Student caller raises $25,000 for SIU Foundation

by Emily Hunsaker

Student caller kimberly brombosz raises $25,000 for SIU Foundation

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Kimberly Brombosz, a student caller for the Southern Illinois University Foundation, has raised $25,000 to be used to improve her University.

“Working for the SIU Foundation has been a great opportunity for me. The skills I have acquired while serving as a student caller have proven valuable within all facets of my life. Not only have I been able to refine my people skills, but also I have been able to take on another leadership role as a student supervisor,” Brombosz said. “Knowing that my work has a direct effect in improving my university is something that I have taken pride in over the past years, and I look forward to continuing my efforts while still a student at SIU.”

Brombosz has worked as a student caller for the SIU Foundation since the fall of 2008. She is one of 80 SIUC students who solicit support for the Foundation’s Annual Fund. The fund is designed to generate revenue to support various scholarship opportunities, academic departments, programs, and facility upgrades at the University. Students are assigned records based on specific segments of the alumni database. They perform their duties year-round with the exception of the University’s Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks and all other public holidays.

“The annual fund is a crucial part of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts. It is important to have hard working, motivated students, such as Kim, who are driven to achieve these important milestones,” said Nanditha Balasubramanian, director of annual giving.

The drive Brombosz displays as a student caller also continues into her extracurricular activities. She is currently the vice present of Student Alumni Council (SAC) and director of programming for the SIU Leadership Conference. She was also the past super student chair of SAC. The Bolingbrook native is a junior majoring in biological sciences, with a minor in chemistry.

Monsanto supports plant pathology research

by Emily Hunsaker

Monsanto supports plant pathology research

Frank Khon, Plant Health Research Lead for Monsanto, Jason Bond, professor of plant pathology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Chris Vick, a soybean pathologist at SIUC, stand in a plot of soybeans at SIUC’s Agricultural Resource Center. They are part of a group of researchers testing the effects of agricultural products on soybeans, thanks to a donation made by Monsanto Co. (Photo provided)

CARBONDALE, Ill. — An agricultural company with a longstanding relationship with Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently made a donation to support two professors’ research in plant pathology.

Monsanto donated $104,000 to be used for research on soybean diseases under the direction of Jason Bond and Ahmad Fakhoury, professors of plant pathology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Monsanto Co. is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. The company is focused on enabling both small and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of the world’s natural resources.

“Monsanto’s relationship with the University has been extremely beneficial. Because of this donation, two of our top-tier professors are able to conduct research on a topic that is important to the agricultural community,” says Rickey McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation. “Support such as this is vital in moving Southern forward.”

The donation stems from an ongoing research agreement between Monsanto and the University. Bond has been conducting routine research trials using the company’s products for three years through Monsanto’s grant contract office. This donation will allow Bond and Fakhoury to expand on these trials and delve further into this research.

“The money will support plant pathology research and field trials. It has helped to understand the molecular quantification of plant pathogens,” Bond says. “The funding has also allowed us to run more samples with molecular tools that give us very precise results.”

With the help of a team of students and technicians, Bond tests Monsanto’s products on soybean fields in five Illinois locations, including Carbondale, Paris, Pontiac, Tamms and Valmeyer. The research team consists of six undergraduate student workers, two graduate students and three full-time technicians.

The group has planted soybeans on two to three acres of land in each location with seed provided by Monsanto. As the research progresses, the team will begin to spray each field with the company’s products and check for diseases in the soybean plants. Fakhoury’s group will use molecular techniques to detect and quantify plant pathogens in these soybeans.

“Funding such as this is important to the University. It not only allows Dr. Bond and Dr. Fakhoury to conduct much-needed research, but it also allows students to be involved in the research process,” says Todd Winters, associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “This research will have an impact on Monsanto’s products, as well as the farmers who utilize them.”

“Monsanto saw an opportunity to assist the college in a way that would also help them achieve their goals,” Bond adds. “This was an outgrowth of the University’s relationship with the company. They saw what we are capable of doing and made an investment in us.”