Third-generation Saluki receives talent scholarship

Leah Sutton - SIU scholarship recipient

Leah Sutton, a freshman in Art History is a third-generation Saluki from Highland, Illinois. Sutton received the SIUC Talent Scholarship, which is awarded to an incoming student, on a basis of portfolio review.

Sutton shared her excitement when she received the award letter this summer while home with her family. “I saw the letter, ripped it open, and then started yelling to my parents, ‘Guess what I just got in the mail!?”

Sutton says the scholarship really helped with the art supplies she needs for her major. “There are lots of expenses like pens, calligraphy tools, canvases, and paint. There are so many extra materials that are needed to pursue an art degree,” she said. Sutton has set her sights on a degree in Art and Photography. “My dream job would be to become a photojournalist for National Geographic,” she said

Sutton is thankful for the scholarship as it will provide more money for her family to save up for her younger brother to also enroll at SIU. “My little brother is a freshman in high school and he is an avid fisherman. He already knows what he wants to be, which is to get an engineering degree so he can design fishing equipment,” she said.

Sutton is thankful for the scholarship and hopes more donors will give so that students like her can get a quality education.

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James (Jim) Rosser, a three-degree alumnus of SIU, establishes the Dr. James H. Rosser Men’s Basketball endowed scholarship

By Ron Reeves

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund announced on Wednesday that James (Jim) Rosser, a three-degree alumnus of SIU (B.A. 1962, M.A. 1963, Ph.D. 1969) and the SIU Athletics Campaign Chair for the Forever SIU campaign, has established the Dr. James H. Rosser Men’s Basketball endowed scholarship. Rosser was a member of the Saluki Men’s Basketball team from 1960-62.

“We are so appreciative of what Dr. Rosser has done for our program,” said Director of Athletics Jerry Kill.  “He has not only endowed a scholarship, but as athletics chair of the Forever SIU campaign, he has challenged others to do the same. ”

During his distinguished career in higher education, Rosser served as president of California State University, Los Angeles, from 1979 to 2013, and was named president emeritus in 2013. Prior to becoming president at Cal State Los Angeles, he was the vice chancellor of the Department of Education of the State of New Jersey. Earlier he served on the faculty at Southern Illinois University and founded the SIU Black American Studies program in 1968. Rosser was a recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award in 1982, the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2003.

In addition to the men’s basketball endowed scholarship, Rosser previously endowed the James H. Rosser Scholar-Athlete Scholarship at SIU.

“I was extremely grateful for the scholarship from Dr. Rosser,” said SIU football player Malik Haynes, the 2016-17 recipient of the James H. Rosser Scholar-Athlete Scholarship. “As a freshman, the scholarship helped support me through my first year in college.”

Rosser knows the importance of athletics and the development of student-athletes on and off the field. For those reasons, he continues to the importance of the Forever SIU campaign.

“My best memories center on diverse friends, teammates, faculty, administrators and staff,” said Dr. Rosser. “SIU athletics played a major role in my development and subsequent success as a professional. SIU has been and must continue to be a major contributor for educational attainment, economic development, social mobility and social justice.”

Rosser’s leadership and endowed scholarship will continue to support the Saluki Athletics Scholarship Fund (SASF), which helps cover scholarship costs for 350 student-athletes in 17 intercollegiate sports.

“What he has done for our university and our athletics department – he’s someone who has a true love for SIU,” Kill said.

 

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Support for SIU School of Medicine

Support for SIU School of Medicine

Dr. Tom Miller working with third-year medical student Nahayo Esperant-Hilaire during his preceptorship Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

By Rebecca Budde

Forty-eight years ago, forward-thinking leaders at SIU developed a plan to start a medical school to train young doctors who would provide health care for the people of central and southern Illinois. SIU School of Medicine has far exceeded its original goal with thousands of physician assistants, graduate students, MEDPREP graduates, residents and fellows joining the more than 2,800 physicians who were educated at SIU.

Medical education is ever-changing, and SIU is leading the next generation of health care providers and researchers.

Philanthropic support continues to drive the school’s mission forward. This financial assistance is imperative to expansion of student scholarships, development of new, exciting programs, the recruitment of top-notch faculty and the ability to keep pace with ever-evolving technology.

The cost of education

While cost of tuition at SIU School of Medicine remains one of the most affordable among public universities, these medical students graduate with significant debt – more than $210,000 on average – according to Erik Constance, MD, Associate Dean of for Admissions and Student Affairs. “Scholarships are imperative for fulfilling our mission of sending well-trained providers in central and southern Illinois,” Dr. Constance says.

While we awarded the most medical student scholarships ever last year, the amounts awarded barely put a dent in the debt load. “I am so appreciative of those who made my scholarship possible,” says Allen Ghareeb, MD, ’18. “Even if you can only give a little, it all adds up and can help so many more achieve their dreams.”

And SIU’s other learners are in great need of support too. SIU’s MEDPREP students come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. They are often paying off debt from their undergraduate education while also paying for two years of MEDPREP. With medical or dental school education on the horizon, the financial burdens can greatly impede their academic success.

To remain competitive with other physician assistant (PA) programs, SIU’s highly successful PA program has higher tuition rates than other SIU graduate programs. The tuition combined with the additional cost of supplies such as a diagnostic kit, stethoscope, reflex hammer, tuning fork and textbooks, make scholarship support crucial.

Resource funds

The Medical Student Resource Fund helps fill in the gaps left by other funding sources. Generous alumni and friends have funded the purchase of teaching materials, vital medical resources, clinical clerkships, gym memberships and the remodeling of student lounges.

The Resident Resource Fund is set up to help the school’s 19 residency programs and 11 fellowship programs. The funds provide necessary equipment for learners’ specialties, research seed money and opportunities to present or train at national conferences. Fourth-year SIU neurosurgery resident Breck Jones, MD, is a beneficiary of such generosity. “I’ve been able to train with some of the top physicians in my field thanks to funds I’ve received from the Foundation,” Dr. Jones says. “I’m proud to be a part of a place where the alumni invest in my future.”

Help us grow

You don’t have to be a billionaire to create a lasting legacy for our learners. Whether you want to make a one-time large gift or multiple small gifts over time, every gift helps our learners succeed.

To learn more about the Forever SIU campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org. To learn more about the SIU School of Medicine, visit www.siumed.edu or call 217-545-2955.

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Charles Helleny donates fourth-largest gift in Saluki Athletics history

Charles Helleny donates fourth-largest gift in Saluki Athletics history

By Ron Reeves

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund (SASF) is excited to announce the fourth-largest gift in Saluki Athletics history, which was given by Charles Helleny (Class of ’57). Helleny is a proud Saluki season-ticket holder and donor, and a top contributor to the program for more than 60 years.

“Charles has been loyal to SIU since the day he walked into this place, he never misses a game, he supports every program, he’s a special person,” said SIU Director of Athletics Jerry Kill. “I don’t know if I’ve ever met a more giving guy than Charles. I appreciate the tremendous gift, because not many people are willing to step up and do that, and the more who can, the more we can solve problems.”

In honor of Helleny’s gift, the first Division I men’s basketball home game each year will henceforth be known as the Charles Helleny Tip-Off Classic game. This year’s matchup will take place versus Buffalo on Nov. 12 at SIU Arena.

“I don’t want to take anything away from the game itself,” Helleny said. “I am embarrassed, but honestly this is a great honor, as I love SIU. We have had our ups and downs and we have always remained competitive. This year we are primed for top-two finishes in all sports in the conference.”

Helleny said his history with Saluki Basketball goes all the way back to the Walt Frazier era, and he gets excited recalling the many exciting home wins, such as the 2001 victory over eventual National runner-up Indiana and the thrilling battles with arch-rival Creighton. Those memories help fuel his desire to give back to SIU.

“Giving to the SASF is a commitment – not just a one-time donation — but a lifetime commitment,” he explained. “Donors help offset the budget for the department and help secure funding for scholarships, trips and recruiting.”

The Charles Helleny gift will continue to help support the SASF and the scholarship costs for 350 student-athletes in 17 intercollegiate sports, and will also help toward the Forever SIU campaign.

“The Charles Helleny Tip-Off Classic is a great way to honor Charles – a special and unique partnership created by Saluki Athletics and the Helleny family,” SIU Associate Athletic Director Jason Fairfield said. “Charles has a long history with SIU and we wanted to be able to honor his legacy with something that will live on forever.”

Faifield said Saluki Athletics will have more announcements to come from the Charles Helleny gift in the coming months.

“Charles is very passionate about lifetime giving and is a big reason why we have been successful over the years,” Fairfield added. “Supporters like Charles have helped us not only support the lives and scholarships of our student-athletes – but help us continue to build the rich traditions of SIU athletics.”

 

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Donation to help upgrade SIUC Mortuary Science program lab, provide assistantships

Donation to help upgrade SIUC Mortuary Science program lab, provide assistantships

Present for the donation was Abel Salazar, clinical instructor of mortuary science (from left); Kevin Lee, vice president of community engagement, Mid-America Transplant; Carrie Hering, funeral home liaison Mid-America Transplant; Scott Collins, director, School of Allied Health; Anthony Fleege, mortuary science and funeral service program director, and Andy Wang, Dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

by 

CARBONDALE — A donation by Mid-America Transplant Foundation will mean renovations and additional equipment for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Mortuary Science and Funeral Service embalming lab and continued undergraduate research assistantships for the program.

The bulk of a $98,000 donation presented Aug. 17 will be for renovations and equipment, with $15,000 going toward supporting students with assistantships, said Anthony Fleege, program director. This is the third year the foundation has provided support and the donation is the largest to a non-medical unit, he said.

The foundation approached the program about three years ago as it identified a shared purpose in serving families and supporting the community. To date, the foundation has provided nearly $134,400 to the university and SIU Foundation in support of the Mortuary Science and Funeral Service program, Kevin Lee, vice president of community engagement for Mid-America Transplant, said.

Mid-America Transplant Foundation has been “our greatest supporter and collaborator,” Fleege said. In addition to supporting students through assistantships, scholarships and board fee reimbursement, the foundation supports faculty through grants to travel and continue professional development and research.

Lee said Mid-America Transplant and its foundation are proud to partner with the university “as it educates the next generation of funeral home professionals.” The foundation has shown a commitment to the ongoing development of a strong, skilled workforce within its designated services area and is continually reviewing opportunities to support students.

“As funeral home professionals, these students have the ability to impact thousands of lives during their career,” Lee said. “Every day, these dedicated individuals work with families in times of unimaginable grief, providing compassion and comfort. We, too, seek to offer solace by providing their loved one with the opportunity to save lives through organ and tissue donation. We are grateful for the role funeral home professionals play in their communities and for their support of the organ and tissue donation process.”

The embalming lab renovations will provide students with one of the most up-to-date facilities in the Midwest, said Fleege, noting that there have not been “any significant upgrades” in about 40 years. The facelift will include drywall repair, paint and new ergonomic flooring. The project should be completed by Jan. 1, 2019.

The equipment donation will provide for:

• A camera/microphone over each embalming station connected to a large monitor over each station and a DVR to record all embalming and restoration operations. The monitors will also be connected to a laptop computer to assist students while they are embalming and doing lab activities.

• A new embalming table, so there will be four individual workstations for the optimal student-to-donor ratio.

 

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Morris Library’s Josh Vossler wins award for creativity

Josh Vossler of SIU Morris Library wins 2018 Arlies Best Development/Fundraising Films award.

Josh Vossler of SIU Morris Library wins 2018 Arlies Best Development/Fundraising Films award.

One of the best things that results from the SIU Day of Giving is the creativity that SIU staff and faculty exhibit leading up to the big day. While the SIU Foundation produces a series of videos designed to inspire donors to give to their favorite project or college, the staff from many of the colleges and units often decide to produce individual videos promoting their favorite initiatives as well.

One such example is the video that Josh Vossler produced featuring Morris Library. As head of reference and instruction reference and instruction services, Vossler is passionate about his place of work. So passionate that he produced a video that went on to win the prestigious 2018 Arlies award from the Association of Research Libraries film festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

The film festival highlights and shares multimedia products developed by member institutions to increase knowledge and use of libraries, their spaces, services, collections, and expertise.

Josh Vossler of SIU Morris Library wins 2018 Arlies Best Development/Fundraising Films awardOut of 40 entries, Vossler’s video won the category award for Best Development/Fundraising Films. The video was shared via the library’s social media and embedded on SIU’s website. With the help of Vossler’s creative production, Morris Library and its affiliates raised nearly $20,000 from 73 gifts during the 2018 SIU Day of Giving.

We want to congratulate Josh Vossler and the entire staff at Morris Library for the pride and passion they exhibit each day as they work at the library.

To view Vossler’s video, click here: https://vimeo.com/258105241. To review last year’s SIU Day of Giving results, visit www.siuday.siu.edu.

Morris Library Day of Giving 2018 from Joshua Vossler on Vimeo.

Challenging Alumni to Make a Difference

Interim SIU System President Kevin Dorsey

By Rebecca Renshaw

Note: Since the publication of this article, Dr. Kevin Dorsey has assumed the role of interim president for the SIU system as of July 30, 2018.

If you talk to Dr. Kevin Dorsey for more than a few minutes, you’ll recognize that his life passion is reflected within the mission of SIU School of Medicine, which he led for 14 years. That mission is “to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community.”

Dorsey, who has been with the school since the early 1970s, says it was founded to improve the health of central and southern Illinois residents.

“We recruit and admit students from those regions, educate them and hope that, after they complete their training, they will return back to central or southern Illinois because the people in those areas need physicians,” he says.

Dorsey’s other commitment is to total community health.

“I’m pretty passionate about community health and service,” he says. “It’s just not enough to create physicians to go back to our Illinois communities. We must get out into the community to improve poverty and education and housing. Social determinants of health are critically important.”

He says the new generation of doctors will make a difference.

“Our students are great,” he says. “They are more committed to social justice, they have a strong conscience and they want to do good in the world. We need to enable their success, which is why I decided to initiate the SIU School of Medicine ‘Alumni Class Challenge.’ ”

As his parting act as dean and provost of the School of Medicine, Dorsey issued an SIU School of Medicine “Alumni Class Challenge” in 2015. He challenged each class to collectively raise at least $25,000 to endow a scholarship in honor of their class. Matching grant funds totaling $500,000 would be available to double the gifts or pledges received by Dec. 31, 2015.

The result was a resounding success. Most notably, gifts in honor of Dorsey’s leadership established the J. Kevin Dorsey Endowed Scholarship. This is the School of Medicine’s largest endowed scholarship fund, and it will assist several students each year for generations to come.

The need for the scholarships might be a surprise to some, but not to Dorsey.

“One thing you must understand about our students is that, coming from central and southern Illinois, they are in the lower parental income brackets,” he says. “However, medical students across the nation tend to be from the top 20 percent in parental income.

“When you look at the average indebtedness of an SIU School of Medicine graduate, he or she comes out with an average accrual of roughly $180,000 in debt. That figure is significantly higher compared to other medical schools that can offer huge scholarships to students. The Alumni Class Challenge will help more students with more scholarships to assist them in their medical studies.”

Dorsey came to SIU School of Medicine as one of its founding faculty members, arriving with a Ph.D. in biochemistry and teaching the first two classes in the school’s history. Dorsey then became a student in the third class and obtained an M.D. degree from SIU. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Iowa before returning to southern Illinois to practice rheumatology.

“While I had obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and a postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology at Johns Hopkins a few years before, I recognized that a career in bench research just wasn’t going to do it for me,” he says. “I wanted to directly and immediately make a difference in people’s lives.”

As the end of his tenure as dean and provost in December 2015, more than 2,600 medical students had graduated from the School of Medicine.

The school offers an M.D., a master’s degree and doctoral degree in various biomedical sciences, including a master’s degree for physician assistant students, as well as advanced training in clinical specialties (17 residencies and 13 fellowships). There also is a small number of SIU students each year who pursue combined degree programs in law and medicine, or in medicine and public health.

When asked what he wants his legacy to be, his answer is simple: “I tried to fulfill the mission.”

Reflecting on his parting gift as dean and how others could contribute, Dorsey says, “Whatever anyone can contribute – whether it is time, talent or resources – all of it is valuable and important.”

Donations to SIU Carbondale increase by 25 percent

SIU Pulliam Clocktower

Donors contributed more than $25.2 million last year to support Southern Illinois University Carbondale students and programs, a 25 percent increase over the previous year, according to SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.

“Our alumni and friends believe in SIU, and they are coming together to advance the university,” Montemagno said. “Their investment in our students and our future is incredibly important. On behalf of the entire campus community, I thank all donors for their support and confidence as we move forward to fulfill our vision for the university.

“These gifts support scholarships for SIU students, equipment for laboratories, library resources, positions for outstanding faculty and much, much more,” Montemagno added. “Many students wouldn’t be able to attend SIU – or benefit from all we offer — without the generosity of our alumni and friends. Donors make the difference.”

All of the gifts and pledges were made between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

More than $15 million of the total came in the form of cash and other gifts that can have an immediate impact, said Jim Salmo, the foundation’s chief executive officer. The balance includes pledges for the future. For example, many donors make a commitment to include SIU in their estate plans, he said.

“All gifts — large and small — are important and valued,” Salmo said. “Donors have a lot of options in the ways they can structure a gift to serve a cause that is important to them – whether it’s paying it forward with a scholarship or investing in student and faculty research or academic facilities.”

SIU is in the midst of a three-year, $75 million fundraising initiative called “Forever SIU: The Campaign for Students.” To date, the campaign has raised more than $60 million.

To learn more about the campaign, visit www.foreversiu.org or call 618-453-4900.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Otilia Santiago

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Otilia Santiago

Otilia Santiago is a sophomore from Chicago studying Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Science. She is a Harold and Nora Kuehn Animal Science Scholarship, SIU Dean’s Scholarship, and Kloth Scholarship recipient.

Why did you choose SIU?
SIU has a pre-veterinary program and a wonderful campus.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I love the idea of being able to work with animals, while also expanding my knowledge about them.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
When i first walked on campus and went through Thompson’s Woods. I saw two falcons. I had never seen these type of birds in the wild before and they we perched on a branch very close to the path on the tour.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I brag that SIU is a beautiful university, with a great College of Agricultural Sciences and a wonderful campus.

Could you tell us about the impact of the scholarship on your education at SIU and your life in general?
It made paying for college a lot easier. I am to focus in class instead of thinking about money.

Why should people consider donating to SIU?
Donating to SIU helps students achieve their goals when they otherwise may not be able to.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? Why?
I would like to see $1,000 benefit to the university farms, so more students could get hands-on experience working with animals.

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Impact of scholarships featured at annual luncheon

In February, a group of donors and students gathered for the 2018 SIU Academic Scholarship Lunch. Dozens of scholarship recipients were given the chance to meet and thank the very people who made their scholarships possible.

“It’s amazing to see people who were able to be successful come back and give to people and help them be successful, as well,” said scholarship recipient Jacob Trammel. “I can’t express how thankful I am.”

Dr. Marsha Ryan, a member of the SIU Board of Trustees and scholarship sponsor, addressed the crowd during the annual event.

“What truly matters in our communities and at this university are the people we make of ourselves and the people we assist in the making of themselves,” she said. “The nice thing about SIU is that it’s a wonderful place to do both.”

Scholarship recipients Abbie Spiwak and Saikrishna Balasubramanian spoke about the significance of financial assistance and how they hope to make a long-term impact.
“The thing I’ve had in my mind since starting school and wanting to be a dietitian is to help other people,” Spiwak said.

“What this scholarship has enabled me to do is really achieve my dreams, and I hope to give back to other students someday,” Balasubramanian said.

Forever SIU campaign co-chair Dan Korte said students need support because they are the future.

“These young people are going to change the world and help propel the future that we depend on,” he said.

To make a gift, visit www.siuf.org/giving.

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