Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Stella Uzoewulu

SIU Scholarship Recipient Stella Uzoewulu

Stella Uzoewulu is a freshman pre-medicine student specializing in physiology with plans of becoming a pediatrician.

Why did you choose SIU? I came to Southern Illinois University because it had an amazing science and research program. I knew that SIU would be able to prepare me for medical school and for life after college.

How did you feel when you received notification that you received the scholarship? I felt incredibly honored to receive this scholarship because any money that can help me further my education is greatly appreciated by me and my family.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals? Growing up in a low income, single parent household, I was always taught from an early age that money was important and but always scarce. This scholarship shows me that through hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goals. With this scholarship, my mother now has one less thing to worry about and can relax a little. It has also enabled me to remain at SIU and has further encouraged me to never give up on my goals for the future.

What inspired you to choose your area of study? I want to become a pediatrician because I know that children in low income families don’t always receive medical care. I want to work with these children in low income areas and give them access the care they need.

Do you have a message you would like shared with your donor? I would love to thank everyone who has made this scholarship possible. It is an honor to be given this scholarship. My family and I are very grateful.

Hear more from scholarship donors and recipients from our SIU Academic Scholarship Brunch in this video.

Achenbach shares rock-solid support for Campus Lake

Dean Achenbach gives back to SIU Campus Lake.

By Rebecca Renshaw

Laurie Achenbach has dedicated her professional life to science and SIU. On March 1, she strengthened that commitment by donating $10,000 on SIU’s inaugural Day of Giving.

Her generous gift was the first individual donation on the Day of Giving and was directed toward the Campus Lake Beautification Project. She challenged others to join her in the effort to restore and enhance one of the preeminent landmarks on campus.

“The lake is what brings us all together each day,” Achenbach, the dean of the College of Science, said. “You can step out of your office and walk a few feet to the edge of the lake and be transported by its beauty.”

Her donation will be used for an illuminated boulder, which will sit prominently in the water and be known as Achenbach Rock. The name will have special meaning to Achenbach, who said her siblings joked about having a male child and naming him Rock Achenbach.

“So this naming opportunity kind of made our collective family wish come true,” she said with a smile.

This isn’t the first time Achenbach has made a major donation to the university. In 2011, she created an endowed scholarship in her parents’ name as a way to honor their devotion to the importance of education.

“I came from a family of six children, and my work ethic came directly from my parents,” she said. “They instilled in each of us that getting an education is the fuel that will give you a better life.”

Achenbach came to SIU in 1990 as an assistant professor of microbiology. She steadily rose through the ranks, serving as associate dean before being named dean of the College of Science in 2014. Grateful for the opportunities the university has afforded her, she thought it was important to make a lasting impact.

“Through SIU, I was able to travel the world and do the research I loved most. Yet, it was always a joy to come home to Carbondale — to live, work and raise a family in a smaller community,” she said. “SIU gave me this life, and I feel strongly about giving back.”

Chelsea Coursey, director of development for the College of Science, said it sends a powerful message to members of the SIU community when they see such a positive example.

“Dean Achenbach is a thought leader on campus, and she serves as a powerful influence,” Coursey said.

Achenbach urged others to join her in sharing their collective passion for SIU.

“As I reflect on my life here, I feel so lucky,” she said. “It’s time I show my gratitude and show my pride for SIU and what it represents.”

 

Inaugural Day of Giving exceeds expectations

SIU Day of Giving totals $341,121

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Thanks to hundreds of donors, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s inaugural Day of Giving was a resounding success.

During the unique 24-hour fundraising campaign, which took place March 1-2, donors were invited to directly support an area on campus meaningful to them. The campaign has raised $341,121– shattering the initial goal of $150,000. The SIU Day of Giving website, showing present totals and where funds were donated to, is at https://siuday.siu.edu/.

“The Day of Giving was a success due to the hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters who realize the importance of philanthropy to the university’s success,” Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell said. “These donations not only help the university with key projects, but reveal the deep affection that many have for SIU Carbondale.”

Jim Salmo, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and CEO of the SIU Foundation, said the funds donated will make an immediate impact on the areas designated by donors. Another purpose of the campaign was to also attract new donors, he said.

“This event exceeded our expectations and is a great beginning,” Salmo said. “We look forward to this being an annual event that continues to grow.”

Rebecca Renshaw, who oversees communications for the SIU Foundation, said students played a pivotal role in the event’s success. Information booths were set up at Morris Library, the Student Center and in the Faner Hall breezeway. A video highlighting campus lake produced for the Day of Giving had nearly 100,000 views, she said.

Renshaw said that a student who was listening to a presentation at Morris Library told her, “I just want to give back to SIU.” The history major, who didn’t give his name, then opened his wallet and donated the only bill he had — $20 – and walked away.

“It was really moving,” Renshaw said.

The event would not have been successful without more than 70 ambassadors, including about 40 students who shared fundraising progress and messaging on various social platforms. Students who called alumni raised more than $6,000 over the 24-hour period, she said.

Of the 1,334 gifts, the largest total amount from multiple donors, $106,105, was raised for campus lake. The participating group with the greatest number of donors was the SIU School of Law.

The Day of Giving “really made a positive impact on the entire campus for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community,” Renshaw said. “It’s rare you can get everyone collectively supporting one effort.”

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Hannah Dhom

SIU Scholarship Recipient Hannah Dhom

Hannah Dhom is a senior studying civil engineering with an environmental specialization

Why did you choose SIU? I chose SIU because of close proximity to family and home. It is a beautiful location with numerous academic opportunities.

How did you feel when you received notification that you received the scholarship? I was overwhelmed with joy! I may have done some dancing after opening and reading the contents of the envelope. Then I called my mom with the great news!

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals? It means more than any dollar amount. This scholarship means continuing a dream I have long awaited to reach and surpass. And with the help of such generosity, I am now just over a year within reach of that dream!

What inspired you to choose your area of study? Music has been the thing I have devoted my life to. I have been studying since I was 8 and put in hard work for 10 years. I had been unsure of my major until halfway through my senior year. I had been told by professors at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp that music could be a possible career choice for me. During my freshman session at the academy, I outperformed 57 other percussionists and was awarded the top spot.

What achievement in your life are you most proud of? It’s a pretty simple answer. I love math and the environment!

Do you have a message you would like shared with your donor?
Joan and Roy,

I am beyond thrilled that I got to meet the two wonderful people who personally created the scholarship I received. One of the greatest impacts of my college career was an unexpected contribution from two people I had never known. Receiving this scholarship is one of the kindest, most endearing acts I have ever experienced! A huge heartfelt thanks is always sent your way.

Yours truly,
Hannah Dhom

Hear more from scholarship donors and recipients from our SIU Academic Scholarship Brunch in this video.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Luke Shaffer

SIU Scholarship Recipient Luke ShafferLuke Shaffer is a freshman from Michigan studying music education.

Why did you choose SIU? I had a wide college search of universities in the Midwest. I wanted a public 4-year university with my program of study, Division I sports programs and a marching band. Part of me wanted to move states, and still have a campus I could call home. When I visited SIU as a guest of the Marching Salukis for a football game, I instantly saw myself as a Saluki. I loved campus, including the music buildings Altgeld Hall and Shryock Auditorium. I also liked that SIU is a big enough school to be Division I, but not so big that it seemingly swallows me. Being from Michigan, I don’t think of myself as an Illinoisan but I am, without a doubt, a Saluki.

How did you feel when you received notification that you received the scholarship? I was very relieved. Money was an issue for me going to school. I’m very glad I got the assistance I needed. Even though I still need to budget and watch my finances carefully, the scholarship gives me the boost I need to be able to have a zero balance every semester.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals? It means I’m able to go to college. I’m not sure I would be at a Division I school like I wanted if I had not received this scholarship. Without my college degree, I could not be able to pursue my goal of being a music educator.

What inspired you to choose your area of study? Music has been the thing I have devoted my life to. I have been studying since I was 8 and put in hard work for 10 years. I had been unsure of my major until halfway through my senior year. I had been told by professors at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp that music could be a possible career choice for me. During my freshman session at the academy, I outperformed 57 other percussionists and was awarded the top spot.

What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I’m most proud of my acceptance letter from SIU School of Music. I had put my whole life into music and in that letter saw the possibility of making music for the rest of my life. The letter was the doorway from “before college” to get to “after college”.

Do you have a message you would like shared with your donor? Thank you so much for not only creating the scholarship to help college students in need but also for choosing me to receive it. It warms my heart to know that somebody believes in me and thinks that what I’m pursuing is worthwhile.

Hear more from scholarship donors and recipients from our SIU Academic Scholarship Brunch in this video.

SIU Day of Giving – Open the door to opportunity at SIU Morris Library

SIU Day of Giving – Open the door to opportunity at SIU Morris Library

Kevin Pamu is a graduate student from Hyderabad, India. He is specializing in Computer Science and is a graduate assistant at Morris Library.

Why did you choose SIU? SIU has a great program for computer science. The research that was being done in the field of computer science on campus really impressed me. The campus looked amazing, great infrastructure, and when I heard about scholarships that were offered to students who performed well, I did not look any further.

What inspired you to choose your area of study? I have always been a geek. I was an inquisitive kid. I was introduced to computers at a young age and every time I explored the possibilities this box of electronic equipment offered, I was drawn deeper into the world of computer science. Microsoft Paint was like magic when I first used the application, but what had me hooked was how it was able to do it. I guess it was that inquisitive nature in me that grew my love for computers and inspired me to choose this as my area of study.

What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I am proud of where I am right now at this moment. It wasn’t an easy task to be at SIU as a graduate student. I had to take a lot of tests, score well enough to be accepted into this university, followed by the VISA interviews. I was blessed with some great student worker jobs, a graduate assistantship and loads of amazing friends. I am happy and proud of the place I am right now.

Why should someone consider donating to Morris Library? Morris Library caters to multiple needs of students at SIU. Books, yes! We know it has over 2.6 million volumes which are an endless resource of knowledge. It is a great place for group study, with study areas that are spacious and study rooms available for all students for that important group study session before the exam. If you had a hard day at school, Morris Library is a great place to grab a cup of coffee and take a break. The students need a place like Morris Library. I know all of this comes at a cost and I know every student at SIU is grateful to everyone who help keep this place running and making it a better place than it already is.

How has Morris Library been a part of your experience as an SIU student? I was lucky enough to be given a student worker job at Library Systems my very first semester at SIU and still work here. Since I worked here all my time at SIU, it has been a huge part of my experience as a student. I had the opportunity to meet and know a lot of students, staff, and administration. I understood it is not as easy as it looks to run this place, there is so much going on behind the scenes to manage everything that goes on in the library. I admire how all the departments at the library work with each other to provide the best they can to the students at SIU. I am happy I was given the opportunity to add my tiny bit to it. I love this place and I am sure I will miss working and being here.

Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? Morris Library is a place where every student is given the opportunity to search, study, evaluate and innovate. It is an amazing place for students to meet for group studies, connect and collaborate. There is so much Morris Library has to offer to students with various needs. I personally benefited so much from this facility and I know there are thousands more like me. Every donation made to Morris Library, I know would be another brick in keeping its foundation strong so more students can begin to build themselves up.

If you had $1,000 to donate to the Morris Library, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would probably donate the money to maintain and service the electronic equipment at Morris Library. Since I work with Library Systems, I know how much students depend on the computers, classrooms, and printers. There are a lot of these electronic equipment that needs to be either repaired or serviced and we do not have the funds to work on them at the moment. There are several departments at Morris Library that stop functioning efficiently if one of their electronic equipment fails. Hence, I would donate the $1,000 to Library Systems.

You can support SIU Morris Library during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 1: https://siuday.siu.edu/giving-day/1003/department/1383

SIU Day of Giving: Open the door to opportunity at Saluki Athletics

SIU Day of Giving: Open the door to opportunity at Saluki Athletics

Saluki athletics has been a tradition on the campus of SIU Carbondale for a long time.  SIU sponsors eight men’s and eight women’s teams in NCAA sanctioned sports.  The Salukis currently compete as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, with the exception of the men’s swimming and diving team who compete in the Mid-American Conference.  The men’s teams consist of baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, and track & field.  Women’s teams consist of basketball, cross country, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.  Throughout the history of SIU athletics there have been 50 past students compete in the Olympic Games.

SIU athletics takes pride in a long tradition of producing not only great athletes but great minds.  During the 2015-2016 academic year, our student athletes combined to earn a GPA of 3.193.  In the spring of 2016, 64 student-athletes recorded a perfect 4.00 GPA while 68 percent recorded a GPA of 3.00 or better.

Your contribution is an investment in our student-athletes and their success.  We are thankful for your generosity.

You can support Saluki Athletics during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 1: https://siuday.siu.edu/giving-day/1003/department/1394

SIU Day of Giving – Open the door to opportunity at SIU College of Business

SIU Day of Giving – Open the door to opportunity at SIU College of Business

William Schefelbein is a junior from Peoria, Illinois. He is a student at SIU College of Business specializing in management

Why did you choose SIU? My father is an alum of SIU and his degree has gotten him places. Also, the College of Business is in the top 5% of accredited business schools. I knew I would get a great education here.

What inspired you to choose your area of study? I knew that I wanted to help others and be a servant leader. I did not know how to do that effectively. So, I chose management. I knew that with accomplished and experienced faculty and staff within the college, I would be able to learn how.

What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I am most proud of my admittance into the Boeing Business Intern Program. I have applied for two years to get admitted into the program. In the fall of 2016, I got admitted for the summer of 2017. I will move to Seattle, WA at the end of May for a project management internship.

Why should someone consider donating to the College of Business? The College of Business is a college of potential, a college with vision, a college with goals, and a college with aspirations. The college is constantly striving to provide students with professional development and opportunities. This is why someone should consider donating. Donations will further this in the college. When you instill these values in students, they pass it on.

Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor?

Dear potential donor,

I hope you see SIU in the same way I do. SIU is my home, and it is the foundation of my career. The College of Business is a college that promotes diversity, encourages alumni partnerships, and fosters student achievement. I hope that your education and my education shows how pivotal the College of Business is and was to furthering ourselves. Thank you for your interest in the college, and if you can’t donate at this time, I encourage you to partner with the college of business in internships and externships.

If you had $1,000 to donate to the College of Business, what would you like to see that money benefit? If I had $1000 to donate to the College of Business, I would further the Career Placement Center and internship partnerships. This is a part of the foundation of the College of Business. This center is how students gain experience, and it has benefited me greatly.

You can support SIU College of Business during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 1: https://siuday.siu.edu/giving-day/1003/department/1376

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser shares her experience

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser films SIU Day of Giving video at aviation.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neushouser films aviation scenes for SIU Day of Giving video on the wing of a Boeing 737.

Amanda Neuhouser is a senior from Bloomington, Illinois, specializing in cinema production. Her work can be viewed at www.neufilm.net and www.vimeo.com/neuhouser.

What experiences, personality traits led you to videography? I was practically born with a camera in my hand. Photography is the first hobby I remember having. After taking my first editing class as a 12-year-old, I sought ways to make films. By middle school, I dreamed of being a famous YouTuber but developed that dream to the wider scope of filmmaking. In college, I’ve found joy in producing videos stylized as short documentaries, telling the stories of businesses and individuals. Combining both short-media content and filmmaking, I find videography to be the best of both worlds.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser films a scene at SIU River Region Evening News for SIU Day of Giving video.

As a videographer, what opportunities have been presented to you that other students may not have? I’m constantly surprised by what opportunities arise each year. Just last semester, I was given the chance to board a Cessna aircraft and film aerial shots of Southern Illinois. My first gig as a freshman was filming a home football game on the field with a packed stadium, and at that point, I thought I had walked into a movie. Through different gigs and events, I’ve managed to film in every building on campus and speak with multiple department heads and students. I’ve gotten free passes to black tie events, I met Malcolm X’s daughter and gained access to areas of campus most students don’t. Best of all, holding a camera leads to countless interactions with people. The camera has an ability to create unexpected relationships. Being a videographer for SIU the past 3 ½ years has been the highlight of my college experience.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser films a scene at SIU metalsmith studio for SIU Day of Giving video.

What about SIU makes for good film? Are there people, places or events on campus that lend themselves to film more than others? SIU students make for great filming because they each have personal stories to tell. Many students are doing outstanding work in their field, each with their own passions and side projects. I’ve found so much success interviewing these individuals for Student Spotlights on SIU’s social media platforms and find joy in walking in their shoes. They’re the ones that make the filming process interesting because I never know where they might take me. I even filmed a coal mining rescue team practice in a pitch black maze. I was pumped about the helmets with headlights we got to wear.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser films a scene at SIU College of Engineering for SIU Day of Giving video.

What has surprised you while learning about videography and film? I’ve been surprised by how open strangers can become when they see a camera. It’s as if you’re already acquaintances, but only in the right setting. There’s a distinction between private space and the mindset someone has at a public event, and I love it when people come up to interact with me. I’m also surprised how often people freeze up as soon as you put a microphone on them for an interview. I’ve learned tricks to help get their mind off the camera and have a normal conversation.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser films at the SIU Equine Center at university farms.

Where do you hope videography will take you? I hope videography will continue to be a lifelong side job, giving me the ability to pick and choose gigs. While it has been incredibly beneficial learning to tell a story in less than two minutes, I want to do more long-form narration in my career.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser films at the SIU Equine Center at university farms.

What have you learned about SIU while filming for the Day of Giving? I learned about what goes into producing an advertisement that is meant to be representative of an entire university. Almost all the departments we worked with were willing and excited to be involved in a project designed to benefit students. I learned the women I worked for were bosses at what they do, and I’d do well to be as strong and assertive as they are. The process gave me a new-found appreciation for how all the gears turn at SIU.

Foundation videographer, student Amanda Neuhouser, hopes donors will support the Moving Camera Movement RSO during SIU Day of Giving on March 1.

Why would you like to see donors support Movie Camera Movement (MCM)? What does MCM offer students that is valuable? I would like donors to support Movie Camera Movement (MCM), a student-run filmmaking organization, because I’ve personally been involved with it for a few years. First, there are two things I don’t doubt. Films make a huge impact in shaping the minds of young adults, and when it comes to budget cuts, humanities and arts are at the top of the list. MCM is one of the fastest-growing student organizations on campus and is open to all majors. MCM cultivates a diverse and rich environment for anyone to share their voice.

View the full-length SIU Day of Giving Video:

Support students like Amanda Neuhouser on SIU Day of Giving, March 1: https://siuday.siu.edu/

SIU Day of Giving – Open the door to opportunity at SIU College of Agricultural Sciences

SIU Day of Giving – Open the door to opportunity at SIU College of Agricultural Sciences

Graydon Baima is a junior from Collinsville, Illinois. He is specializing in Animal Science – Production.

Why did you choose SIU? I choose SIU because the faculty made me feel like I was more than just a number. When I came to visit campus as a junior and senior in high school, I spoke with Dr. Atkinson and Peter Dirks. They showed a genuine interest in what I wanted to study, and made sure I signed up for the right classes during orientation. Peter made sure I was able to get a tour of the university farms even though the weather was horrible that day. They made me feel like I was family.

What inspired you to choose your area of study? I fell in love with the idea of working with livestock when I was in the Boy Scouts. I was taking Horsemanship Merit Badge and I loved every second I was around the horses. When I learned about Animal Science as a major, I was ecstatic.  I quickly learned through our introductory classes that working with cattle and horses was my ideal career. I focused on beef production and equine sciences.

What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I am most proud of achieving my Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts. This rank took many years of dedication and hard work to achieve. I recognize that many of my skills such as public speaking, professionalism, and hard work all had their foundations built in the Boy Scouts. Since enrolling at SIU, I have been able to build upon these skills and use them in day-to-day life. I would not be where I am at today without the opportunities and experiences I had while earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

Why should someone consider donating to SIU College of Agriculture Sciences?The world must eat. No matter what economy we are in or what state the world is in, everyone must eat, and someone has to produce that food. In the College of Agricultural Sciences, we are the next generation of farmers, researchers, and conservationists. We are going to be the ones, 10 years down the road, in charge of making sure that there is food, natural resources, and sustainability. Our programs are always looking to be on the cutting edge of technology. Any donation would help provide the students with the most up-to-date information, and the ability to research new ideas.

Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? One of my favorite quotes is by a popular horse trainer Ray Hunt, he said, “ In difficulty, there is opportunity.” Right now, the university and state are in a difficult budget situation, but this creates a great opportunity for donors to really make a difference. Your donations help the college expand our programs and open new doors with new opportunities for students. When you are donating, you are not just giving to a college, you are fulfilling a student’s passion to do research, or you are allowing a student to do more hands-on activities during class. You are not donating to an institution… you are investing in the future of agriculture.

If you had $1,000 to donate to the College of Agricultural Sciences, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would like to see that money benefit the University Farms. The farms have been a major part of my education and have given me so many opportunities. I want the farms to continue to offer great programs for future generations of Salukis. Our farms are unique in that they are so close to campus and there are countless projects and opportunities for students to gain real world experience. I currently spend 4 to 5 days a week at the farm and I hope that never changes. The farms are always looking to improve upon what is already in place, and I know that the donation would be used to greatly benefit students.

You can support SIU College of Agricultural Sciences during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 1: https://siuday.siu.edu/giving-day/1003/department/1377