SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience – Matthew Cagle

SIU Student Matthew Cagle, SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience

Matthew Cagle is a freshman from Herrin, Illinois, studying accounting.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because the College of Business is ranked among the top 5% in the world. Also, I have grown up around SIU my entire life, so it is like home to me. I have been coming to SIU basketball games since I was a kid.

What would you tell a prospective student about SIU?
No matter what a prospective student may be looking for in their college experience, SIU has it. For students who are looking for a small university, the student to faculty ratio at SIU is 15:1; and for those who are looking for a larger school, SIU is big enough to continually meet new people. The university offers great academics and is perfectly sized.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
My dad graduated from SIU with an accounting degree, just as I plan to do. Talking to him throughout my life shaped my career aspirations.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
My most memorable experience at SIU has been meeting new people through the different organizations I am involved in.

Have you received any scholarships as a student?
I received the Chancellor’s scholarship here at SIU.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals?
For me, the scholarship represents SIU’s recognition of my past accomplishments and the university’s belief in me to continue my good work. It has enabled me to attend school without having to worry about financial troubles, which is a huge head start on the road to my goals.

How has SIU inspired you?
The College of Business at SIU has great career services for students, and I am confident in their ability to launch my career. They also have many registered student organizations that provide great opportunities for students to learn about their fields in an extracurricular setting.

Why should someone consider donating to SIU?
People should consider donating to SIU since the university is small enough to see a direct impact of funds. The university has the academic accreditation to become a large institution, but it needs assistance from outside resources to grow.

What do you brag on most when you tell your friends about SIU?
Being an accounting major, I always brag on the College of Business when I talk to my friends about SIU. It is ranked among the top 5% of business schools in the WORLD, yet many people do not realize how prestigious the college is.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? 
If I had $1,000 to donate to SIU, I would like to see the money go towards research at the university. Undergraduate research is a major benefit that SIU offers, and I would like to see research opportunities grow and become more accessible to students.

 

You can support SIU students during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 7, 2018: https://siuday.siu.edu/

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience – Britt Peyton

SIU Student Britt Peyton, SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience

Britt Peyton is a first-year student from Norris City, Illinois, studying physiology.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU for a few reasons. The first reason is that SIU felt like home. I’ve grown up in southern Illinois, so SIU automatically felt like where I should be. Another reason is the research that happens at SIU. I started working as a research assistant in Dr. Gilbert’s Integrative Neuroscience Laboratory as a freshman, and I knew that SIU was one of the only universities that could give me that opportunity.

What would you tell a prospective student about SIU?
No matter what your major is or what your interests are, SIU has something for you. Whether you’re a business major who could be a part of the Saluki Student Investment Fund, or a pre-medicine student who could be in a research lab, or a forestry student who might work at SIU’s Touch of Nature, you can thrive in your major and pursue your interests.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I’m studying physiology in the hopes of going to medical school. What inspired me to choose this path and area of study was loving science and wanting to have a career that meant something to me. I know that going into medicine will be difficult, but the thought of working as a physician and helping people and continue learning new things throughout my life will be well worth it.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
So far, my most memorable experience has been making friends and the memories I’ve had with those people. I knew nobody when I first came to SIU. Seeing how welcoming and friendly everyone was here really helped me come out of my comfort zone and find the people that I now call my friends.

Have you received any scholarships as a student?
Yes, I received a few local scholarships my senior year of high school, as well as SIU’s Chancellor’s Scholarship.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals?
The Chancellor’s Scholarship means the world to me. It has enabled me to completely focus on my classes and extracurricular activities instead of worrying how I’d pay for college. It’s also allowed me to put all of my local scholarships aside, which I’m also incredibly grateful for, and save them for medical school and maybe even studying abroad.

How has SIU inspired you?
SIU, most of all, has inspired me to be the very best I can be. Whether that be through professors who have encouraged me to take that extra class, or advisors who encouraged me to join a research lab as a freshman, or RSOs that have allowed me to be more involved on campus than I thought possible in my first year. Every aspect of my experience at SIU has taught me to push myself and that my experience here can be as great as I make it.

Why should someone consider donating to SIU?
Someone should donate to SIU because of the promise our students have. There are students here going overseas to help deliver medical supplies to countries that need them, students who are involved in life-changing research, and first generation college students graduating and making the world a better place. Donating to SIU would be helping these students, as well as many more students who are doing equally amazing things.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
I brag most about all of the opportunities I’ve had, even just in my first year here. SIU had enough faith in me to award me a full-ride scholarship. I’m involved in an exceptional research lab as a first-year student, I get to be a part of bringing new students to SIU through being a Saluki Ambassador, and those are just a few examples of how SIU has given me more opportunities than I thought possible.

If you had $1,000 to donate to the SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit?
I would like to see that money benefit paid research assistant positions. It is my understanding that students used to get paid while working in a research lab, so I would love to see that come back. My main reason for that is because I, as well as other students, work in research labs and don’t have time to have paid jobs outside of class and research, so it would be extremely helpful to us if we could have both in one.

 

You can support SIU students during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 7, 2018: https://siuday.siu.edu/

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience – Rebecca Harris

SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience – Rebecca Harris

Rebecca Harris is a junior from Metamora, Illinois, studying pre-veterinary medicine.

Why did you choose SIU?
The biggest reason I chose SIU was because of the outstanding research opportunities and hands-on experience within the College of Agricultural Sciences. In my first semester of attending SIU, I was already volunteering to help with research on deer palatability studies and have since helped with nutrition research in cattle. I was also volunteering at the University Farms in my first semester. I now have a job with the beef and swine centers where there is always something for me to learn and further enrich my education outside of the classroom. SIU is well-rounded, in my opinion, from varying aspects: affordable costs (because of the numerous generous scholarships awarded), quality programs, and staff that actually care about their students.

What would you tell a prospective student about SIU?
Get involved! Your education is truly what you make of it and the opportunities are endless. There are so many clubs around campus to choose from that you are sure to find something you enjoy. In the process, you may find yourself making new friendships that will last a lifetime.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
Since a young age, I have always known that pursuing a career in veterinary medicine was something I have wanted to do. I am extremely passionate about animals and love being able to help them.

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
In my introduction to animal science lab, I got extra credit for sticking my arm into a cannulated cow without a glove on. This was pretty early on in my studies at SIU and not something I thought I would be doing for a class. The animal science classes have been really awesome and rewarding.

Have you received any scholarships as a student?
Yes. SIU Dean’s Scholarship D4, Harold and Nora Kuehn Animal Science Scholarship, and the Walter Wills Animal Science Scholarship.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals?
The scholarships I have received have enabled me to pursue my dreams ultimately with minimal debt. I am so thankful to have been blessed with the scholarships I have gotten.

How has SIU inspired you?
SIU has inspired me to try things outside of my comfort zone. Last year when applying for summer internships, one of my biology lab teaching assistants recommended that I apply for jobs in wildlife conservation and so I did. This past summer, I worked for Idaho Fish and Game on a research project to gain wolf population estimates and now am extremely interested in wildlife and ranch veterinary medicine. This aspect of my career field is something I never really considered before attending SIU.

Why should someone consider donating to SIU?
Donors are what make many of the scholarships students receive possible and thus make obtaining an education easier! They also are what enable many of our opportunities (like funded research) to be possible.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
For being in Illinois, you really do not feel like you are in Illinois. There are so many things to do outdoors from cliff jumping at Lake Kincaid, horseback riding at any of the local stables, or even just hiking and camping in the nearby national forests like Shawnee National Forest. Southern Illinois isn’t just a flat piece of land with corn and beans; there are rolling hills with forests and so much to explore. It is quite a nice change of scenery and the area in general has a small-town feel, which I prefer.

If you had $1,000 to donate to SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit?
If I had $1,000 to donate to SIU, I would like to the money go towards the beef and swine centers at the farms. There are many useful things the funds could go towards including updating facilities and equipment. The farms in my opinion are such a valuable learning aspect of SIU’s College of Agricultural Sciences that are underappreciated and sometimes even taken for granted.

 

You can support SIU students during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 7, 2018: https://siuday.siu.edu/

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

SIU Day of Giving 2018: Give the Gift of Experience – Alejandro Narvaez-Colon

2018 SIU Day of Giving: Give the gift of experience - Alejandro Narvaez-Colon

 

Alejandro Narvaez-Colon is a junior from San Juan, Puerto Rico, studying computer science.

Why did you choose SIU?
With a deep passion for conducting research, I chose SIU because it is a top-tier research institution. I knew SIU would allow me to perform all the academic activities I wanted to take part in during my college career.

What would you tell a prospective student about SIU?
It is a very resourceful institution, and they should take advantage of all the opportunities they can manage to get.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
When I was 13 years old, my father — a businessman providing services to gas stations around Puerto Rico — took me to his office to work together on the design of a point of sales software that would satisfy the general needs of gas station managers. As I observed him develop the software, I became fascinated by the magic of programming, where simple words serve as the building blocks to endless computer functionalities. Amazed by what I learned by my father’s side, I decided to learn how to code. Two years later, my dad’s software was fully developed, and I had taught myself how to program in Java. I promised my dad I would create a smartphone application that would accompany his software. With this commitment to programming, I chose computer science as my career path and am now in the process of becoming the software engineer I want to be. 

What is your most memorable experience at SIU?
For three months, my Chinese professor took an hour every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday in order to catch me up with what every other student had learned the previous semester. This helped me enormously, and if it weren’t for his kindness and dedication to my learning and understanding, I would not be where I am today. 

Have you received any scholarships as a student?
I have received the Dean’s Scholarship, Dr. Albert Somit’s Scholarship and the Minority Scholarship.

What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals?
It has been an amazing help to be able to have that financial weight taken off my shoulders. Because of these scholarships, I have been able to spend less time working and more time studying, researching and contributing my time to SIU.

How has SIU inspired you?
The professional development opportunities I have had at SIU have inspired me to go after the things I want without fear of rejection, because if you work hard, you will get what you are after. Guaranteed.

Why should someone consider donating to SIU?
Donating to SIU would allow more students like me, who want to make the best out of their college education, to strive and not worry about financial limitations. I know too many people who are either drowning in debt from their student loans or that have had to drop out of SIU because they cannot afford their education.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU?
The Saluki Student Investment Fund is the most amazing organization of which I have ever been a part. It is so nice to be managing an actual portfolio just like you would at an actual job.

 

You can support SIU students during SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 7, 2018: https://siuday.siu.edu/

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Brooklyn Bowers

Brooklyn Bowers - Bertrand Scholar

Brooklyn Bowers is a senior from McLeansboro, Illinois, studying biological sciences and pre-medicine.

Why did you choose SIU?
SIU was close to my hometown and I received the Dean Scholarship when I applied. I am very family oriented and wanted to stay as close to home as possible for the time being.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
In grade school, I was always attracted to science. In high school, I got the chance to job shadow an ER doctor and I was hooked ever since.

What are your hobbies, interests, and/or activity groups that you are currently involved in?
I am currently involved in cheerleading and gymnastics at Ultimate Gymnastics. I am also trying to collect food, water and clothing with a group for the people effected by hurricane Harvey and hurricane Irma.

What was your reaction when you learned that you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was shocked when I got the e-mail. I was certain that they had me mixed up with another individual!

What does receiving the Bertrand scholarship mean to you? What difference did it make in your life?
The Bertrand scholarship lifted a financial burden off my shoulders. I work approximately 45 hours per week to make ends meet and go to school full time. Receiving this scholarship will allow me to work less and focus on my education.

How has the donor’s generosity impacted your view on your education and goals for the future?
Their generosity makes me believe that my goals for the future are actually reachable.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
The Bertrand scholarship will potentially save lives one day. I have full intentions of becoming an emergency room physician and am currently applying to medical school, which is also very expensive. When I first started at SIU three years ago, I was not sure if I would ever be able to make my dreams of becoming a doctor happen because I had no financial support.

Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
Scholarships truly make a difference and you could be supporting the person who finds a cure for cancer or becomes the next president. This provides opportunities for people who may not receive a degree due to financial burden. Life happens and while you’re in college it’s nice to know that you have support in achieving your dreams. If it wasn’t for my supportive family and receiving scholarships there is no way that I could have pursued this career path. If a student is willing to put the effort into earning an honest degree they should get the opportunity.

How would you like to support SIU students in the future?
In the future, I plan to establish my own scholarship fund to support SIU students.

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Jacob Trammel

SIU Student Jacob Trammel - Bertrand Scholarship recipient

Jacob Trammel is a senior from Elkville, Illinois, studying physiology.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I chose physiology on a pre-med track as my major so that I could develop a more advanced understanding of the physical and biochemical principals that govern the way our bodies work before attending medical school.

What are your hobbies, interests, and/or activity groups that you are currently involved in?
I am a brother of the Kappa Alpha Order (social fraternity), a member of the Timmy Global Health chapter on campus, a volunteer research assistant in Dr. Hylin’s traumatic brain injury rehabilitation lab, and a member of the Student Leadership Honor Society on campus. I enjoy outdoor activities, painting, playing the guitar, singing, leisure reading, and watching the St. Louis Blues.

What was your reaction when you learned that you received the Bertrand scholarship?
When I first saw that I had been awarded the Bertrand scholarship, I was in disbelief. It is what I would imagine winning the Lottery feels like. The Bertrand scholarship is the largest non-institutional scholarship I have every received. I was both thankful to them for their generosity and proud of myself for performing well enough to stand out among other applicants.

What does receiving the Bertrand scholarship mean to you? What difference did it make in your life?
Financial support on this scale is always a major relief. One of the biggest problems many college students face today is coping with the high cost of attending a university and the limited amount of financial aid available. This scholarship reduced the amount of debt I will have to take on to finish school, gave me financial stability, and gave me peace of mind. Without the Bertrand scholarship, I would not have been able to budget for taking a summer class and applying to medical school this year.

How has the donor’s generosity impacted your view on your educations and goals for the future?
Seeing the generosity of donors like the Bertrands motivates me to get out there and give my all to my loved ones and my career so that I can have the same kind of positive impact on someone’s life that they have had on mine. I want be able to pass on that feeling of stability that was given to me and empower some young man or woman to chase their dreams.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
The whole reason I decided to start down the path of being a doctor is because I see medicine as a way to fully utilize my intelligence to make a large-scale, positive impact on my community and the world in which I live. However, in order to become a doctor I need to have the financial resources to obtain the necessary education. By providing me with much needed financial help, the Bertrands are paving the path to medical school for me and helping me to maintain momentum towards my goal of becoming a physician.

Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
I think donors should consider using their funds to establish scholarships because a scholarship has an extreme impact on the recipient. It isn’t just throwing money at the student’s tuition bill. It helps them sleep at night, keeps a roof over their head, puts food on their table, and gives them the confidence and the means to put foundations under their “castles in the sky.”

Has receiving this scholarship inspired you to give back to SIU in the future?
Absaluki! As a young man from a poor family in rural Southern Illinois, I know that there are few resources to help local children down the path to a fulfilling and stabilizing career. I would like to someday establish a scholarship for disadvantaged students from the southern counties of Illinois. I would also like to be a mentor to the recipient(s) if possible.

Do you have a message that you would like to share with Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand?
I sincerely thank you for your kindness, I hope my “thank you” letter finds you well, and I hope to see you at the SIU scholarship lunch this semester so that I can get to know more about you!

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Madison Preece

SIU Student Lillie Betts - Bertrand Scholarship recipient

Madison Preece is a senior from Murphysboro, Illinois, studying paralegal studies.

Why did you choose SIU?
I chose SIU because it is close to home.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I chose my area of study because I love to do research and help others.

What are your hobbies, interests, and/or activity groups that you are currently involved in?
I am currently a member of the Organization of Paralegal Students.

What was your reaction when you learned that you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was ecstatic! I felt very happy and thankful to receive this scholarship.

What does receiving the Bertrand scholarship mean to you? What difference did it make in your life?
Receiving the Bertrand scholarship made a huge difference in my life by taking away some of the financial burdens of going to college, and allowing me to complete my educational goals without having to go into major debt.

How has the donor’s generosity impacted your view on your education and goals for the future?
The donor’s generosity has inspired me to work hard in everything I do because it truly does pay off. It has pushed me closer to achieving the goals I have set for myself.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
It will allow me to finish my education and become a paralegal where my primary job is to help others. The scholarship has also encouraged me to give back to society financially in the future.

Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
It really pushes students to work hard and allows students to complete their education without having major debt.

Has receiving this scholarship inspired you to give back to SIU in the future?
This scholarship has inspired me to give back to students in the future if I am financially able to. The generosity of the Bertrands has had a huge impact on my life and it would be great to make an impact in other students’ lives.

How would you like to support SIU students in the future?
In the future, I would be interested in creating a scholarship for students like me.

Do you have a message that you would like to share with Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand?Thank you very much for granting me this scholarship. This scholarship has encouraged me to work to my full potential and will enable me to finish my college career without having to worry about major financial burdens.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Meet SIU Scholarship Recipient – Lillie Betts

SIU Student Lillie Betts - Bertrand Scholarship recipient

Lillie Betts is a senior from Jacob, Illinois, studying social work.

Why did you choose SIU?
It’s close to home so I can be around friends and family.

What inspired you to choose your area of study?
I have always wanted to help people, when I learned about social work I just knew it was something I would be able to make a difference.

What are your hobbies, interests, and/or activity groups that you are currently involved in?
I love getting into the dance studio especially when I am teaching. There’s something rewarding about teaching a child to dance and seeing their reaction when they realize they did the step right!

What was your reaction when you learned that you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was so thankful and grateful that I was chosen to be a Bertrand scholar for the second year in a row!

What does receiving the Bertrand scholarship mean to you? What difference did it make in your life?
It means I can finish my degree and start my career. It means I won’t have as much student debt. It also means that I can proudly say I am a college graduate and make my parents proud.

How has the donor’s generosity impacted your view on your educations and goals for the future?
It is so amazing to know that there are people who are willing to help students get through college and achieve their dreams. I can only hope that one day I can do the same for other students in the future.

How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
Receiving this scholarship means that I am able to finish my degree. Since I am going into the social work field I have such a wide variety of options to make a difference. Whether I choose to go into substance use recovery or family and children’s services even though it doesn’t impact society as a whole, every little step works.

Do you have a message that you would like to share with Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand?
I want to thank the both of you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to be a Bertrand scholar for the second year in a row. It is so amazing that I have been given this opportunity again to further my education. I will forever be thankful for the both of you and what you have done for me and all the other Bertrand scholars!

 

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Grace Handlos grateful for dean scholarship

SIU College of Agricultural Sciences student Grace Handlos

By Rebecca Renshaw

Grace Handlos has set her sights high.

The junior from Salsbury, Indiana is majoring in animal science production. Throughout her life, Handlos has worked with horses. Now, she wants to become a show horse trainer.

“I love horses and always have,” Handlos said. “The College of Agricultural Sciences has made it so easy for me to achieve my dreams.”

Handlos is a dean scholarship recipient. She says she will never forget opening the envelope from SIU informing her of the scholarship award.

“When I read I received the scholarship, I was ecstatic. I never thought college could be affordable without going deep into debt,” Handlos said.

Like so many other students and faculty, Handlos says the college feels like one big family.

“Even when I first visited SIU and the college when I was trying to decide where to go to school, I sensed that they were like family,” she said.

Handlos serves as an Ag Council representative for the live-stock judging team, is a member of the honors program, and conducts research in the plant pathology program.

Earlier this year, the SIU Foundation launched Forever SIU: The Campaign for Students. The three-year campaign set a $75 million fundraising goal. Most of the money received through the campaign will go toward student scholarships.

For more information, visit www.foreversiu.org. For information on how to donate to the SIU College of Agricultural Sciences, visit http://foreversiu.org/colleges-units/agricultural-sciences.php.

Engage with us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Jeanne Hurley Simon Memorial Library Endowment scholarship expands horizon

Student Spotlight: SIU Morris Library Dave Whitfield

By Rebecca Renshaw

Dave Whitfield, a graduate student from Cairo, Illinois, and a Morris Library student employee, was awarded the Jeanne Hurley scholarship in May 2017. Whitfield said the scholarship has him leaning toward pursuing a master’s degree in library science after he receives his doctorate in communication studies.

Morris Library administers the endowment, created to celebrate the life and longstanding commitment to libraries and education of Jeanne Hurley Simon, wife of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon. The endowment provides up to three scholarships each year to Morris Library student employees, and the goal is fostering the development of ethnic, racial, cultural and gender diversity.

Whitfield said he thoroughly enjoys his job at the information desk, especially when he gets to help community patrons and those with disabilities.

“I was a medic in the Air Force from 1990 until 1998,” he said. “In that timeframe, my work revolved around helping people. Now, 10 years later, I’m still helping people, but just in a different environment.

“Working in the library is so fulfilling because people often don’t have the vocabulary to ask how to find the things they know little about yet. It forces me to become a good listener and to establish a positive connection with people who are trying to find something in the library. If I can make them feel welcome and comfortable, we will always end up finding out what they need,” he added.

Whitfield hopes more individuals will give to Morris Library.

“This place is transformative,” he said. “When donors give to this great library, they are opening the doors of opportunity to everyone – students, faculty, alumni and the entire community. It’s just a great place of expanding minds and forging relationships.”

For more information about Morris Library’s fundraising goals, visit www.foreversiu.org/colleges-units/morris-library.