James Molitor is a senior from Grayslake, Illinois. He is specializing in exercise science.
Why did you choose SIU? Both of my parents are SIU alumni and because of this, I was introduced to SIU at a very young age. When I was younger, my parents would bring me down to SIU for football and basketball games. I can remember the atmosphere of those games to this day and as a kid I was hooked on the Salukis. When it came time for me to start looking at colleges, I visited many universities but none of them provided me with that feeling of being “at home” like SIU did.
What inspired you to choose your area of study? I chose the area of kinesiology because I wanted a career after college where I could help people improve their health and overall quality of life. I also have always had a very strong interest in science.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? The achievement in my life that I’m most proud of right now is graduating from SIU.
Why should someone consider donating to the College of Education and Human Services? Students who are a part of the College of Education and Human Services are dedicated to obtaining a degree which will later help them to give back to their communities.
Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? Donating to the College of Education and Human Services will help to provide us with the best education and opportunity possible so that we can better serve the community in the future. I would also thank them for taking the time to consider donating.
If you had $1,000 to donate to the College of Education and Human Services, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would like to see that money benefit the Strong Survivors program. It is an amazing program that truly benefits cancer patients, cancer survivors and their dedicated caregivers.
My masters’ degree adviser Dr. Grace Mims did her PhD program at SIU and she recommended me to apply for this program.
I got accepted from few other universities but I saw the education department of SIU comes to the 76th ranking in the whole USA.
I got an assistantship from my department and later from another department too, which helped me to further my schooling.
SIU environment made me feel more comfortable because of the diverse student population on campus.
What inspired you to choose your area of study? I did my undergraduate in accounting and felt like I am not a person who is going to sit in a chair and calculate the numbers for my whole life. I chose a major that I would like to do in my daily life, which was helping students in need. So I picked counseling focusing on student affairs for my master’s degree. Before completing my master’s degree, I had worked at the university for 2 years, which motivated me to focus on higher education as my career. I choose Educational Administration and Higher Education for my PhD program so I can work in the higher education settings for at least 7-8 years after graduation and work for United Nations afterwards.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? When I was kid, I did not have all these facilities that I have right now. My parents worked hard every day to bring me to this position. My biggest achievement would be that I can look into my parents’ eyes and tell them I did not let their hard work go to waste. I have also learned how to be a leader, follower and public speaker.
Why should someone consider donating to SIU? Looking towards my own experience, if I did not have a scholarship I would not be able to pursue my career. Scholarships help students to focus on their studies. When students are in financial need, they have pressure all the time regarding finances. Especially, for those students who wants to purse their degree and want to bring change in society but they don’t have enough financial assistance to pursue their education, I would recommend people to consider those students and donate to SIU. Those donations will not go to waste. It is your investment for a better society.
Have you received any scholarships as a student? Yes, I have received a scholarship as a student and that scholarship helped me to to focus on my education.
What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals? Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to complete my undergraduate, graduate and PhD (current). For a student like me, who wants to complete my education and do something for better society, scholarships help a lot. I am able to fulfill my dreams and my life goals, which is bettering society with my education.
How has SIU inspired you? SIU is full of diverse students, faculty and staff, which makes my experience more comfortable. Every day I learn something new, which helps me to develop myself. I have worked in different departments at SIU: higher education department as a research assistant, Evaluation and Developmental Center as a research assistant and the Student Center as a building manager. I have learned to be leader on campus by getting involved in various organizations, too.
Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? Your one effort will change someone’s life. This change will help to bring a better society for us. There are many students who are in need of financial help. Even though they have potential to do something great, their financial situation prevents them from pursuing their goals.
If you had $1,000 to donate to the SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would give to students with financial need who want to complete their education and do something positive for society.
What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU? Best college that I have ever attend because of diversity on campus. All faculty and staff are friendly and helpful which will make your time at SIU more comfortable.
Whether you can give $1 or $1,000, every amount matters on March 1, 2017. Help us open the door to opportunity for students. Support SIU Day of Giving at: siuday.siu.edu
Maria Napolez is a SIU law student from Los Angeles, California. She will be graduating in May 2017.
Why did you choose SIU? My dad attended SIU for medical school and has always said it altered the course of his life. SIU exposed him to a world of information that helped him discover his passion. I wanted the same experience and I have definitely gotten it! I’m excited, yet sad to be graduating in May, but I know the immense impact I’ll make with my SIU School of Law education!
What inspired you to choose your area of study? Law has always been a passion of mine. It is a profession that will allow me to help others, while simultaneously allowing me to continuously grow and learn as a person.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I’m most proud of my decision to pack up my life in LA, leave my fashion career, and attend law school at SIU! It has changed my life for the better! I’m more excited than ever to get back to LA with the knowledge I have gained at SIU School of Law.
Why should someone consider donating to SIU School of Law? Wow, where do I start? SIU School of Law is one of this country’s hidden gems! The warm and welcoming environment makes the difficulties of law school easier to deal with. Having visited several law schools prior to attending SIU, I never encountered such an environment where the faculty and classmates feels like family! I feel as though the faculty really goes through your law school journey with you. The support, encouragement, and random conversations in between classes with the deans, professors, and other law school faculty make my days enjoyable. I catch myself smiling for no reason sometimes, because I know I made the right choice to attend SIU School of Law. I can’t wait to donate!
Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? Giving back, no matter how small the donation amount, is so helpful! The law school is such a small, close-knit environment. Every dime is felt, acknowledged, and appreciated.
If you had $1,000 to donate to the School of Law, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would give $3,000! First, $1,000 would go toward some sort of ‘appreciation’ event for the faulty to show them how much they mean to us. Another $1,000 would go toward funding a program to reach out to more minority students and fostering relationships that will encourage them to trust SIU School of Law with shaping their legal studies and legal career. And of course, $1,000 would go toward free coffee every day, for everyone!
Taylor Williams is a senior from Carterville, Illinois. She is studying civil engineering.
Why did you choose SIU? I chose SIU because it is close to home, had an accredited engineering program, and offered scholarship opportunities to me as an incoming freshman.
What inspired you to choose your area of study? I really like math.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I am most proud of the person that I have become. There is no one specific achievement that I am most proud of because everything that I have accomplished and have not accomplished have made me into the person that I am today.
Why should someone consider donating to SIU? Attending college is expensive. State schools do not receive the same support from federal and state government as it has in the past. In order to remain affordable, SIU has had to invest institutional resources into assisting students. Donors who give money to SIU can help with that institutional investment by providing scholarships to us-the students.
Have you received any scholarships as a student? Yes
What does the scholarship mean to you and how has it enabled you to pursue your goals? The scholarship I received as an incoming student helped me decide to enroll at SIU. The scholarships that I have received as an engineering student motivate me to continue to excel in the classroom and get involved in campus.
How has SIU inspired you? SIU has inspired me to become more involved and to live college life to the fullest. I came here to receive an education but have received so much more than that through making friends in the dorms and joining a sorority.
Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? Every donation counts and is appreciated. Students today need scholarship opportunities to help with the cost of college. Four years of college will cost more than $100,000. Even families who don’t have financial need experience difficulties coming up with the money to pay for college. Scholarship opportunities should exist for students who work hard, earn good grades, and get involved.
If you had $1,000 to donate to the SIU, what would you like to see that money benefit? College of Engineering scholarship opportunities.
What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about SIU? When I tell my friends about SIU, I brag mostly about my experience here. My teachers have always been willing to help me with things that I don’t understand. I get to do experiments to further my understanding of material taught in class. The staff is always working with me when I need help finding experience outside of school such as internships and externships.
Whether you can give $1 or $1,000, every amount matters on March 1, 2017. Help us open the door to opportunity for students. Support SIU Day of Giving at: siuday.siu.edu
Jared Nicholas is a junior with senior credits from McLean, Illinois. He is a double major specializing in accounting and German.
Why did you choose SIU? I had never heard of SIU until my junior year of high school. My German teacher suggested it because of a German scholarship SIU offers. I visited the campus and really enjoyed its proximity to nature and semi-isolation from the rest of town. What really impressed me, though, was the attention and enthusiasm Marcus Odom, the Director of Accountancy at the time, and Jill Gebke, the Assistant Dean of the College of Business, showed for me as a potential student. They were the first people to prove to me why SIU prides itself in being a close community that cares about its students.
What inspired you to choose your area of study? Ultimately, I would like to become a corporate lawyer. I chose accounting to gain a broader business background before law school. I started German in high school and decided to continue with it. Learning German has not just taught me a language, but it’s broadened my world view as well as made me think more critically about language. In college, it provided me the opportunity to spend a wonderful semester abroad in Switzerland. I’d like to use German by working for an international German company, such as Haribo, Aldi, Siemens, or BMW.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? Freshman year, my roommate, Alex Attebury, and I organized a trip with other business freshmen to Walt Disney World to participate in one of their youth education programs about leadership strategies. It was a long process, especially with fundraising, but it was a fun project and it was a great end to our first year of college.
Why should someone consider donating to the College of Liberal Arts? The College of Liberal Arts at SIU has some of the most dedicated and caring professors I have met, which leads to more dedicated and thoughtful graduates. Employers appreciate the skills the liberal arts teach, such as critical thinking, appreciation for other points of view, and the ability to discuss and debate ideas. The liberal arts provide a broader education, not just for liberal arts majors, but for other students, too.
Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? I would like to tell that potential donor that their money could go to supporting important departments that are unfortunately often overlooked and underappreciated.
If you had $1,000 to donate to the College of Liberal Arts, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would like to see it go towards faculty professional development, including more intensive training for teaching assistants and new teachers, or any other way to maintain or even improve the college’s teaching quality.
Why did you choose SIU? It was the only school that offered all three aspects (Design, Merchandising, and Styling) as majors of the field I wish to go into. They also work with other colleges on campus to achieve various minors and certifications. Most other schools either offer ONLY Merchandising, or ONLY Design. I want to be well-rounded and knowledgeable when I step out into the real world.
What inspired you to choose your area of study? I have loved fashion since before I can remember. I wanted to major in something I am both good at, and sincerely passionate about.
What achievement in your life are you most proud of? I am most proud of my dedication and passion for my major and career as a student. I strive for success and always try to make ambitious moves toward bettering my education and my future. It is so great to love what I do.
Do you have a message you would like shared with a potential donor? Given Illinois’ current struggles, CASA and various majors within it struggle to stay afloat and be noticed in a school of so many opportunities. Any aid, of any kind, is amazingly generous and will be graciously appreciated to extents beyond what any one individual can imagine.
If you had $1,000 to donate to the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, what would you like to see that money benefit? I would have to stay loyal to my major due to the fact that I see the obstacles and challenges the program faces day in and day out. That money could aid in getting our program known and taken more seriously. It would aid in repairs for machines that are used EVERY day by various students every year. It would open doors for opportunities for our yearly fashion show displaying students’ hard work and dedication to what they love to do. The possibilities of the use of a donation are limitless.
Since that humble beginning, the Foundation has raised more than $350 million and supported thousands of students through scholarships and more.
With this significant milestone anniversary, the SIU Foundation celebrates its many accomplishments made possible through the support of loyal alumni, friends, staff, faculty and community members.
“Our 75th anniversary is an opportunity to thank the many alumni, donors and friends who have helped transform the university throughout the decades,” said SIU Foundation CEO Jim Salmo. “What can be better than celebrating how we have all helped transform the lives of thousands of young men and women?”
When the Foundation was created in 1942, enrollment stood at 1,519 – the largest among teachers’ colleges in Illinois. Much has changed since then. The past seven-and-a-half decades have chronicled Southern Illinois University’s remarkable transformation from its origins as a teaching college to a nationally ranked public research university and regional economic catalyst.
Throughout the past 75 years, the Foundation has paved the way to many important enhancements on campus, and it has created scholarships that have made education possible for students who would not have been able to attend without them.
The Foundation continues to be an effective force for Southern Illinois University’s growth and advancement by connecting the goodwill and vision of donors with the university’s ongoing progress. For more information about the SIU Foundation, visit www.siuf.org/about-us/.
On March 1, members of the SIU community will join together for an extraordinary day of giving back. The goal is simple: to inspire Salukis everywhere to come together, demonstrate their pride for SIU, and provide essential funding to support SIU students and help shape the university.
We are asking you to help us reach our goals by marking your calendar and making a gift at siuday.siu.edu on March 1. Your gift will help us continue to open doors for SIU students. Bookmark this link today to make your donation on March 1.
Together – in just one day – we can create opportunities for students. Let’s make an impact on today’s students and future Salukis.