Association awards $15,000 in textbooks, supplies

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Thirty-five Southern Illinois University Carbondale students received more than $15,000 in textbooks and supplies from the SIU Alumni Association earlier this week.

The awards came during ceremonies Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Student Center Ballrooms.

“The generosity of our alumni makes these awards possible,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Many of them benefitted from much-needed assistance during their time as students. We hope that when these recipients have the opportunity, they too will support the students who follow in their footsteps.”

Ray Serati, president of the SIU Alumni Association, said, “Support of this kind is invaluable to many of our students, and we take great pride in providing such assistance again this year. Such financial support would not be possible without our members, who continue to help sponsor initiatives like this at our alma mater.”

In April 2008, the SIU Alumni Association’s national board allocated funds for investment, with the earnings earmarked to support the financial needs of current and future SIU Carbondale students. The Board’s scholarship committee, with the assistance of the University’s financial aid office, identified the need for textbooks and supplies as an area of extreme importance for student success, concluding the money could best be used to fill this type of gap that often occurs in student funding.

The SIU Carbondale financial aid office identified students using criteria that include a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a demonstration of financial need. The University’s International Programs and Services office assisted in identifying international students to receive the award. Students are chosen based upon their academic success and demonstrated SIU Carbondale alumni family legacy.

The allocation of funds helps demonstrate the alumni association’s continued commitment to students, and serves to also assist the University in its ongoing retention efforts, said Michelle Suarez, alumni association executive director.

“I know that supporting current and future SIU students is something that gives many of our Association members great satisfaction,” Suarez said. “Such textbook awards serve as a great example of how fellow Salukis help others follow in their footsteps.”

Scholarship will benefit pre-veterinary students

By Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A scholarship endowment has been created to honor a man who practiced veterinary medicine for 40 years.

Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale pursuing a degree in pre-veterinary medicine can apply for the Dr. and Mrs. Carl McDowell Case and Mr. and Mrs. Victor Le Gout Scholarship. Preference will be given to students who graduated from a high school in the Illinois counties of Lawrence, Richland, Crawford and Wabash. If no student qualifies from these counties, the award will be open to all applicants.

Recipients must attain at least junior status in the pre-veterinary track program, offered through the SIU Carbondale College of Science. They must have at least a 3.5 grade point average. Two $3,000 scholarships will be presented annually.

Catherine LeGout, a former beautician and resident of Sumner, initially decided to establish the endowment in honor of her late father, Carl Case. The award also includes the name of her late husband, Victor, who worked as a steam welder; and pays homage to the wives of both men.

“I became familiar with SIU Carbondale and its academic programs through WSIU-TV. It is a good school with a quality pre-veterinary program,” she says. “My father devoted his career to this field. It just seemed appropriate to have something at SIU in his name.”

Chancellor Rita Cheng expressed appreciation for the endowment on behalf of the University.

“We are honored that Mrs. LeGout selected our University for this very meaningful and very generous endowment,” Cheng said. “We are grateful for her confidence in our program and for her commitment to helping our students achieve their dreams.”

Jay C. Means, dean of the College of Science, says LeGout’s support will assist the University in recruiting quality students to its program.

“By establishing this scholarship fund, Mrs. LeGout is not only fostering support of deserving students in our pre-veterinary medicine program, she is honoring her parents and husband, which serves as a wonderful tribute to her loved ones. Veterinary school admissions are extremely competitive and scholarship support options are essential in attracting and keeping high-caliber students. Individuals like Mrs. LeGout make this possible. SIU Carbondale’s pre-veterinary medicine program will benefit greatly from her generosity.”

Jeff Lorber, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement and executive director of development for the SIU Foundation, says: “This scholarship endowment is a wonderful gesture on behalf of Catherine LeGout. It serves as a fitting tribute to her family as these funds will support the educational endeavors of students who aspire to follow in Mr. Case’s footsteps. We are greatly appreciative of Mrs. LeGout’s desire to support pre-veterinary students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.”

Project benefits engineering students, Caterpillar

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A group of engineering students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale is helping a major heavy equipment manufacturer improve its factory floor layout.

The students, who are members of the Leadership Development Program at SIU Carbondale, worked with Caterpillar Inc. on its factory in Corinth, Miss. Advance Technology Services, the company that is responsible for maintenance and operations at the plant, sponsored the project. Dick Blaudow, an SIU Carbondale engineering alumnus who, along with his wife, Brigitte, founded the Leadership Development Program at the University, heads ATS.

Last semester, a group of 16 aspiring engineers participated in the project, which tested not only what they learned in their engineering majors, but also how quickly they could learn and grow as a new team, said Bruce DeRuntz, professor of technology and director of the Leadership Development Program in SIU Carbondale’s College of Engineering.

“If they could learn to work as a highly efficient team and apply leadership skills that have taught in the Leadership Development Program, they could succeed in accomplishing the challenging project objective,” DeRuntz said.

The project involved reorganizing two manufacturing “cells,” or specialized areas of the factory floor where the company reconditions old engines into engines that are like-new again.

The team also was tasked with documenting a process that had no current operating procedures and improving customer relations.

The team worked long days — 13 to 14 hours each — to complete the project within a week’s time. DeRuntz said the Leadership Development Program exceeded the expectations of those involved.

The team successfully improved the company’s manufacturing efficiency and eliminated operational waste, DeRuntz said. Team members did so by employing lean manufacturing techniques studied in engineering classes at SIU Carbondale. Lean manufacturing refers to techniques that improve an organization’s efficiency.

“We have all said to ourselves, ‘If I could just reorganize my workspace, kitchen or garage, I could be much more productive,’” DeRuntz said. “This same idea has been applied to manufacturing to the tenth power. If there is something on the floor that is not part of the process, it will be thrown away that day.”

Kaleb Schwartz, a senior in industrial technology from Winnebago, and a project manager for the Leadership Development Project, said the experience was invaluable.

“This experience was one that I’ll never forget,” he said. “I got to see a team evolve and perform at levels that were unimaginable.”

A side benefit of the project involved Advanced Technology Services making a cash donation to the Leadership Development Program that will in turn be divided among the Registered Student Organizations in the College of Engineering represented by the team members.

“During these tough budgetary times, the Leadership Development Program has shown that they will elevate the College of Engineering’s RSOs by using their own hard work and technical knowledge,” DeRuntz said.

Alex Watson, a senior in electrical engineering from Eldorado, said he was proud of the way the team came together on the project.

“I would have never believed that a group of new students could come together in such a short amount of time and accomplish so much,” he said. “We really learned how to work together as a team and the fundamentals of good leadership. I’m very excited to be part of a program that is going to teach me not only how to be a student leader, but also a technical leader in my career.”

Additional team members included:

  • Tyler Budde, a senior in engineering technology from Mason
  • Nicholas Culbreth, a senior in mining engineering from Benton
  • Dylan Noble, a senior in computer engineering from Anna
  • Jared Pfeiffer, a senior in industrial technology from Findlay
  • Brett Probst, a senior in mechanical engineering from Effingham
  • Jerrod Turner, a senior in music from Anna
  • Michael Uphoff, a junior in industrial technology from Bloomington
  • Lauren Adams, a senior in computer engineering from Hazel Crest
  • Maxwell Burke, a senior in industrial technology from Du Quoin
  • Jaycen Herndon, a senior in civil engineering from Potomac
  • Branden Littlejohn, a senior in engineering technology from Stoy
  • Eric Shackmann, a senior in mechanical engineering from Newton
  • Coraviece Terry, a graduated senior in electrical engineering from Mounds