these institutions, and how working conditions compare across institutions.

School of Business Interim Dean Navin Featured in Belleville News-Democrat

17 June 2013, 8:19 am

Recently named SIUE School of Business Interim Dean John Navin is featured in the June 17 edition of the Belleville News-Democrat. Reporter Will Buss did a quick Q&A with Navin. Read it here.

University Park at SIUE Seeks to Expand Tenant List

14 June 2013, 8:03 pm

With 16 private company tenants and nine university units already functioning within Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's University Park, SIUE is seeking to expand its client base at the 330-acre site.

"University Park provides a unique opportunity for private sector emerging industries and businesses to enhance their competitive positions through beneficial relationships with SIUE," said Jim Pennekamp, special assistant to the chancellor for economic development and University Park executive director.

Tenants of University Park at SIUE are close to valuable human resources, including a capable base of student interns, a highly skilled pool of potential employees and faculty researchers. Today, University Park includes:

  • 151,071 square feet of space-95 percent of which is occupied
  • 169 full-time and 93 part-time employees, and 103 student workers
  • University Park companies have hired 50 SIUE graduates
  • Five SIUE-owned buildings, four privately owned buildings and two UP owned buildings

"The University plays a critical role in advancing the region's economic development and future success," said SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe. "It is the commitment of all parties involved that make SIUE a destination University-not only for students, but also for researchers and entrepreneurs."

Private companies are a major component to the success of the region and University Park. A total of 16 private companies in University Park provide 71 full-time jobs, 74 part-time positions and opportunities for 20 student workers. Nine SIUE units in University Park employ 98 people full-time and provide 19 part-time opportunities along with 83 student worker jobs.

The American Red Cross (ARC) recently returned 15 prime acres to University Park. The ARC had planned to build a blood processing center and national testing laboratory on the SIUE site to replace its 50-year-old St. Louis facility. The ARC will not build the project in University Park or any other location in the foreseeable future.

SIUE Announces Participation in Summer Food Program

14 June 2013, 10:52 am

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville announced today it is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided free of charge to all SIUE East St. Louis Center Summer Program enrolled children.

Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for everyone, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Any person who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should write to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Meals will be provided at the sites listed below beginning June 24, 2013 and ending July 26, 2013. For further information contact DaWanda Gresham at (618) 482-6909.

SIUE Morris University Center

University Drive

Edwardsville, IL 62026-0001

SIUE East St. Louis Center

601 James R. Thompson Blvd.

East St. Louis, IL 62201

NCERC Kicks Off 10th Anniversary Celebration

14 June 2013, 10:15 am

NCERC 10th aniversary 6-13-13

The NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville began its 10 th anniversary celebration Thursday by hosting more than 100 guests who were in St. Louis for the annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) at America's Center. See the video story.

"What we're truly celebrating is the biofuels industry's growth and development during the past 10 years," said Center Director John Caupert. "This continues to be the only facility in the world where research for ethanol, advanced biofuels and specialty chemicals are all occurring simultaneously."

Caupert and his staff conducted tours of the Center's pilot plant, analytical laboratories and fermentation suite. They also hosted a lunch for "A Celebration of Feedstocks and Fuels."

The majority of domestic and international visitors touring the facility were biofuels industry vendors and those interested in biofuels and specialty chemicals research and development along with ethanol producers and farmers. Representing SIUE were Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle and Vice Chancellor for University Relations Patrick Hundley.

Government representatives from Illinois included Mary Shalapin for U.S. Rep. William Enyart (D-12 th district), Philip Lasseigne for U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-13 th district) and Steve Tomaszewski for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-15 th district). Jim Larkin filled in for state Dept. of Agriculture Director Bob Flider.

Caupert is equally proud of the Center's history in workforce training. "More than 600 individuals have received work force training here," he said. "More than 92 percent of those folks are gainfully employed in the biofuels, specialty chemicals and refining industries."

Arisdyne was the Tour Day sponsor while Center corporate donors Burns and McDonnell, CPT and Siemens also were represented.

Photo: NCERC at SIUE Director John Caupert addresses visitors to the Center's 10 th birthday celebration.

SIUE Alums Make Exclusive "30-Under-30" List

13 June 2013, 4:50 pm

Three Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumni were included in the St. Louis Business Journal's "30-Under-30" list for 2013. Oliver Coulson, Jonathan Frech and Kristopher Steffen were among those spotlighted in the annual rankings released Monday, June 10.

The trio was among 30 honorees selected from more than 270 nominees. The awards recognize the St. Louis area's future business leaders.

Coulson is a senior project engineer at Tarlton Corp. The Troy, Ill., native earned a bachelor's in construction management in 2007 with a minor in business administration.

"Industry scholarships from groups such as Southern Illinois Builders Association, St. Louis Concrete Council, Illinois Ready Mix Concrete Association and American Concrete Institute's Missouri Chapter helped develop my network while I was at SIUE," said Coulson, who now resides in Highland. "That led to an internship and eventually a project engineer position with Tarlton. I'm still active within some of those organizations."

Jonathan Frech is a senior business analyst - functional analysis delivery at MasterCard Worldwide. The Granite City native earned a bachelor's in computer management and information systems in 2009 and followed with a master's in business administration in 2012.

"My SIUE experience contributed to becoming a more well-rounded business professional", said Frech, who now lives in St. Charles, Mo. "My SIUE School of Business undergraduate and graduate courses provided the skills to manage and simplify complex problems, and make informed decisions.

"I appreciate my colleagues and how we all play a role in MasterCard's success because of my classes in management and organizational behavior. SIUE's Career Development Center helped with finding an internship that provided the practical experience necessary to successfully enter the corporate world."

Kristopher Steffen is a strategic sourcing champion at Monsanto. He earned a bachelor's in business administration in 2006.

SIUE Alum Callis Wins Trip to MLB Fan Cave

12 June 2013, 2:13 pm

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alum Emily Callis is spending a few days in New York City after winning a contest to "crash" Major League Baseball's Fan Cave.

The Bloomington native graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's in political science from SIUE's College of Arts and Sciences.

The 23-year-old Callis submitted photo evidence in a MLB social media contest that she is an ultimate St. Louis Cardinals fan. She was rewarded with an expense-paid trip for two to New York and the MLB Fan Cave. The Cardinals are in the midst of a three-game series with the Mets at Citi Field.

Read about Callis' adventure in The Pantagraph .

SIUE Professor Nominee Hillaire Wins NEA Award

12 June 2013, 8:45 am

Pauline Hillaire

As an author, storyteller, artist and teacher, Pauline Hillaire of the Lummi Tribe has produced and amassed a lifetime of invaluable work in regard to Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest. She also has, for the past five years, collaborated with Dr. Gregory Fields, professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

It was because of the significance and impact of her contributions that Fields nominated Hillaire of the state of Washington for the 2013 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. She is one of nine cultural artists selected nationwide. The 83-year-old will additionally be awarded the Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Award.

The Bess Lomax Hawes Award is the nation's highest honor that recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

"She has done so much to keep the culture alive and help it regenerate by means of her work with tribal youth," Fields said, "and her teaching people of all ages and cultures, by means of her books and recordings. She is a magnificent and humble person."

Hillaire works to carry on the heritage of Washington's Lummi Nation and has been crucial in providing authentic research and information about the Northwest Coast's arts and culture. Hillaire, known as Scälla, "of the Killer Whale," is a Coast Salish Indian elder.

She has two books forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press: A Totem Pole History (available in December) and Rights Remembered: A Salish Grandmother Speaks on American Indian History and the Future (to be released following). For more information about A Totem Pole History, visit the publisher's page.

The books and media collections are collaborations with Fields and some of the recording for the projects was done at SIUE.

At an early age Hillaire learned about her culture from various elders of the Lummi Nation, also known as "People of the Sea." Her grandfather, Frank Hillaire, was the last chief of the Lummi and a spiritual leader. Her father, Joseph Hillaire, was a legendary orator and master carver of totem poles.

Hillaire has helped preserve the ways of the Lummi Nation by carrying on the efforts of her grandfather and father, who founded the song-and-dance group, Setting Sun Dancers. The group performed for over a century in Washington and nationally. She has also taught classes on Lummi arts and culture at the Northwest Indian College as well as public schools, museums and cultural organizations in Washington.

The award will be presented Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C. Hillaire's family will travel to the Capitol to receive the award on her behalf, and Fields will be in attendance as her nominator. Lummi tribal members will also perform at a public concert Sept. 27 in honor of this year's NEA National Heritage fellows. To learn more, visit 2013 Fellowship recipients.

"I am truly thankful to see, after all her years of sacrifice," said Fields, "that Scälla is recognized with the nation's highest honor for cultural heritage preservation."

Photo Information: Pictured is Pauline Hillaire. Photo courtesy by Jill Sabella

NCERC's Trupia is Featured Speaker at International Fuel Ethanol Expo

10 June 2013, 4:04 pm

Research & Creative Activities Sabrina Trupia NCERC 3-14-13

Dr. Sabrina Trupia, assistant director of biological research at The NCERC at SIUE: Advancing Biofuels Research, will be a featured speaker at the annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) June 10-13 at America's Center in St. Louis.

Trupia is one of 35 Growth Energy members speaking or presenting at the event. Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment.

Trupia has over a decade of experience in renewable energy research. Prior to joining NCERC, Trupia worked on biodiesel and anaerobic fermentation research, both in the United States and in Europe. Trupia holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Vermont.

SIUE Student-Athletes Extend Streak of Academic Excellence

10 June 2013, 12:09 pm

SIUE student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom and have now posted 14 consecutive semesters (seven years) of a cumulative grade point average (GPA) better than 3.0.

Completing its first season as a fully certified NCAA Division I member, SIUE Athletics continued its run of outstanding performance in the classroom with a 3.095 grade point average among the 245 student-athletes during the 2013 spring semester. More than 64 percent of SIUE's student-athletes finished with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

"The SIUE Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is committed to the academic excellence of our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt. "Inspiring tradition, pride, commitment and excellence is something we work towards daily. It's about more than winning the game, acing the match or bringing home the championship. It's about more than teamwork, leadership and discipline.

"At SIUE, intercollegiate athletics is a team effort aimed at achieving success both on the playing field and off," Hewitt added." It's about student-athletes who give their personal best, on the court and in the classroom.

"It's about a collegiate institution that provides a liberal arts education that prepares our student-athletes for the next game as well as for the next decade. It's about providing resources that make these goals a reality."

Hewitt also credited the Academic Support Staff and the changes that have been implemented since completing certification to NCAA Division I status.

"The expansion of study space for student-athletes in the Vadalabene Center provides the resources needed to make sure timely graduation is a focal point of their personal mission and the mission of the Athletics Department," Hewitt continued. "Our coaches continue to recruit top-notch student-athletes who are committed to academic success as well as athletic success.

"The academic success of our student-athletes is a reflection of the academic resources the university provides, the outstanding faculty and support of university leadership."

There were 80 student-athletes (32.7 percent) who earned a spot on the Dean's List with GPAs of 3.5 or higher.

The women's golf team finished with the highest team GPA for the second straight semester with a 3.7. Women's tennis was next with a 3.423. Men's cross country was next at 3.343.

Of the 16 SIUE athletics programs, 11 teams finished the spring semester with a GPA better than 3.0. That includes women's basketball (3.059), women's track and field (3.101), women's cross country (3.276), men's golf (3.333), softball (3.277), men's soccer (3.224), women's soccer (3.227) and volleyball (3.256).

SIUE's Berry to Continue Basketball Career in Denmark

10 June 2013, 8:57 am

SIUE women's basketball standout Raven Berry has signed to play professionally for Lemvig Basketball Club in Denmark. Read about the Collinsville native's journey abroad in the Belleville News-Democrat.

CosmoQuest@SIUE Hosting Hangout-a-Thon Fundraiser June 15-16:Tune in to Support Science Education & Research

7 June 2013, 4:50 pm

Faced with governmental funding cuts to science education and research, the CosmoQuest Virtual Research Facility ( at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has decided to host a telethon with a twist using Google Hangout on Air from June 15-16.

Google Hangout on Air is a live web based format used to communicate in real time. The group will focus on raising money to support public engagement in science. The Hangout-a-thon will begin at 11 a.m. (CT) June 15 and extend through June 16. The event is being hosted by Drs. Pamela Gay and Nicole Gugliucci of the SIUE STEM Center.

The weekend will be filled with numerous guests, including scientists who will perform science demonstrations, artists and musicians who connect to science in innovative ways, and researchers who will discuss citizen science. Each segment will be featured as a stand-alone YouTube video on AstrosphereVids channel following airing. This will create a library of content, while raising money for future programs, said Gay, an SIUE research assistant professor and CosmoQuest's co-designer.

Gay and Universe Today Publisher Fraser Cain came up with the design concept for the widely popular CosmoQuest virtual research facility. The virtual research facility is a place where everyday people can participate in modern research, while enjoying the same facilities (in virtual form) that professional researchers have at top universities. It was launched under the technological leadership of SIUE STEM Center lead programmer Cory Lehan.

The facility supports online citizen science programs, weekly seminars, virtual star parties, and educational programs for both kids and adults. According to, a web tracking service, is the most trafficked astronomy related citizen science site on the internet.

Confirmed guests are being announced at /2013/06/24-hour-hangout-a-thon. Individuals can follow the event's planning on Google+ at

"Planning for the hangout-a-thon was triggered by the cuts created by sequestration, and by the current plans to transition education out of NASA," Gay said.

She continued, "CosmoQuest is working to raise the funds needed to keep its programs going and to build new citizen science programs for researchers that won't otherwise have the means to accomplish their projects. With adequate funding, the group will be able to contract extraordinary people laid off by other institutions so they can keep doing great things through CosmoQuest."

"CosmoQuest wants to make sure astronomy education survives and remains strong," said Gugliucci, an SIUE postdoctoral fellow. "We know one team and one telethon can't fix everything, but we hope this event can raise awareness, while protecting one small corner of astronomy research and education."

Saturday Marks Kickoff of International Knit in Public Week: SIUE University Museum to Host Knitting Activities

7 June 2013, 4:19 pm

Dust off your knitting needles and crochet hooks. International Knit in Public Week kicks off Saturday and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville University Museum is marking the occasion.

Individuals will be knitting and crocheting in the Stratton Quadrangle from 11 am.-1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Museum is encouraging local fiber artists to join in the fun and bring public attention to the once commonplace form of art.

The artworks, along with contributed works from the community at large, will be collected through October. All the work will be displayed October 17 as part of a "yarn bomb" or "art bomb" on the SIUE campus. The event will coincide with the Midwest Artists Art Symposium.

It is the hope of museum administrators that creations from artists will be collected from around the world. Items will be draped over sculptures and other outdoor museum property across campus. Donated pieces will be sewn together to create fiber art installation coverage. Items will be displayed on museum collection sculptures across campus.

"We would like this to be an international experience," said Eric Barnett, University Museum director. "We're searching for knitted and crocheted pieces from around the world."

All pieces to be used for installation should be submitted no later than October 12. Items can be addressed to SIUE University Museum, Campus Box 1150, Edwardsville, IL 62026. For more information, contact the Museum, (618) 650-2996.

SIUE Tabs Navin as School of Business Interim Dean

7 June 2013, 2:15 pm


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle today named John C. Navin, Ph.D., as interim dean of the School of Business. Navin has agreed to serve for a period of two years to accommodate other leadership changes within the University and retains the option to be a candidate for the permanent position.

Navin takes the leadership reins on July 1 from Gary Giamartino, Ph.D., who resigned to assume the same duties at La Salle University's School of Business in Philadelphia. Giamartino has led the SIUE School of Business since 2002.

"Dr. Navin's leadership capabilities will be important for the School of Business during this interim period," Boyle said. "We must continue to meet the continuing challenges of a changing fiscal environment and adjusting our academic programming to meet emerging paradigms for learning and evolving student expectations."

"I want to thank Dr. Giamartino for his 11 years of dedicated service to the School and wish him great success at La Salle," Navin said. "Our faculty appreciated all of his hard work, and we look forward to keeping the School moving in a positive direction."

Navin said he will work closely with the School's current administrators and the Provost's office. "We need to ensure continuity of operation for the School. That includes strategic enrollment growth, on-going budget development, exploration and development of online programming and expanded international focus. It is imperative that our academic quality supports renewed accreditation status, and we continue to be successful in fundraising and alumni relations."

A professor of economics and finance, Navin has been a member of the School of Business faculty since 1991 and serves as chair of his department. He also is the undergraduate program director for the bachelor's program in economics and finance, and the bachelor's programs in economics.

At the University level, Navin has held key leadership roles as chair of the University Planning and Budget Council (UPBC) from 2007 to 2010; chair of the chancellor's Search Advisory Committee in 2011-2012; chair of the Salary Equity Task Force from 2009-2010; and chair of the E-Textbooks Committee in 2011-2012.

"Dr. Navin is known for his fair-minded approach to decision making coupled with a firm grounding in pragmatic problem solving," Boyle said. "His experience and leadership at SIUE have been characterized by a clear commitment to both fiscal planning and academic excellence."

SIUE Alumni Association Distributes Scholarships

7 June 2013, 12:44 pm

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association awarded nine scholarships last night at its annual meeting in the University Club located in the Morris University Center.

Matthew Horton, of Moro, and Mariah Huelsmann, of Alton, each received full Legacy Scholarships. Horton enters his sophomore year at SIUE this fall and is studying industrial engineering. Huelsmann is an incoming freshman and will major in history and anthropology with the goal of becoming a museum curator.

The Legacy Scholarship is a program for children, grandchildren, siblings and spouses of SIUE alumni. The Association's Board of Directors annually awards two full scholarships, one to a current undergraduate student and one to an incoming SIUE freshman. In addition, five $500 scholarships are distributed. The full scholarship covers tuition and fees.

Emily Fabry, of Granite City, received both a Stahlschmidt Family Scholarship and a Board of Directors Scholarship worth a total value of $2,500. Fabry plans to study pharmacy. Alyse Duncan, of Highland, also received a Stahlschmidt Family Scholarship worth $1,500. She will study marketing with the hope of managing her own marketing firm.

In honor of their parents Dorothy and Raymond, the Stahlschmidt children established the scholarship in fall 2009, which awards two scholarships per year to incoming SIUE students.

The Board of Directors Scholarship, funded by the members of the SIUE Alumni Association board of directors, awards a $1,000 scholarship to one incoming freshman, current undergraduate student, college transfer or non-traditional SIUE student each year. The candidate must demonstrate exemplary leadership skills, and campus and community involvement.

Elijah Counts, of Highland and Madison Frank, of Alhambra each received $500 Legacy Scholarships. Counts will major in music theory and composition and hopes to become a composer for films. Frank's major is undeclared.

Unable to accept their $500 Legacy award in person were Elsa Wible, of Alton; Caroline Sepe, of Villa Ridge; and Kristina Copeland of Wood River. Wible enters her junior year this fall and is pursuing a double major in speech language pathology and psychology. Her goal is to work with speech-impaired children.

Copeland is a senior this fall and is finishing a degree in genetics/chemistry before pursuing pharmacy or graduate school. Sepe plans to major in nursing with a goal to become a nurse anesthetist.

Cougars Long Jumper La'Derrick Ward Featured on KSDK-TV

7 June 2013, 9:14 am

SIUE sophomore La'Derrick Ward will be the first Cougar track athlete to compete for a NCAA Division I national title when he traveled to the men's outdoor track and field championships this week in Eugene, Ore. View the KSDK-TV feature on the Cahokia native from earlier this week.

D. Hastings Jr., 1952-2013; Was Alumnus and First Student Trustee

6 June 2013, 4:00 pm

Donald L. Hastings, Jr., 61, of Edwardsville, died Saturday, June 1, at Relais Bonne Eau Hospice Home in Edwardsville.

He was a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumnus. In 1973, he was elected as the first student from the Edwardsville campus to serve on the SIU Board of Trustees.

An online obituary is available at A memorial mass is pending. Arrangements are being made by Kalmer Memorial Services in Lebanon.

SIUE Hosts Illinois Commission on Access to Justice Listening Conference

6 June 2013, 11:54 am

Nearly 70 faculty, staff members and students attended a listening conference Wednesday hosted by the Illinois Commission on Access to Justice. The focus was improving access to the court system throughout the state. The event took place in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Founders Hall.

The standing room only crowd prompted organizers to open another room for attendees. Another 20 people took part in the conference virtually through the SIU Carbondale School of Law.

There were two panel discussions held during the three-and-a-half hour program. The first panel covered the topic "Access to Justice Needs, Challenges and Responses in the Fifth Appellate District." Afterwards, attendees discussed issues laypeople face when navigating the court system. They talked about measures currently being taken to increase support through advocacy-particularly to the poor, the elderly and victims of domestic violence.

Panelists for the first topic included Chief Judge Stephen G. Sawyer of Wabash County, Joan Spiegel of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, and Margarette Trushel of Oasis Women's Center. The moderator was Commissioner Timothy W. Kelly of the Commission on Access to Justice.

"It's a scary process spoken in a language they don't understand," Trushel said of the experience many people encounter when they step into the court system with no legal background or help.

Because of the recession and economic downturn, more people than ever are encountering legal issues, said Spiegel. Land of Lincoln is a non-profit corporation that was established in 1972 and serves 65 Illinois counties. It provides legal help to lower-income individuals and families.

"People are presented with more complex legal issues than ever before," Spiegel said. "We are seeing more foreclosures, and the number of senior citizens in our country is increasing dramatically. They don't have enough income and assets to support themselves."

Spiegel suggested that lawyers looking for experience should work with Land of Lincoln and like agencies to assist those without access to attorneys.

"That way this population will have a better understanding of the system and a better experience overall," she said.

The topic of the second panel was "Looking Ahead at Innovative Programs to Help Meet the Need in the Fifth Appellate District." Panelists included Woody Thorne from Southern Illinois Hospital, Russell K. Scott from Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., which has offices in St. Louis, Chicago and Belleville, and SIU School of Law Assistant Dean Mike Ruiz. The moderator was Judge and Commissioner Debra B. Walker from the Commission on Access to Justice.

A wrap up and closing remarks were made by Danielle Hirsch, executive director of the Commission on Access to Justice.

Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride said the idea for the Commission came from the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice. Kilbride attended the event with Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and members of the Commission on Access to Justice.

The SIUE Listening Conference was one in a series of five events held across the state to address lack of access to justice. Each conference was designed to focus on a Supreme Court appellate district. The first three were held at Bradley University in Peoria, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The final conference will take place at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago on Thursday, June 13.

Four SIUE Teams Earn NCAA Public Recognition Awards

5 June 2013, 4:58 pm

Four SIUE athletics programs were listed among the nation's best for their high marks academically.

The SIUE men's cross country, women's tennis, women's soccer, and softball teams were among the teams listed by the NCAA as having earned Public Recognition Awards based on their most recent multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR). A total of 976 NCAA Division I sports teams (594 women's teams and 382 men's or mixed teams) were honored for scoring in the top 10 percent in each sport with their APRs.

The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement that the NCAA uses to track classroom performance of student-athletes in every Division I sports team.

"We are very proud when Cougar student-athletes' commitment to SIUE's value to pursue excellence is publicly recognized," said SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt. "We are excited to be part of the NCAA's recognition and are pleased to show our dedication to the value of academic performance. This success is a reflection of the daily efforts and support of the student-athletes and departments on campus, including Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Intercollegiate Athletics, and faculty and staff members who provide services."

SIUE was one of eight OVC schools to have a least one sport earn a public recognition award. There were 23 OVC teams honored overall, the most overall in the eight-year history of the awards. Belmont led all OVC schools with seven followed by four from SIUE, three from Eastern Illinois, three from Morehead State, two from Murray State, two from Tennessee Tech, and one each from Austin Peay and Jacksonville State.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said top-performing teams this year posted APR scores ranging from 978 to a perfect 1,000. A list of Public Recognition Award winners is available at

"The NCAA's quintessential student-athlete exhibits dedication and commitment both on the playing field and in the classroom," said Emmert. "These teams and programs truly embody the overall values of the NCAA, and have exceeded standards to post fantastic academic scores. We are delighted by such a clear example of our membership's commitment to providing well-rounded experiences to student-athletes. "

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport. The APR awards two points each term to student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards and who remain with the institution. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible, multiplied by 1,000. It includes four years (this year's numbers included the school years of 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12).

A total of 268 institutions, out of 346 Division I colleges and universities, placed at least one team on the top APR list.

List of Award Winners (Searchable) | Complete NCAA Release

SIUE Engineering's Popular High School Residential Programs Begin in June

5 June 2013, 4:17 pm

Two sessions of a popular residential camp through the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering will bring roughly 60 high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors to campus during two week-long sessions. About 30 students will take part in each of the programs, which will take place in mid-June.

The sessions of the High School Outreach programs will take place from June 9-15 and June 16-22. Both sessions will include a week of exploration in the areas of engineering, science and technology. While on campus, students will learn about various engineering disciplines, including computer science and construction management. The campers will have the opportunity to discover first-hand how engineering impacts lives on a daily basis. They will participate in hands-on laboratory experiences, design contests and field trips.

"The camps have been successful over the years because of the tremendous enthusiasm shared by our faculty and our campers," said Dr. Chris Gordon, associate dean of the SIUE School of Engineering. "The exceptional hands-on activities illustrate the rewarding opportunities for our participants."

As part of the residential experience, students live with a roommate in the University residence halls, have meals in the Morris University Center and build lasting friendships with their fellow campers from other schools. The participating students can have access to the University's athletic facilities and the Morris University Center in the evenings. They are allowed to engage in activities such as bowling, swimming, rock wall climbing, volleyball, basketball and arcade games.

"This is a great opportunity that generates awareness across the state and promotes the wealth of resources available through the School of Engineering," Gordon said. "It also introduces the students to the wide array of programs and services available through the University.

"We are thrilled to see that many former campers apply to SIUE afterwards with an interest in engineering. It is rewarding to welcome our campers back as freshmen, informed and impassioned about the opportunities ahead of them."

The $350 fee for the High School Outreach program includes accommodations, food, round-trip transportation for field trips, as well as all necessary materials and supplies. For more information about the program, visit

Limited scholarship opportunities are available each year for students who can demonstrate inability to pay the full cost of the program. For more information regarding scholarships, contact Gordon at

Cardinal Glennon Honors SIUE's Lubsch with Ambassador's Choice Award

5 June 2013, 10:02 am


The Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation has presented Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy faculty member Dr. Lisa Lubsch with an Ambassador's Choice Award. Lubsch received the honor at a ceremony at the Children's Medical Center on Sunday, June 3 in St. Louis. The Sweeney family voiced its appreciation for Lubsch's work in this video.

The Ambassador Choice Awards is an annual event that honors caregivers who profoundly impact the lives of children and families. Past and present families nominated caregivers who profoundly impacted their experience. From the stories submitted, Glennon Ambassadors selected 11 honorees, who represented what they believed exceptional care "looks like" to families.

Earlier this year, Cardinal Glennon honored Lubsch as a "Light of Hope." She was one of 11 individuals acknowledged for exceptional care and compassion.

Photo: Dr. Lisa Lubsch.

SIUE School of Engineering Hosts Students from India

4 June 2013, 4:32 pm

GNI Indian Students, 6.4.13

Five undergraduate students and an administrator from Guru Nanak Institution's (GNI) Engineering and Technology Campus in Hyderabad, India, visited Southern Illinois University Edwardsville over the past six days. They met with faculty from SIUE's School of Engineering and School of Business. View the story.

"SIUE is looking for opportunities to collaborate with India and other international partners," said Dr. Ron Schaefer, director of the SIUE Center for International Programs. "The potential for partnership between two universities increases when both share similar values."

"The GNI students were in search of an affordable and safe campus that provided a quality graduate education," said SIUE School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim. "The School of Engineering is interested in recruiting quality students to its graduate programs and exploring the exchange of faculty and research opportunities."

Students who visited SIUE included: Peddu Reddy Sreeja Reddy, Sardani Harpreeth Kour, Gosukonda Sai Alekhya, Konijeti Vamshi Krishna and Perla Shruti Purushottam.

SIUE has made a big effort to show various aspects of the School of Engineering and the campus, said Alekhya. "I would like to come to SIUE," she said. "I've liked everything I've seen so far."

Three professors from the Department of Computer Science; Drs. Mark McKenney, Igor Crk, and Hiroshi Fujinoki, helped the visiting students with various hands-on projects to give them a flavor of computer science education at SIUE.

"I feel at home here," said Purushottam. "The campus is good and serene. It's interesting to learn about the different projects the computer science department is working on. It inspires me."

The potential for collaboration between SIUE and GNI came about when Sevim and Schaefer participated in a conference in Hyderabad in September 2012. They met Harvinder S. Saini, GNI managing director, and gave him an overview of SIUE. "We thought SIUE was a good match for us," Saini said.

"If we can get good students like these five, we would like to collaborate with GNI," said Dean Sevim. "And hopefully some of their faculty can come here to work on research and some of our faculty can go there for seminars, workshops and teaching."

Photo Information: Pictured are the five students from Guru Nanak Institutions (from left to right): Gosukonda Sai Alekhya, Perla Shruti Purushottam, Konijeti Vamshi Krishna, Sardani Harpreeth Kour and Peddu Reddy Sreeja Reddy.

SIUE Students Excited to Visit Cuba's University of Havana

4 June 2013, 9:16 am

Students are excited as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville takes its first step in enacting the educational agreement between SIU and the University of Havana (UH) in Cuba this week.

SIUE College of Arts and Sciences colleagues Larry LaFond, faculty member with expertise in linguistics, and Wendy Shaw, faculty member who focuses on social geography, will lead a group of four students to Havana. In addition to the students visiting Cuba, 17 students will take a tandem course online. All 21 students will come together as part of the course to share what they have learned.

Senior Roberto Saenz is a history major with a double minor in philosophy and art history. An Aurora native, Saenz is of Puerto Rican descent and is curious about the similarities between Cuba and Puerto Rico.

"My focus has been on Latin American history, and I'm interested in how other Latin American countries' relationships with the U.S. differ from Cuba's," he said. "I'm looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing a different lifestyle and culture. Cuba always has been that forbidden fruit, so to speak, so it's exciting to take advantage of what could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"With a better understanding of Cuba and its people, maybe someday I'll help bring the embargo to a lesser extreme, and people will look with less of a blind eye to the island."

Junior Alyss Diaz, a special education major from Chicago, was curious about study abroad and wanted to experience it before she graduates.

"This is probably my only chance to experience Cuba in my lifetime, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity," she said. "I'm interested in 1800s history and am studying Cuba in general. So, I'm interested in the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion and Guantanamo Bay."

Along with lectures at UH and a meeting with the University Students Federation, SIUE students will study interrelated aspects of Cuban culture and history. The group will visit various historical and cultural venues during the 10-day visit.

CAS Dean Aldemaro Romero's goal is to demonstrate that a Midwestern university with no apparent connection to Cuba can create a variety of diverse programs to develop academic diplomacy by establishing connections both academically and culturally. Romero has worked vigorously on the project since 2009 to define the cooperative relationship between the universities.

This interdisciplinary studies class allows students to visit Cuba for 10 days and then return to SIUE to complete the course. Romero believes the alliance between the universities will give students a broader world perspective in an ever-growing global economy, while providing faculty with opportunities for the development of new academic initiatives.

The initiative between the University of Havana and SIUE is only the second in the nation - the first being with Harvard University.

Packed Crowd at SIUE Celebrates Dental School Graduation

1 June 2013, 9:41 pm

2013 SDM Commencement Video

A total of 46 graduates from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine took the stage in the SIU Edwardsville Meridian Ballroom on Saturday morning dressed in traditional regalia to mark their special day. They walked into the facility as students. They left as doctors of dental medicine.

"It certainly is an honor to be with you here today," said commencement keynote speaker, Dr. W. H. "Bert" Milligan, director of the Center for Continuing Education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Milligan is a graduate of the SIU School of Dental Medicine and a former faculty member.

Dr. Bert Milligan addressed the SIU School of Dental Medicine graduating class of 2013 during a commencement ceremony Saturday.

Dr. Bert Milligan addressed the SIU School of Dental Medicine graduating class of 2013 during a commencement ceremony Saturday.

Milligan, who had earned a Ph.D. in microbiology, served first as a faculty member at the school for four years. After the death of his father, who was a dentist, Milligan decided to enroll as a student, while continuing to teach . He earned his D.M.D. in 1979.

From a podium surrounded by SIUE Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann M. Boyle, SIU School of Dental Medicine Dean Bruce E. Rotter and others, he recounted his own experience as a student at the dental school, talking about the changes through the years, and how some things should never change with time.

"Listen to your patients," he said. "Knowledge becomes experience. Information overload can compromise patient care. So, rest your iPhone, relax your thumbs and use your brain. Be leery of new and improved technology. Your patients should not be an experiment. They deserve better."

Dr. Milligan received the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame Award in October 2012. The SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame annually honors alumni who, through leadership, character and hard work, have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field.

Milligan spent eight years as a SIU SDM faculty member before returning to his native Pennsylvania. He spent 25 years practicing general dentistry, lecturing part-time and giving continuing education courses at Pitt's SDM. Before recently transitioning to his current position, Milligan had served as the Pitt SDM associate dean of Clinical Affairs.

In March 2013, Milligan received the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Presidential Citation, which is awarded to leaders who have demonstrated exceptional service to ADEA and the dental education community.

During the ceremony, five graduates were hooded by family members who also are SIU School of Dental Medicine alumni. The graduates were Dr. Christopher Balda, Dr. Graham Beard, Dr. Kellen Bosma, Dr. Anthony Elger and Dr. Kendall Schumacher.

Student Speaker Dr. Tyler Crews, who was chosen by his peers to deliver remarks, spoke of the roller coaster ride he and his fellow graduates had experienced during the last four years.

Dr. Tyler Crews was selected as the student speaker for the 2013 SIU School of Dental Medicine graduating class. Crews, center, delivered a heart-felt address to students reminding them to thank those who supported them along the way.

Dr. Tyler Crews was selected as the student speaker for the 2013 SIU School of Dental Medicine graduating class. Crews, center, delivered a heart-felt address to students reminding them to thank those who supported them along the way.

"We've all come a long way and we should be proud of our accomplishment," he said. "We should be very proud today and always."

Dr. Dean W. Drake, the SIU School of Dental Medicine Alumni Council president and a 1975 graduate of the Alton dental school's inaugural class, delivered closing remarks. He welcomed the students into the profession and showed them a photo from the first years of the school's existence. The picture showed one student conducting an exam on another student with a third student holding a flashlight over the other two. He explained the proper operatory lighting had not arrived.

Dr. Dean W. Drake delivered closing remarks at the SIU School of Dental Medicine graduation ceremony Saturday. He is the SIU School of Dental Medicine Alumni Council president and a 1975 graduate of the Alton dental school's inaugural class.

Dr. Dean W. Drake delivered closing remarks at the SIU School of Dental Medicine graduation ceremony Saturday. He is the SIU School of Dental Medicine Alumni Council president and a 1975 graduate of the Alton dental school's inaugural class.

Thirty-eight years later, he described the SIU dental school as "among the finest our nation has to offer" and described the institution as "the tie that binds us." He encouraged the students to stay in touch with their alma mater and turning on a flashlight, said: "Shine the light for those students who follow in your footsteps."

Despite the inclement weather from the night before, the ceremony drew an audience of roughly 850 proud family members and friends. A reception followed the ceremony in the Goshen Lounge.

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